Take time to look after your legs this autumn. By Denise Leicester
I feel blessed to be living in a place withsuch distinct seasons. Autumn in the UK has its own particular loveliness, and I’ve always appreciated it as the perfect pause between the height of summer and theonset of winter.
The mellow light and weakening sun bestow a specific warmth and gentleness – enough to put a glow on our cheeks and a smile upon our faces – while our tradition of harvest festivals brings a feeling of gratitude and reflection. To me, it’s also the ideal time to harvest our thoughts, give thanks for the things that we have, and take advantage of the surrounding stillness to change negative behaviours or lighten our emotional load before the heavier weight of winter.
Many people turn to their minds when looking to release emotional negativity. But I’d also urge you to turn a little attention to your legs. Let me explain…
With every thought and feeling, our body releases chemical proteins called neuropeptides. These can accumulate to affect us either positively or negatively. (It is in this way that scientists are able to measure the physiological effects of emotions on our bodies.) Much of this negativity is carried in the backs of our legs, which – compounded by physical stresses – can see our poor pins carrying the weight of our daily lives, both literally and emotionally.
We rarely pay our legs the same attention as our faces or hair; in fact, we are often highly critical of them, which only adds to our sense of imbalance and disconnection. And if our legs can’t serve to ground, support and connect us, what part of us can? While a little leg love isn’t going to solve life’s problems, it might just give you an excuse to take a much-needed pause this month – and who knows where that might lead you?
Our legs need regular exercise and stretching, but a daily 10-minute massage – starting from the feet upwards – can also work wonders. Make your own balm by gently melting some shea butter (40%) with organic beeswax (40%) and coconut butter (8%), then take off the heat and add rosehip seed oil (10%). Just prior to solidifying, blend in some nourishing essential oils such as rosehip seed, rose geranium, lavender or cypress (2%), then leave to cool overnight, before massaging into your legs for 10 minutes a day – after you wake or shower, or before you go to bed. Pay close attention to any changes: enhanced smoothness; improved energy and vitality; a renewed sense of connection to yourself; or even a particular lightness of being? What do you have to lose?
Denise Leicester is the founder of ila-spa.com