Balanced Living During the Late Summer
There can be challenging forces at play when August comes especially when the heat continues to be a predominant force. The accumulated heat can cause inflammation and a dry internal environment.
We can experience fatigue, overwhelm, and agitation.
We also have the change in the air now with cooler nights, signaling Vata is on the rise. (This means the nervous system will be more tender.)
The good news is that the body will let us know if there are things going on that we need to pay attention to.
And, thankfully, we have the wise ways of Ayurveda’s daily and seasonal lifestyles and foods, yoga practices, and the underlying philosophy of both, Vedanta, to help show us the healthy path through the ebb and flows of the changing days, nights, seasons, and life cycles.
Before I get into some tips for late summer care, I want to remind you of a fundamental principle of Ayurveda. It’s one of the first things I talk about when I’m asked about Ayurveda.
We’ve got to get this one.
Ayurveda says that Mother Nature’s law and rhythms guide all of life including ours. Our greatest health is found when our daily and seasonal lifestyle practices are synced with nature.
- Rise with the sun and the birds
- Sleep with the moon and the stars.
- Eat 3 meals per day with the main meal in the middle of the day.
- Read spiritual scriptures.
– My teacher, Dr. Lele’s prescription for health
- Rise by 6am- the time of Divine consciousness- a perfect time for yoga and meditation
- Bed by 10pm-when the energy supports settling and sleep
- Eat the biggest meal between 11a and 2p based on foods for the season when the digestive fire is the brightest
- Awaken to the truth of our spiritual nature- so that we can remain situated within our own selves and feel the joy, peace, and love that is our birthright
This guidance falls into the Dinacharya –Daily Routine – category.
The teaching about specific foods and practices fall into the Ritucharya –Seasonal Practices category. These two go together and are equally important.
Signs of imbalances
-and things we can do to alleviate them in late summer
Some of the telltale signs of imbalances:
- feeling critical, angry, short tempered,
- a tendency to “push” too hard,
- loose stools or constipation,
- dry skin,
- skin rashes, especially the ones that spread quickly,
- and sleep troubles just to name a few.
What to do!
We want to make sure we hydrate well and lubricate the tissues of our bodies.
And we want to slow down. Regardless of what we are doing, see if we can do it a little more slowly.
- Favor foods with sweet, cool tastes
- Focus on hydration
- Eat smaller portions in general
Here’s a partial list of foods to favor ~
- peaches, plums, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers
- green beans, carrots, dates, raisins
- white chicken or turkey
- mung beans
- ghee, olive oil, coconut oil
- coconut water
- sunflower seeds
- cumin, coriander, fennel, dill, cardamom
- Reduce dry, hard, rough foods like popcorn, pretzels, chips
- Reduce salt
- Pungent taste such as raw garlic and onion and spicy foods
We have a lot of say when it comes to health and wellness. We need to remain aware of the connections between how we are living and how we are feeling.
If we want to sleep good tonight and feel good tomorrow, we need to pay attention to how we are living today.
“A well lived day is medicine unto itself.”
Today is a perfect day to begin living an awakened life.
Thank you to all of my teachers and to all the Yoga And Ayurveda Community.