Are you looking forward to summer? Being a little less scheduled? Maybe you’ve planned a camping trip, or a vacation abroad. And you’ll probably want to enjoy a fourth of July picnic, and some visits to the beach or the pool. Ayurveda has some great suggestions for keeping you well in summer.
Ayurveda, the healing Science of Life from ancient India, teaches us to follow the rhythms of nature. Its understanding about life is that nature around us, and nature within us, all function in the same way. So when we synchronize our routines with nature’s rhythms we tend to feel better. Our bodies function better, we have more energy, we feel “in flow”.
A little background
Ayurveda recognizes three subtle energies that fluctuate throughout nature’s rhythms. They each have their own properties, bringing certain qualities to the time of day, the season, or to someone’s physiology and psychology.
These energies are Vata - which is cold, light, mobile, dry - Pitta – which is hot, sharp, penetrating, mobile – and Kapha – which is cool, heavy, damp, and stable. As one of these energies dominates, we want to balance their qualities by applying opposing qualities. One of Ayurveda’s basic tenets is that “like increases like”, and “opposites balance”. Think of a fiery, temperamental and intense person you know, and how much a spicy meal with red wine will make this person even more irritable and overheated? Wouldn’t you want to tell them to go cool down? To go outside in the cool air and take a breath, or to go for a cooling swim in the ocean? That would be a good example of “opposites balance”.
Summer is Pitta Season
The focus of this article is on Pitta, since the summer is Pitta season, when the energy of fire is strong. And when the energy of fire is strong around us, it also is strong in us. Pitta’s qualities are that it is hot, sharp, penetrating, and dispersive and can easily cause overheating, faintness, headaches, skin rashes, diarrhea, irritation, and reactivity. You might recognize some of these from summers past. Following are some tips for keeping cool, so that you can enjoy the pleasures of summer.
By Simone de Winter
Owner of Marin Ayurveda