The Summer Solstice is full of light and energy.
Tuning into this natural celebration can offer expansive qualities, helping to direct our own internal flame to guide our path.
As we move into this peak experience, the days are long and the sun warms the earth. We are moving into the full expression of the summer season, feeling the heat (Pitta) of the sunshine along with the dryness (Vata) in some areas.
In Ayurveda, the essential teachings for well-being are in routines, daily and seasonal routines. In supporting one’s own personal balance, it is important to also transition with seasons. Summer is when we have access to our own bright light, full of vibrant energy, with more movement, excitement, and opportunity. Use this potent time to open up your creative energy and see what happens when the light is the highest. As with everything, too much is too much, so too much heat can create fatigue, dehydration, irritability, and exhaustion.
Life is always a dynamic daily balance, tuning into yourself and listening. How are you feeling? What thoughts are controlling this moment? Am I honoring my body? Am I listening to my inner wisdom or overriding the signals? Taking amazing care of ourselves by listening to our bodies is vital for our health and inner happiness.
As the summer heat flares up, life is hot, fast, and drying. Remember to balance the extremes with foods, herbs, liquids, and daily practices incorporating the opposite qualities of cool, moist, and slow. Ayurveda offers insight into making everyday choices that support your highest good and overall well-being.
This summer, try incorporating these Ayurvedic Lifestyle recommendations and feel your radiant best!
Take time to slow down, rest, and relax. The summer is full of energy and can become depleting the more we do. Try taking a 20-minute afternoon nap to replenish and restore your energy, allowing the psyche and body to feel calm and centered.
During the summer, try incorporating more yin and restorative asana. Think lunar/moon flow to balance the surya/sun energy. Practice downward facing dog, low lunge, standing forward bend, goddess pose, half squat, wide legged forward bend, and camel pose. You could do Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations as it is more commonly known, however, there is also a Lunar Namaskar or Moon Salutation sequence, which would be perfect for the summer season.
Shitali means cooling in Sanskrit and so this Pranayam helps to cool the body, reduce stress, purify the blood, and revitalize the spirit. It can be done anywhere and is a great tool to use during the summer heat. The technique is to either roll your tongue into a taco shape and inhale the air through the tube shape or for those who can’t roll your tongue, you can pull in cool air as if you were breathing in through a straw, creating a small round opening. You will notice the cool air coming in right away, offering a soothing practice for the body, mind, and spirit.
During the summer heat, try to avoid spicy food, alcohol, and coffee, as they are all heating and can cause irritability and indigestion. Try incorporating cilantro, fennel seeds, and mint into your cooking or water, they are all cooling herbs. Summertime fruit is also the perfect food to eat. Watermelon is delicious and great for summer heat. Cucumber is a crunchy watery vegetable, perfect for your everyday salad.
Stay hydrated! Try drinking coconut water or cooking with coconut milk; both help to balance the heat, as well as being hydrating and lubricating for the body. You can also use coconut oil for self-massage; cooling in nature, it helps to nourish the skin.
All-day adventures are super fun in the summer; however, try to avoid the middle of the day when the sun is the strongest. Find shade or water to help cool the body during those peak hours. Remember to hydrate and lubricate, and you can do your fun activity for many more years to come.
The Summer Solstice marks the longest and brightest day. This summer, enjoy that vibrant inner light that is connected to higher wisdom and take the time to honor your body, mind, and spirit by not overindulging in the sunshine energy.
The choices we make today influence our longevity, health, and overall well-being. What if you could feel even more amazing tuning into the intelligence of each season and allowing life to flow with more radiance always.
Enjoy the Solstice and honor your light within.