The summer is a great time to pool the energy of the sun and the long days it offers us in order to heighten our own awareness and focus on the things that truly nourish us. I’m talking nourishment on all levels: mind, body and spirit.

It’s turning into a truly transformational summer for me so far, and I hope it is for you, too. My fiancé and I have taken our relationship to the next level by getting engaged. We’ve also taken our health to the next level — leaving the glass of wine for special dinners with friends and family, rather than as a nightly dinner ritual; and filling our evenings with deeply nourishing Yin yoga classes.

We’ve joined a community of yogis at a beautiful yoga studio a five-minute drive from our home. In doing so, we are taking our yoga practice, as well as our relationship, to a level that inspires and nourishes us on a level we’d not previously experienced. There’ve been some ups and downs, but that’s what happens when healing happens!

To help make the most out of your summer, here are four of the best places to look for soul nourishment — the kind that’s sustainable, fun and ideal for the season.

4 Places to Find Your Nourishment in the Summer

The Sun

In the height of the summer, the sun is a truly transformational force. As such, I suggest devoting some real time to sun worship. And no, I don’t mean laying out at the pool for hours each day, frying yourself to a crisp like I did when I was younger. I mean paying deeper attention to that ball of fire and asking it to support your growth in whatever way feels nourishing to you.

This might come in the form of a morning ritual of Sun Salutations on your front porch, back patio or in your bedroom. It might be a daily walk in which you soak up the sun’s rays for 15 minutes, sending gratitude for the light it provides and the way that light nourishes your body and mind.

(More on the important practice of gratitude in Give Thanks, Get Gratitude: 3 Reasons We're Thankful for This Mindfulness Practice.)

You might enjoy spending time in nature — kayaking in a lake or swimming in fresh water as the sun glistens along the water’s surface. Whatever it is, allow the sun to nourish you in whatever way feels right. It’s a healing force of nature that can be harnessed in amazing ways during these summer months.

Fresh Fruit

Your body needs fresh, juicy, hydrating fruit at this time for real nourishment. Wherever you might live, indulge in a few servings of local, organic fruit every day. Eat what’s in season. Summertime is the perfect time to treat yourself to daily rituals where you enjoy the fruits of the season in a mindful way. You don’t need heavy foods in the summer. The lighter fruits and veggies will keep you cool and nourished until summer’s end.

(You may also want to consider How to Eat for Your Dosha Type.)

Growth All Around

There’s a lot of energy traveling through the Universe during the summer, and it’s your job to grab this energy and grow with it. Use the activation of the summer to support your own growth and transformation. You can make great strides this time of year, strides that will have long-lasting effects on your life. So, take the time to ask yourself how you’d like to grow, then harness the season’s energy to move forward with that growth. And remember, while not all physical, mental and spiritual growth feels good all the time, it’s deeply nourishing to your soul in the long-term.

Healing

With growth, comes healing. I’ve witnessed this in my own life over the past couple of months. We bring to light what needs to be shed, then we let it go and become truer versions of ourselves — our real selves. This is the Self that’s not covered up with as much muck as it was before. Protective walls come down, layers of past hurt fall away, and what emerges is a more authentic You. The healing process is deeply nourishing. It will make you feel like a lighter, truer, more compassionate version of yourself.

All the While, Have Fun

Spiritual transformation can be really fun, and the summer is an ideal time to tap into the healing force of the natural world. So, get outside. Listen to the cicadas hum their vibratory sounds. Enjoy fresh foods from the Farmer’s Market, and indulge in the small activities of the summer that will nourish you in the ways you need it most. You know what’s best for you. Revel in the many joys of the summer and soak up the nourishing aspects of this very special time of year!

(Read on in Talking Self-Development, Spirituality and Self-Love With Amanda Marit.)