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Oh, it’s finally here! Our beloved summer months. Here in the mountains of Colorado, we get excited about each season, but we savor summer to the max because our summers months don’t seem to last long enough.
But I think we’re there now! (This has been a long winter) Which means we don’t have time to waste because there is so much to enjoy!
Summertime is the quintessential time of movement. We are typically constantly on the go, making the most of the long days, full of sun. It’s hard to lounge around in bed for very long, with the sun peeking over the mountains so early.
With the warm summer days, we spend so much more time outside. There’s more time to go hiking or bike riding with the kids. Our gardens need tending, so we savor the sunsets while peacefully watering our gardens. It is the time of year where we engage in a lot more activity.
In the summer, it’s ok to embrace the doing. We spend so much time in the winter focusing on introspection, that now is the time to focus on being light. I’m not saying be frivolous, or unwise. But take the lessons you learned during your deep look inside and now play. Enjoy the lightness of your energy to balance out the heat of the summer.
Be sure to get your exercise early in the morning, to get the most benefits. Keep it within 50-70% of your max exertion in the heat and be sure to take your exercise outside to connect with nature and enjoy this time of year.
Do it up! Enjoy all of the activities this season has to offer. Be sure to work out in the early hours, then get out there and do your thing. All. Day. Long.
All that being said. If you find yourself being a little too scattered-brained, do yourself a favor and take a lazy-day or a nap to balance out all of the activity. There’s a good reason why the siesta is a thing. 🙂
Ayurvedic Summer-time Eating
During these hot summer months, we crave lighter food because our digestive fire is burning. Now is the time to reach for seasonal fresh fruits and salad. We keep hydrated with cool, liquids and foods, but not necessarily iced.
Finally, we reach the time of year when we can indulge in raw veggies at lunch! So enjoy your salads, but know that it’s important to have cooked vegetables in the evening for dinner.
Summer is also a great time to indulge in sweet dairy products such as milk, butter, ghee, cottage cheese, yogurt and sometimes ice cream. Unrefined sweeteners should be enjoyed in moderations, and shy away from honey and molasses as they are heating foods.
Make sure you become familiar with your town’s farmer’s market to enjoy the local, fresh and in-season offerings to be even more in tune with seasonal eating.
Banyan Botanicals has a beautiful Summer Guide that lists all the food to favor during this time of year. Check it out!
Summer-time Ayurvedic Habits.
I live in a mild climate for summers, so once that sun is high, we’re outside. Our energetic qualities definitely change during summer. Do you notice it?
We spend a lot more time being active and relishing all that summer has to offer. So don’t fight it! Embrace it! Allow yourself the opportunity to do it all. Don’t worry. The introspection time and rest will be here before you know it. Winter will definitely come again and we’ll head inside to do a little more inner work. But now we enjoy and spend time doing the things we love.
Time in Nature
Summertime allows us time to connect with mother nature in comfort. Take this time to get to your favorite place, whether it’s the beach, the lake or a hike in the mountains. Spend time in nature with your shoes off and dig your toes in the dirt/sand. Allow the sun to warm your skin as your body creates the much-needed vitamin C.
Not only work and play in the sun but allow yourself to rest outside as well. When we spent time connecting in and with nature, we become more grounded.
In How to Raise a Wild Child, Scott Sampson instructs us in how to get our children more connected with nature, by taking them outside and just observing. There’s an actual thing called “nature deficit disorder”, and we want to combat this at all costs. When children are more familiar with mother nature, they become stewards of the earth and will be the future defenders against global climate change.
So take a child outside and just sit and notice. You’ll not only connect with each other, but you’ll discover a beautiful world that’s been supporting you all along.
Hang with me on this one. But have you tried tongue scraping yet? If not, then it’s time you did!
Tongue scraping is an ayurvedic practice that uses a copper tongue scraper to clean the morning gook (ama) off your tongue. It feels so good!
You can really use this tool anytime, but I prefer to use it immediately after brushing my teeth. Holding the scraper in both hands, place the curve on the back of the tongue and “scrape” towards the front. Rinse the tool and repeat, 2-3 times a session.
Tongue scraping increases the clarity of our minds and improves overall health as the mouth is the main entryway to the body. The cleaner we keep that area, the healthier we remain.
Honor your feet and all they do for you in the summer by indulging in a daily foot massage with warm oil.
Of course, I suggest indulging in full body massage by your favorite therapist, but most times in the summer we are go-go-going, so try making time for this short habit at night instead.
Warm your oil by placing the bottle in a glass of hot water. Then in a relaxing space massage the top and bottom of your feet. Yoga International has a great article outlining Vasant Lad’s gentle foot massage. When you’re done, put on a pair of socks and head to bed.
This practice is especially beneficial because all points in the body are represented on the bottom of the foot, so you’re able to affect most of the body with this habit. Foot massage helps to decrease stress and balances the doshas.
Extra connection time benefit if you take time to do this with your partner or loved one.
We get to do a lot of massage in the summer!
Abhyagna is the practice of self-massage with oil. This is a habit that should be practiced all year long. Depending on the time of year or which dosha is predominant, the type of oil may change, but the routine should not.
To practice self-massage, shower or bath as normal and dry off with a towel. Then lovingly massage the oil into your skin. Be sure to massage your muscles while rubbing the oil onto your whole body. Then, step back into the shower and allow the water to rinse off the excess oil, but be sure not to use soap! You’ll notice that depending on the oil you use, it can set your day perfectly!
During summer, reach for Sesame or Almond Oils, or Banyan Botanical’s Pitta Oil (I LOVE this oil).
Summer is such a beautiful time of year! However, we can easily become overwhelmed with over-activity. Embrace these Ayurveda changes and habits to promote balance on your journey this season!