Article by: Dayna Holli
According to Ayurveda the external energy created by the climate has an effect on our internal energies. Seasonal change happens gradually and depending on your location of residence, this change may be more or less extreme. With shifts in weather and temperature we can incorporate basic practices to help balance our internal energies.
Creating a proper seasonal routine to prevent doshic (energy) imbalance is called ritucharya. Traditionally, the summer season brings hotter daytime temperatures and can be accompanied by dryness or wetness based on region. The common qualities of this time of year (June-Sept) are hot, dry, some areas oily (wet), sharp and light.
When these qualities build to excess through external or internal means they tend to aggravate pitta dosha or energy of fire.
• Be mindful of exposure to sun or heated facilities for prolonged periods of time, especially if you are more pitta prakriti. Pitta tends to have sensitive skin and easily burns or freckles when exposed to the sun. Wear a hat and use a minimum sunscreen of 30 spf. Minimize hot yoga classes, hot showers, saunas or steam rooms.
• Resist the urge for exercising mid-day from 10am-2pm (pitta time of day). Intense heat can dehydrate our bodies so keep properly hydrated with water, coconut water or kumari, aloe.
• Make a Hima, an Ayurvedic cold infusion: 1 tablespoon of coriander seed and 4 cups of water left overnight. Strain and drink throughout the next day. Coriander is sweet in taste and pacifys pitta energy as well as being an appetite stimulator.
• Sweet, bitter and astringent tastes help to cool fire energy: incorporate more cooked bitter greens, dandelion greens, beets and squash and eat fruits like pomegranates, cranberries, grapes, raisins, pineapple and watermelon. Those with optimized digestion can enjoy a salad once in a while.
• Pacify fire energy with cooling herbs: dill, cilantro, fennel, mint, shatavari and guduchi, kumari, rose, sandalwood, amalaki and licorice.
• Stay cool and refreshed with a Summer mist: place 5-10 drops of peppermint, eucalyptus, sandalwood or rose essential oil in a spray bottle with water.
• A regular self-massage or abhyanga with Pitta Oil will be cooling, calming and soothing or your skin and enhance the properties of your blood or rakta. It is also great for sunburns.
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About Dayna Holli:
Dayna Holli, RYT200, is a an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Instructor in the Bay Area. In her “slow flow” yoga classes, she intelligently uses props and fuses the graceful tradition of yoga, with wisdom of Ayurveda and philosophy of Vedanta. She teaches styles of yoga for all ages, with a fondness for beginners and focuses on the importance of relaxation, meditation and pranayama (breath).