Kristen Schneider, author of Your Life is Medicine, Ayurveda for Yogis is based in Orlando, Florida. She has lived in China and India studying yoga and Eastern Medicine. She graduated from the University of Central Florida and Kripalu School of Ayurveda. Kristen currently sees client in her Ayurvedic Clinic in Central Florida.
It is important to stay cool in the summer, the heat can make things very hard to do. In ayurvedic terms this is the time when the pitta is at its most active and also it is important to keep it at a balanced state. This can be done by eating the right food such as cooling agents, which could be vegetables, salads as well as some drinks that cool you off such as tea and some infusions of aloe vera and mint. Something that also helps with the heat is to travel to the places that are very cool and also play lots of water sports and swimming.
The Ayurvedic term Ama means toxins or waste that blocks and suppresses our digestion and mental system. It weakens our metabolism and causes lethargy, depression, headache, acne, and arthritis in us. To prevent ama, eating the right quantity at the right time, and in-between meals are recommended. The Ayurveda talks about a lot of food combinations to follow and avoid, in order to prevent ama and protect your agni.
As an extension of the doshas – in addition to our mind-body constitution – we have emotional traits characterized under the three names: Sattva (a stress-managing trait), Rajas (a motivated energy), and Tamas (a heavy and dull energy). Sattvic food including whole food (i.e., full of prana), seasonal fruits, vegetables etc...bring balance into our life. Rajastic foods i.e., stimulating substances like coffee, ginger, onions etc...make you aggressive. Heavy, fast, and processed food that are Tamasic, make you dull and negative. To achieve desired state of sattva, eat prana-rich food and khichri.
Irrespective of the doshas (vata, pitta, kapha), everyone must do some sort of activities that increase circulation and perks up the metabolism; among which yoga is one important aspect. Yoga offers different forms/styles for people with different dosha: Hatha yoga is for strength and flexibility, vinyasa for movement, basic for beginners, yin for seated postures, power yoga for stamina, ashtanga for endurance, bikram for balancing, and kundalini yoga is for awakening the energy within our body.
Treat yourself to a relaxing bath with Epsom salts and soothing essential oil(s) like lavender. Indulge in warm oil massages (use coconut/sesame oil) to relieve muscle tension and calm the nervous system. Try ayurvedic herbs, elixirs like ashwagandha and golden milk (just add in 1/2t each of cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, ginger to piping hot almond milk!) before bedtime.