A Sparkling Summer
Some Tips for Summer
Summer is associated with the element of fire.
Fire spreads, shines, motivates and cleanses.
In Chinese philosophy, yin & yang is the perception that all contrasting or opposing forces are actually interdependent.
Yin is the subtle, feeling, feminine.
Yang is the dense, active, masculine.
Neither element is static, both are continuously transforming. Their goal is equilibrium and health.
The body is always working to achieve balance.
Claudia Welch says:
"Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine both hold that there are two fundamental (and opposing) principles that invigorate and nourish life. Yang is the energizing, activating, and motivating principle of life. Yin is the nourishing and building principle."
Summer is mostly yang. Therefore yin energy can become depleted. Heat can aggravate and exhaust our vitality. To replenish we can remember the guiding principle that like increases like, and opposites balance.
Here are five Ayurvedic tips about how to restore physiological equilibrium in the summertime.
The watermelon is a flowering plant which originated in Northeast Africa. Rich in vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as antioxidants and amino acids, watermelon is a great summertime fruit. It counters the heat and aids with sunstroke. It is good for high fevers, thirst, frustration, and irritability. Sweet fruit is better taken in the afternoon, as it can be a little cold and heavy for Kapha time of day which is the morning.
Reading is a potent way to exercise your cranium.
To counter the yang nature of summer, we can take a break from self improvement and cultivate the imagination instead. Relax on a towel or picnic blanket near your local lake, river, or ocean and wander into new mental territory. For those of us in the wellness world, it is good to pick up a book of poetry or a novel from time to time, rather than choosing that 'How To' guide.
Coconut oil is well loved for its flavor and cardiovascular health benefits. But have you ever put it on your skin? If you have, did you notice it has a cooling effect? Coconut oil is the Pitta person's go-to. It is also the primary ingredient in many natural sunscreens. As someone who has a history of melanoma, I always recommend wearing sunscreen. However, I know many people who use pure coconut oil to protect their skin in the sunshine.
Cilantro is rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Cilantro is good for skin allergies, hay fever, sore throat, and hyperacidity. It cleanses the blood and bile and helps with urinary tract infections. Cilantro is a wonderful summertime food and antidotes spice. Cilantro and coriander are the same plant. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. Enjoy your favorite hot and spicy meals and simply top with cilantro to cool the digestive effect.
Spending time in the summer months underneath the moon can be a powerful ingress to self-inquiry and interconnectedness. Moon bathing pacifies Pitta and stimulates our spiritual and creative side. Evening or late night walks or snuggles with a loved one under the moon can be fulfilling and may surface deep questions and conversations that are healthy for us to have. Bring your favorite tea and reflect on the gift that is existence on this planet.
Have a sensuous summer.