Ayurveda in Summer
As regular readers know I am big fan of India’s traditional healing system Ayurveda (see my earlier post here and here). Older than Buddhism, Ayurveda is a subtle, complex and all embracing prescription for how to live our lives and its message is as relevant today as it was when first shared some 5,000 years ago. So much so that Ayurveda was highlighted in the Sunday Times list of what's hot for 2017.
One of its many teachings that resonates deeply is the belief that our bodies are not just organs, muscles and tissues (as it is in Western thinking), but a unique living entity with an inimitable vibrational energy, and prescriptions are tailored with this in mind. In essence, preventative medicine at its best as it teaches us to tune into ourselves by respecting our unique life force. And in our chaotic world it's starting to make sense.
Ayurveda in Summer
With the the long days and occasional bright sun upon us, the transformative nature of this season is totally in sync with the Ayurvedic dosha (unique metabolic type) pitta (for more information on the doshas visit TriDosha). So the primary focus during the summer months is to stay cool, ground energy and soothe our overburdened pitta - so relax and enjoy it!
To learn more I asked Sunita Passi, Ayurvedic expert and founder of the beautifully natural Tridosha skincare range for some advice as to how best to enjoy the heat - Ayurvedic style.
Here's what she recommends:
- Rise early in the morning - its the coolest time of day
- Enjoy cool water with a slice of lime or sprig of fresh mint.
- Eat sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and drink cool (not iced) liquids - think fresh fruits and salads.
- Reduce intake of heated foods and ginger, mustard seeds, garlic, onion and very spicy foods - as they heat the body.
- Massage the skin with pitta soothing oils like coconut and sunflower to cool and calm the nervous system (like Tri Dosha Soothe Pitta Oil)
- When practising yoga (as every Ayurvedic devotee does) favour poses that massage and stretch the abdominal region - like cat cow movements, cobra, boat and twists.
"At Tri-Dosha, we're spending more time outdoors walking barefoot in the grass and reminding ourselves to take the opportunity to relax and laugh whenever the going gets tough," Passi adds. "We're also reaching for our cooling Soothe Pitta Body Oil for our morning Abhyanga to help us keep calm and refreshed. Of course some pitta types may benefit from this blend all year round, though in the warmer summer months, we find many clients displaying signs of excess heat in the body and mind which characterises high pitta - with symptoms including hot skin, inflammations, rashes, and overall hypersensitivity to heat, sun, pollution and alcohol."