Living with the seasons; Summer Edition
Summer has finally graced us in Melbourne, with the weather warming up quite suddenly. As we shift out of lockdown fatigue and prepare for the celebratory holiday season, we aim to remain grounded, cool and collected.
As cyclical beings we collectively transition through each of these seasons together. With each season comes the opportunity for us to create habits and rituals that support us.
Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old medical system that translates to the science/knowledge of life. It is a modality deep rooted in the ancient philosophy that we are seasonal and cyclical beings composed of the natural elements. In order to create more harmony and balance in our minds and bodies for overall well-being Ayurveda recommends living according to the seasons including our diet, lifestyle habits and exercise. When we enhance our bodies natural rhythms, we can restore balance to our entire energetic systems.
According to Ayurveda Summer season is known as ‘Pitta’ season. Pitta is the biological union of the fire and water elements. Its qualities are sharp, hot, penetrating, oily and light. Pitta governs transformation in the body, is associated with our digestive fire (Agni) and absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
In Ayurveda like increases like, so we want to offset this potential build-up of heat in the body. We also want to focus on cooling and grounding, to also balance the Vata dosha. We do this by cultivating habits and implement into our lifestyle cooler, lighter foods, herbs, spices and activities. Here are our tips below to live more in harmony with the summer season and restore balance to our bodies and mind:
In Summer we want to focus on cooling, grounding and balancing lightness in the body, being mindful to balance Pitta and not imbalance Vata dosha. We want to create routine and regularity, especially with our meals. If your digestion is strong, favouring lighter, cooling fruits for breakfast or making a smoothie are great options. Lunch should be taken between 12.30-1.30pm and in Ayurveda we recommend this to be the biggest meal of the day, as this is when the sun is shining the brightest, therefore our Agni (digestive fire) will be the strongest- as we’re the reflection of nature. Foods like kitchari, congee, cooked vegetables with basmati rice, soups and broths are great options for both lunch and dinner, making sure dinner is on the smaller side and taken at least 2-3 hours before bed. Favour sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and reduce pungent, salty and sour tastes. Also reduce heating foods such as chilli, cayenne and garlic.
Our lifestyle habits in Ayurveda come back to our daily routine, Dinacharya. Setting up our days is how we create the fundamentals for our health. Living in harmony with the seasons and focusing on nourishing our bodies.
– Tongue scraping with a copper scraper.
– Abhyanga in the morning with organic, cold-pressed black sesame oil or coconut oil to prevent muscle stiffness and skin ailments.
– Pranayama breathing to help keep the body cool and release any heat. Breath exercises such as alternate nasal breathing.
– Nasya nasal drops to nourish the nervous system, prevent sinus blockages and stabilise the mind.
– Avoid sun burn and prioritise skin care.
– If you have more of a Pitta constitution, then to focus on eye care, reducing screen time and taking Ayurvedic eye drops.
Summer time is sweat time, so this is the perfect time of year to dust off those kettlebells, bring out those running shoes and get active. Just making sure we don’t overdo it or overheat. Make sure to also not be out exercising in the middle of the day in peak sun, exercise in the morning or early evening.
Bella Rothel has immersed herself in all things wellness, nutrition, mindfulness and holistic health for the past 6 years and is currently studying Naturopathy and Ayurveda after her own health issues and is committed to equipping herself and others with the knowledge and tools to restore our bodies back to balance, harmony and complete vitality.