Let’s get nautical this summer. By Denise Leicester
I can’t resist: I do like to be beside the seaside. And seeing as July and August are the only months here in the UK when it is (just) warm enough to visit the beach and take a dip in the ocean, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity when we can.
Swimming itself is a very calming, supportive and restorative exercise, amplified by the therapeutic properties of seawater (first recorded by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, over 2,500 years ago). It has a similar composition to our blood plasma and its negative ions boost positive energy, which is why we feel so much better even breathing in fresh sea air, let alone immersing ourselves in it.
A sea swim can be so lovely and cleansing, stimulating our circulation and re-energising both body and mind. Meditating to the ebb and flow of the waves – following them in and out with your breath – is another great way to connect to the sea’s rhythmic curative flow and wash away tension. But perhaps my favourite summer seaside activity is simply taking a walk along the shoreline in the weak early morning or late afternoon sun. I find it both joyful and uplifting, and one of the best ways to slow the mind, bring awareness to the present, and allow the body’s prana
(life force) to restore naturally.
If you can’t get within reach of the sea’s prana-boosting benefits, bring them to you via a ‘sea day’. Incorporate dulse (red seaweed) – a mineral-rich superfood with lots of great antioxidant properties – into your diet; use marine-based beauty products; and try a meditative bath to replicate both the benefits of floating and the child-like magic of ‘listening’ to the sea through a shell. Dissolve Himalayan salt crystals and some lovely summer-fragrance essential oils in a warm bath (I like five drops of jasmine, two drops of geranium and one drop of patchouli). Tilt your head back so your ears are covered by water but your face is open to the air; close your eyes and dim the lights to create the purest state of sensory relaxation. Then take gentle breaths, inhaling the soothing fragrances as you fully embrace the transformative calmness, positivity and potential of that single precious moment.
Denise Leicester is the founder of ila-spa.com