Good things come when we step outside. Research continues to back up what we’ve known intuitively: spending time in nature is one of the best ways to support physical, spiritual and mental well being.
Reducing Stress Using the Outdoors
Walking through the forest, also known as Forest Bathing, can lower levels of inflammation and stress hormones like cortisol. Simply sticking your feet in the grass can ease stress and works great as a grounding as well. The best yet is heading down to the lake to wash away your worries. These are just a few ways to enjoy the great outdoors
Some people work in the Veggie garden, carefully tending plants that will provide a bounty of taste and flavour throughout the season. Being in the garden in the early morning or evening gives a feeling of being in sync with nature. Enjoy the feel of the earth, the scent of the plants and soil – letting the day drift away.
And Then there's Yoga
Something many do to help remove stress, keep our bodies mobile and just for enjoyment is yoga. Yoga is simple. A sticky mat, some props and a bottle of water that can be taken anywhere for a session; Imagine an early morning session on the deck – or even better, on the dock?
At this time of year there are many Yoga classes held in the parks or down at the waterfront. Here in Barrie, on calm water days you may also spot some brave, able bodies practicing their yoga poses on stand up paddle boards!
Remember to balance the heat and energy of the summer; aim to cultivate the opposite on the inside of the body – cool and calm.
One of the best ways to encourage equilibrium in your body is through your yoga practice. Here are a few cooling yoga poses to use in your routine:
Cooling Yoga Poses
- Moon Salutations: These are a variant of Sun Salutations. Try to walk forward rather than jump forward to maintain the lower vibratory feeling.
- Supported Backbends: Try bridge pose with a block beneath the low back.
- Legs up the wall: Remember to keep your tailbone against the wall and your legs straight up.
- Supported Shoulder Stand: Place a blanket or towel under the shoulders, letting your neck drop off the edge.
- Forward Folds: Try Seated Forward Fold or wide-legged Forward Fold.
- Floor Twists: You can do these seated or lying on your back
Each of these poses send a calming wave through the nervous system and serve the body’s attempt to self regulate.
Cooling Foods are Essential as Well
Food is another essential component for balancing the body, as it metabolizes your efforts from the inside out.
A Few Simple Guidelines
- Eat vegetables and fruit with a high water content. Think melons, cucumbers and leafy greens.
- Eat and enjoy foods that aren’t heavy. If you are cooking, choose meals that will cook quickly. Even cold plates that don’t require any cooking are a great choice.
- Keep hydrated. If you feel like you’re overheating, coconut water is very cooling to the body.
- Incorporate herbs and spices that aren’t too hot and spicy. Use more mint, fennel, coriander and cumin.
Trust your instincts on these recommendations and always do what feels right for you.
Introducing BLiSS Ann Green Yoga
This article is brought to you by BLiSS Ann Green Yoga studio located downtown Barrie. The studio encompasses studios with a variety of virtual and physical yoga and fitness classes. BLiSS hosts a full education program taught by Ann Green herself; including yoga teacher training, yoga and interactive coaching, SURF set fitness, and many more insightful an up to date informative workshops for on the pulse education.
Written By Jane Laker
Photos Provided By Ann Green