It’s June and we’re finally on our way to SUMMER! I absolutely love the sunshine and warm weather. Watching the hummingbirds and little bunnies enjoy my yard gives me an indescribable joy, as if all the stress from my busy day disappears for just a few moments.
As I recognize this peacefulness, I feel inspired. This summer I want to take advantage and enjoy all the beautiful surroundings that I sometimes miss while daily life happens. We easily get caught up in our tasks, yearning for the weekend or a “day off” to get outside. The summer flies by and we hold onto the memories of those few days where we soaked up the sun and noticed the flowers. I don’t know about you but this doesn’t seem like living to me? Sunshine and nature exist everyday, so why is it that we only take time to notice once in awhile when we stumble upon a moment of peace? Although tempting, we can’t give up our responsibilities for the Michigan summer months. So how can we find balance and get the most out of our summer?
Often when the weather transitions to gorgeous, our lifestyle routines fall to the wayside. We skip the gym after work to sit on the deck and sip Sangria. We stay up late and our bodies slowly fall apart. We feel active ~ we’re outside sweating in the sun, heading to the beach, taking boat rides. We fill every moment. And some of those moments are active ~ biking, swimming, water sports, gardening…. But the routine becomes minimal: Get up, go to work, get out of work asap, make plans, have fun, do it again. We encounter more convenience foods, head to more weddings, parties, and bonfires. We jump into a co-ed volleyball game after we spent 5 days at a desk, 4 nights of summer spirits, and a day of gardening. We expect our bodies to stay strong while we neglect our consistency. So how do our bodies keep up with the constant changes? As much as we deny it, the changes always seem to catch up to us.
But what if this summer, we picked a routine that nourished our soul. Something that helps us to appreciate each day. A simple plan that keeps our body feeling energized and strong, our spirit bright, and the maintenance we need to really LIVE this summer. I’m proposing a challenge. But nothing like the typical high intensity exercise-cut the calorie, short lived weight loss challenge. I’m proposing a lifestyle change that can continue to provide benefit even after the challenge ends.
Starting for the month of June, every day, no matter what the summer plans bring, we stick to a routine. Nothing too over the top ~ but instead a plan to make sure we give our body and mind exactly what it needs to run at it’s best. I challenge you to try it. Here’s my 30 Day Challenge for the month of June!
Challenge yourself to these goals:
- Complete your Dinacharya – a few simple tasks achieved in the same order every morning, bringing a sense of structure and well-being each morning. According to Ayurveda, a consistent daily routine is the single, most important element of your day in order to achieve optimal health. Setting (and sticking to) a morning routine helps to calm your mind and body. For this 30 day challenge, set the following practices and stick to these every morning to check off your dinacharya box:
- Get up at the same time everyday
- Preferably before the sun so you can watch it rise, taking advantage of the extra hours and feeling your spirit come alive with the day.
- Make your bed
- A simple task that alleviates stress and instills a sense of comfort and accomplishment. Now, no matter what happens today, when you arrive home and get ready to rest for the evening, you’ll be reminded that you achieved this for yourself today.
- Scrape your tounge/brush your teeth
- Your tongue is an detoxing organ. Overnight, while your body is regenerating, your tongue holds onto the toxins that are removed. Scrape your tongue first to help rid yourself of these toxins and bacteria- promoting fresh breath and a clean system. Then polish those pearly whites.
- Rinse face/eyes/mouth
- Splashing cool water on your face, eyes, and mouth helps to rejuvenate and refresh.
- Eliminate (use the potty 😉 )
- Your body worked hard overnight to gather any intruders that are of no use. Be sure to send them on their way as soon as you can. We often jump out of bed and start our day. By sticking to a routine, your body knows it’s ok to relax and excrete the leftover junk before you head out. It does take time to get your body in the routine, but set the intention and at least eliminate what’s ready.
- Drink 1 cup of warm water with lemon
- Before grabbing that cup of coffee or habitual breakfast, take a few moments to drink this cleansing beverage. The lemon assists in hydration, as your body has been working overnight while you were asleep. You’ll also feel an added energy boost before moving onto the next thing.
- Allow at least 5 minutes of self-enhancing practice
- Set an intention for the day, breathing exercises/meditate, select 5 simple movements (same every day), look at nature, or take time to do any other calming activity that gives you a sense of well-being and connection with mind/body.
- Get up at the same time everyday
**Ayurvedic dinachaya provides specific guidelines for a daily routine. This is a modified version to get you started as you discover what works best for you.
- Give your body a daily yoga asana practice to connect with yourself and hear what your body is telling you.
- When thinking of yoga, we often think of the movements involved – these are actually called “asanas,” as yoga has 5 limbs. Asana is one limb of yoga. Asana is where we will begin our yoga piece of this challenge.
- Select a personal practice for 10-30 minutes daily. If you aren’t familiar with yoga asanas, add a personal stretching, foam rolling, and/or muscle activation practice. I suggest in the morning or before bed, based on your lifestyle
- Enjoy your workout, being intentional and adding creativity with the new summer options, know what you’re giving your body as a challenge, preferably each day, and taking a moment to recognize all you achieve.
- It’s easy to get caught in our routine or become much more sporadic once the weather changes. Your fitness challenge is to choose something different to challenge your body in a way that inspires you.
- Try to get out of the box and try something new– get outside, try a new class, ask a friend to join you, work with a trainer…the possibilities are endless. If you’re struggling to stay consistent, it’s ok to select something you’re comfortable with and keep on track.
- The goal is 45-60 minutes at least 4x/week.
- Nourish from the inside out. Sit down to appreciate at least one meal rich with whole foods every day.
- Make it a priority to sit down and give yourself this time. So easily we mindlessly eat without even acknowledging that this is our time to refuel.
- Know your fuel; take time to fill up you tank; breathe, digest, then move to the next activity.
- Experiment with new foods and make sure you’re having at least one meal every single day that includes fresh produce with zero processed ingredients. You should recognize every single ingredient in this meal and know where it comes from. Bonus points if you know the farm or producer. Strive to use the whole food in its’ most natural state.
- Shoot for 3-5 fresh ingredients in each meal. Be creative but don’t forget your staples – herbs, spices, and digestible whole grains.
- Enlighten your mind, spirit, and soul with daily reflection and journaling.
- Get to know yourself. Take a few minutes to think about you. Knowing who you are takes time, and so often we lose ourselves in the rush. This summer, use the inspiration from nature to find yourself.
- Notice the simple things and take note. Write it down. The power of free writing and reflection calms the mind and gratifies the soul.
- Spending 15-20 minutes at least 3x/week to free write and reflect on your experiences and feelings can provide insight and allow you to detach from emotion and reaction, and attach to your inner self.
- Your journaling doesn’t have to be “what I did today,” but instead think of where you’d love to travel and why; or one person or being that you admire and what qualities do you strive to hone? Take time to be grateful, to think from another perspective, to be creative and dream out loud. This will nourish your soul.
- Don’t forget to take time to hydrate, sleep, and give back. These actions all encourage us to come full circle.
Taking time for each piece in your daily routine gives an opportunity to take care of each piece of you. These actions soothe your being with what you need. You’re taking time to check in with yourself. No out of the box workout, challenge, magic powder, or machine can give your body the overall wellness that you are already equipped with giving yourself. Each element allows you to notice, to encourage change and growth, and to build awareness of what you need. We search for challenges that take us to the edge, that push us into the quick sprint and leave us gasping for air and returning to our norm. But the true challenge is to stop. To be silent. To do what you already know is good for you. To escape the “normal,” ignore the nagging of the next quick fix, and to listen to the knowledge and discipline within to inspire true growth. This is what it means to Live Unprocessed. And today, you are on your way.
LIVE Streaming on Periscope this Month!
For the entire month of June, I’ll be hosting live daily yoga practice on Periscope. You can catch me every day at Live Unprocessed on Periscope and join me for a 15-20 minute personal practice. Catch me live or on replay. This can be a time where you follow the cues I’m taking from my body, or you can spend the time creating your own practice with me by your side. Let’s keep each other accountable and inspire each other to develop a practice to check in with our bodies every day. Daily practices on Periscope are only available for 24 hours so make sure you sign in to practice every day!
Ready to Start the Challenge?? Here’s a Resource!
Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you a free PDF calendar to track your 30 day challenge. This challenge builds on each element and gets you on track to Live Unprocessed. Offer expires June 15, 2016.