Ayurveda believes that our body is part of the environment. The changes that occur in the environment are reciprocated in our body, and its function. Ignoring these changes and continuously leading a monotonous life can gradually lead to the weakness in organs, tissues and cells and therefore be more prone to imbalance.
July 07, 2020 | 16 minutes, 51 seconds
By vaidya. Jay Parla
Vata (wind influenced energy), Pitta (heat influenced energy), and Kapha (water influenced energy) are primarily responsible for these imbalances as the environment outside changes. The effect of these changes is often seen in our body's ability to regulate the digestive system. One such observable distinction can be seen in the rate of metabolism. During winter or in colder climates the body's metabolism increases and the opposite is seen during summer or hotter regions.
Further distinction in the bodys imbalances are observed by what kind of summer takes place in a region. For example, summer in california, which is relatively dry is vastly different from the summer observed in florida, which is more humid.
To deal with these climatic changes, ayurveda provides a general guideline for regulating the imbalance it causes in our body. To understand this, we need to first learn of what our body loses in these hot environments. Water with its other minerals being the first in line. This lack of fluids causes dryness inside the body and since causes sweating. Moreover it is deceiving to our perception and hard to imagine these internal changes . And the added heat induces a light quality in the body's system. These factors lead to accumulation of vata and pitta based energy in the body. The lymph, blood and bodily fluids dry out and deplete over time causing an individual to lose vitality and strength.
To balance out these changes in the body the first important aspect we can control is our diet. There are specific tastes of food that are recommended by ayurveda, which are sweet, astringent and slightly bitter. Prepare meals that consist of foods like rice (at least a year or older), sorgam, wheat, millet, amaranth, mung bean, chickpeas ,black eyed peas and lentils and make them part of your summer diet. Meat is advised to be avoided, but if consumed it should be from animals that grow in arid regions, like goat, chicken or turkey. Milk and milk products on the other hand, especially buttermilk is advised to be taken with meals during summer. (PREPARATION OF TAKRA (BUTTER MILK) Green vegetables like spinach, dandelion escarole and asparagus are too highly recommended.
Spices that are advised to be used while cooking meals can be cardamom, coriander, cumin cloves are advised as they cool the body. These meals can be cooked in ghee or coconut oil in this season.
Fruits(grapes, pomegranate, mangoes, banana) are advised to be consumed in mild quantities, and not as meals since it leads to problems like gas and bloating. Strong alcohol and any detox diets are also not recommended since detox causes further depletion and imbalance in the body's fluids and alcohol.
After regulating your diet, there are changes in lifestyle too which can aid in making up for the imbalance caused by the environmental changes. Some of the basic changes can be, to not expose yourself to the sun for long periods of time, since they can further deplete the tissues of its nutrients. Instead one should stay indoors or in shaded areas, working out and other activities that are done outdoors should preferably be conducted inside. Sexual activities should be reduced since it's depleting.
Moon jogging and swimming in cool water are the best forms of exercises during this season. Staying near water bodies and exposing yourself to the cool breeze coming off waterfalls too is a great way of dealing with the accumulated energies in the body. Clothing in light fabrics like linen and cool colors like sky blue, white, light green with aromas of lotus, jasmine or vetiver should be used during this season. These physical changes in lifestyle and diet can have a positive impact on the health and well being of your body both physically and mentally.
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