Guest astrologer and wellness alchemist, Stephanie Gailing, MS, shares her wisdom for staying healthy during every solar season!
The Sun radiates in expressive Leo from July 23 to August 22, helping you tap into the creative, courageous and playful qualities this sign represents.
During this month-long cycle, you can foster vitality through fun and healing strategies.
Using the following self-care strategies, you can feel your best during Leo season.
Leo Wellness Mantras:
- Love is medicine
- Have fun and vitality will follow
- I have the courage to tackle any challenge
Leo Stress-Reducing Allies
- Amplified generosity
- Capacity to find creative solutions
- Ability to delegate
Leo Season Body Love
In wellness astrology, aspects of your anatomy align with the zodiac signs. Those that are associated with Leo are the heart, spine, and hair.
Quitting smoking (or better yet, not starting at all), getting moderate and regular exercise, and eating a whole-foods diet will pack a 1-2-3 punch for promoting heart health.
&Elevated levels of stress hormones like cortisol have been linked to heart disease, so weave in relaxation practices like meditation, arts and crafts or reading.
Don’t skimp on beauty rest either, research has showed that those who get less than optimal sleep have a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.
Back Up Your Back
“Grow a spine” is a saying that calls for boosting one’s confidence and courage. Leo season helps us radiate more self-assurance, and this sign governs the back. Given Leo is a fixed sign (and therefore tends toward rigidity), it’s important to do exercises that increase skeletal flexibility. A few rounds of Cat and Cow Poses each morning can be helpful. Among its benefits, Kundalini yoga can inspire the flow of vital life-force energy—qi or prana—through the spinal column (while there are some online resources, it’s best to undertake a dedicated Kundalini practice with an experienced teacher). To reduce stress on your vertebrae as you move through the world, check out movement re-patterning approaches such as the Alexander Technique or Feldenkrais Method.
Leo season is big on the “f” word—three of them actually: fun, frolic, and fête. This celebratory solar cycle is wonderful for your spirit and social life, although a possible challenge to your digestive system. Arm yourself with some strategies so you can celebrate without overdoing it. Eat a light pre-party snack to curb your appetite and reduce the temptation to make impulsive food choices. Enjoy a few drinks sans alcohol and you won’t dampen your fire the next morning. If plain sparkling water seems too dull, enjoy it with a splash of bitters, or try a flavorful mocktail.
Eat Smart for Your Heart
The notion that fat is “bad” has been turned on its head over the years. Some fats—notably the omega-3 variety—are beneficial for the heart. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease. Salmon and sardines are some of the most concentrated omega-3-rich foods, but you may also get your fill by eating plant-based sources such as walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, purslane and winter squash. Extra virgin olive oil is undoubtedly and deliciously heart-health promoting; this Mediterranean diet star is rich in monounsaturated fats and free radical-scavenging polyphenols. Other foods connected to supporting cardiovascular wellness include dark chocolate, berries, nuts, avocado and red wine, proving that eating for heart health can be fun and tasty!
Foods to Consider: Sunflower seeds and grapes
Not surprisingly, the sunflower—with its halo of brilliant yellow petals—is ruled by the Sun, the planet that governs Leo. The seeds of this regal flower are among the most concentrated sources of Vitamin E. A premier antioxidant, Vitamin E helps maintain cellular integrity through quenching free radicals. It also curbs oxidation of LDL cholesterol, a process that leads to atherosclerosis. Sunflower seeds are also rich in phytosterols, plant-based nutrients that can lower cholesterol levels. Sprinkle them on salads, add them to trail mix, use them instead of walnuts in pesto, or swap sunflower seed butter for peanut or almond butter.
Grapes are a delicious way to keep your heart in tip-top shape. While all colored grapes are wonderful, the red and purple ones contain more antioxidants including the polyphenol resveratrol. This nutrient has recently claimed great fame for its cardiovascular benefits, as well as possible anti-aging effects. Grapes can make a great snack and are particularly refreshing when eaten frozen. Red and even white wine is a concentrated source of resveratrol and contains more than just grapes alone. If you want to steer clear of alcohol, opt for organic grape juice or de-alcoholized wine instead. And try to buy organic grapes whenever you can, since conventionally grown ones have been found to be high in pesticide residues.
Leo Season Self-Care Ideas
Flower Essences: Borage and Sunflower
Sometimes being openhearted can be challenging, especially at times when we have sadness and grief. If you’re feeling disheartened or discouraged, consider Borage flower essence. It’s an uplifting elixir that can inspire courage, catalyzing the flow of streaming heart energy.
Just like the flower, this time of year has us oriented to radiating luminosity into the world. Harnessing that inner fire requires us to be in harmonious alliance with our confidence and self-assurance. Without this connection, low self-esteem or heightened self-glory can manifest, dimming the brilliance of our pure and powerful self-expression. Sunflower flower essence helps bolster our solar energy, allowing our warmth and light to shine through.
Spa Treatments: Hair and Scalp Treatment and Biofeedback
Lions—the animal totem for Leo—are known for their noble crowns of hair. Reflecting on this, it’s a good time to take care of our manes. While salons and spas offer services aimed at showering our hair with more luster, you can readily add some magic to your mane with at-home treatments. Turn to your fridge and pantry for some of the best ingredients for nourishing hair and scalp, including honey, avocados, beer, and lemons. Don’t forget about the benefit of getting regular trims; it’s the easiest way to take care of split ends and increase body and shine.
In a biofeedback session, bodily functions—such as heart rate or muscle tension—are measured and relayed back to you. Using these measurements as barometers of your internal state, you then focus on an intended goal (for example, relaxing your body or breathing more deeply) as you continue to receive feedback regarding your progress. Biofeedback is used to address conditions such as headaches, pain, high blood pressure, anxiety and more. To find a practitioner near you, check out the listings at the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.
Relaxation Practices: Child’s Play and Be a Drama Queen (or King)
Leo season stokes the child in all of us. It’s a time when we can infuse our lives with more playtime, remembering some of the innocence we may have lost along the way of getting older. An easy way to tap into our inner child is to spend time with little ones in our lives. Take them to the park, help them with crafts, or do a parent-child yoga class. Or, was there an activity you loved as a kid, like painting, dancing or gymnastics? Find an adult version of this hobby and sign up for a workshop.
The sign of Leo reminds us that life can be a stage and that every life event offers an opportunity to be true to our creative selves. Tap into your inner thespian and take acting or improv classes. You’ll dig deeper into your creativity and also have loads of fun. Theater classes offer a structured venue for being in the spotlight, something we orient towards during this time. Acting gives us permission to let loose and be ourselves while we’re being someone else, letting us shine more brightly during this shine-brightly season.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health condition or disease and is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or healthcare provider.
Photo credit: Stocksy
About Stephanie Gailing
Stephanie Gailing weaves together archetypal astrology, dreamwork and lifestyle strategies to provide her clients with stellar life guidance. In addition to working directly with individuals, couples, and organizations, Stephanie regularly teaches in-person and online classes. Stephanie is the author of Planetary Apothecary: An Astrological Approach to Health and Wellness, a pioneering book in the field of wellness astrology. The co-host of the So Divine! podcast and the astrologer-in-residence at The Cloud Room in Seattle, Stephanie and her work have been featured in Bustle, Refinery 29, Seattle Magazine, City Arts, and other outlets. Connect with her on Instagram for her astrological musings, here for her missives on sleep and dreams, or stay in touch via her free newsletters.