May 5, 2017

Hydrate the heat away

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One of the quickest ways to keep cool is to consistently take in hydrating liquids. As temperatures rise, it’s good to find a way to bring your body back down to a more natural, more balanced state. “Coconut juice to me is the perfect drink for hydration because it’s got all the minerals and electrolytes needed by our bodies. It’s really meant for us living in the tropics,” says yogini Monica Eleazar-Manzano, one of the founders behind Flow Surf Yoga Samba, which holds a green smoothie workshop in every Flow retreat.

Explore your options with add-ons that can help you move into fun concoctions, like smoothies. Yoga instructor Lexi Payumo advises adding mango, cucumber, mint, and watermelon for their cooling qualities.

“Frozen bananas are also cooling,” adds Monica, who also mixes in superfoods like spirulina, wheatgrass or moringa powder to keep her recipes interesting. “Medjool dates are natural sweeteners, and vanilla hemp powder and hemp hearts are also great add-ons, depending on your mood.”

Cool your space

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The heat of the sun can cause a lot of discomfort at home, but with proper ventilation tools, it’s possible to stay cool without causing your electricity bill to go up. Open your windows and leave screen partitions open to enable cross-ventilation, and draw back the curtains or replace them with light, oaty fabrics in lighter shades of whites, creams, and khakis. Stick to cool blues and greens, aside from light-and heat-reflecting whites.

Investing in green equipment can also help you turn the heat down. Ceiling fans allow air to circulate consistently, preventing rooms from becoming too stuffy or closed up; while specialized lighting fixtures like Solatube can collect daylight for darker spaces like windowless kitchens, hallways, or walk-in closets. “Fixtures like these don’t add on to heat like traditional skylights. They help you save on electric consumption during the day too, since there’s no need to turn the lights on,” says Robert Crespo of PhilGeoGreen, a distributor of sustainable and environment-friendly building products.

Meditate your way through the season

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The summer heat can be literally painful, but even the mind can suffer from heatstroke in the midst of the season. Moving your mind space toward a cooler place through your breath can take you out of a constricted space and help you look inward instead, to find a cooler, stiller space within.

“The philosophy in yoga of ‘pratipaksha bhavanam’ is key for me,” says yoga instructor JP Abinuman-Cox. “It’s going back to the belief that if something isn’t working for you, just do the opposite in order for you to get to a better place.” Something as simple as getting yourself out of a negative situation by focusing on something else is useful in any heated situation. “I’m really hot-headed in traffic jams—but instead of honking my horn or going up against another driver on the road, I choose to do the opposite: look for a happier radio station, maybe scream in the car to unleash, or simply breathe.”

This story was originally published in Northern Living, April 2014.

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