Think hot, wet and humid. Ayurveda identifies these qualities as characteristics and also offers ways to pacify, in this case cool, when we are feeling overheated. This quality can make us uncomfortable in our bodies and in daily life –think hot temper (like in summer traffic!), hot in the temperature of the body and perhaps more anxiety or even lethargy.
In an effort to find balance in the body, Ayurveda offers anecdotes to balance the Doshas of our body and of the season. So, where to start? First, pay attention to how you feel –how you really feel. Are you tired? Take rest. Are you hungry? Eat! Are you thirsty? Drink. More specifically, it’s a great time to begin self care rituals that are simple, easy to incorporate and maybe even fun to do!
By nature, pitta is oily, sharp, hot, light, spreading, and liquid, so eating foods that neutralize these qualities—foods that are dry, mild, cooling, grounding, stabilizing, and dense—can help to balance excess pitta. The intention is to give you a more intuitive grasp of what will reduce pitta, without having to constantly reference lengthy lists of foods to favor and avoid. My friend, teacher and Dean of The School of Ayurveda at Kripalu offers these tips to ensure a balanced Pitta season:
-Avoid heating foods such as coffee, alcohol, meats, and fried food. Favor fresh, local vegetables, cooked grains.
-Drink cool (not iced) water with lemons, limes, and mint. Watermelon, cucumbers, and yogurt lassi with mint are also excellent heat busters.
-Coconut water and oil are great cooling foods. You can drink coconut water and cook with the oil. If you practice self-massage, switch out the sesame oil for coconut oil.
-A little black pepper or a dash of cayenne on your food helps with digestion without overheating.
-Try a restorative or yin yoga practice, both great for cooling the system.
-Go swimming! Swimming increases digestive strength without overheating.
Remember to always consult your doctor or naturopath for your specific needs!
Michelle has been a student of yoga, nutrition and wellness for over 30 years and continues to be inspired each day from her students, fellow teachers and family. Her path has led her to share her knowledge and expertise through yoga teacher trainings, workshops,weekly yoga classes and seasonal cooking classes that empower and educate her students to do the same. Michelle has over 1500 hours of formal training in yoga and Ayurveda, is a trained professional chef and is the owner of innerglow yoga in Mashpee and Plymouth as well as Cape Cod Yoga School.
Ashaya Yoga 101
If you’ve seen a flyer or received an email about my upcoming workshop at innerglow yoga, you might be curious: Who is Todd Norian, and what is Ashaya Yoga? These are reasonable questions. I am a stranger to many of you, although certainly not to Michelle and I am grateful for this opportunity to introduce myself and tell you more about Ashaya Yoga.
I took my first yoga class in 1980, when I was a jazz student at the University of Miami. It was not a particularly hard class, yet it was very challenging for me. I couldn’t even touch my toes but I stuck it out and, as we settled into savasana at the end of class, I relaxed as if for the first time in my life. I breathed in the sandalwood incense and listened to the gentle music. Something was touched deep inside of me. I was transformed. I immediately began to study yoga intensely. Quickly, my body became more limber. My mind became more calm and more relaxed, even as I consistently experienced a heightened awareness of everything around me. I began to practice daily and soon became a yoga teacher. I found my purpose.
Even as I studied in many schools of yoga and under many other masters, I was exploring discovering my own ways of doing things. In 2012, the time had come for me to share the alignment principles and core philosophies that I had been practicing and teaching for so many years. I struck out on my own and founded Ashaya Yoga.
Ashaya is a Sanskrit word meaning, “abode of the heart.” Ashaya Yoga is the practice of Radical Affirmation. It’s about learning how to say yes to life with all of your being. In an Ashaya Yoga workshop, you will learn how to align your body to practice asana (yoga positions) and move through your daily life without physical pain. You’ll also learn about meditation, chanting, and other Tanta Yoga practices that will enable you to weave the dispersed parts of yourself back together, enabling you to find deeper happiness every day…happiness that flows from the inside out and is untouched by the circumstances in which you find yourself.
My yoga practice has guided my life every day for nearly 40 years. It has awakened my inherent potential. It has healed my body, mind, and heart. It has brought wellness, peace, and love into my life. You can have all of this, too! Teaching you how is my life’s work.
I will be at innerglow yoga on Wednesday August 14th 6:00-8:00 pm, offering Art of Masterful Living: Embodying The Five Elements Through Yoga. This workshop is appropriate for students of all levels, even those new to yoga. Sign up here. I invite you to join me and learn how to say yes to life with all your being.
Can’t make it this time? Visit my website to learn about other opportunities to study with me, including workshops, the Ashaya Yoga 2020 Tropical Retreat, and the upcoming In-Depth Study/200-Hour Teacher Training, beginning in September at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute in beautiful Lenox, Massachusetts.