With more heat waves predicted over the next weeks, it may be helpful to consider how to optimise your food choices to help cool and soothe your mind and body. In addition, let’s consider the Ayurvedic approach to nutrition.
It's the most wonderful time of the year, a magical time of travel, special events, barbecues and holiday gifts. So why do so many people feel stressed when the holidays roll around? The mental pressure of spending too much money, making too many decisions, and having too much to do causes Prana Vata to go out of balance. Prana Vata is the subdosha of Vata that is concerned with mental functioning. Aggravated Prana Vata can cause excessive worry, anxiety and insomnia — thus making it difficult to remain calm and make healthy decisions. It becomes a snowball effect, with the person becoming more and more stressed and enjoying the holidays less and less.
Summer was always Maggie’s favorite time, but with two preschool children, temper tantrums were the order of the day during the hot season. There would be times when Maggie was sure the number of daily tantrums moved in perfect synchrony with the thermometer reading outside. Finally, Maggie discovered if she took her kids swimming once a day, peace was dramatically restored. She made it through the entire summer without a single incidence. Swimming is one of the activities that is very effective at soothing Pitta dosha...
Has the increased heat at nights caused you to sleep more fitfully? Some people have noticed changes in digestion with occasional heartburn or hyperacidity in the stomach. Others have commented on their skin becoming more parched, or have an increase of acne or skin rashes. What effect has the extreme heat had on you? A heat wave can also effect your mind and emotions causing an increase of fiery or controlling tendencies.
Feeling the heat this summer? When the Northern Hemisphere tips toward the fiery sun, you may start noticing signs of increasing Pitta dosha in your mind, body, and emotions—especially if you have a Pitta-dominant constitution type. Excess hunger, irritability, impatience, desire to control situations and people, ruddy skin, acid stomach, loose bowel movements, and feeling overheated in general are all signs that Pitta may be out of balance in your body. Fortunately, with a little Ayurvedic TLC, you can stay cool as a cucumber this summer. Here are 7 of our favourite ways to alleviate a backlog of excess Pitta.
Have you noticed that as the weather warms up you naturally desire different food and drink than you did during winter? You may like to try the Cooling Cucumber juice or Tropical Sensation recipes below. The change in your appetite and food choices during summer is guided by the increase of heat within you causing an increase of the qualities of Pitta dosha.
Summer Solstice Great! Summer the warmer time of the year when Pitta the fiery dosha is strongest, is just around the corner. If you follow the guidance of a Meteorologist the hottest months of the year in Great Britain are June, July, and August. Some like to follow the movement of the sun through the sky and say Summer really begins when the sun is at its highest point in the sky on Friday, June 21st this year at the Summer solstice. How Does Ayurveda Mark the Change of Season?
The "king of fruits" has been around for at least 6,000 years. Native to India and Burma, this sweet fruit was described in the ancient Sanskrit literature — for example, in Valmiki's Ramayana. The mango was also the fruit of the kings in ancient India, where princes used to pride themselves on the possession of large mango gardens.
As the turn of the summer season brings changeable weather patterns and cooler nights, have you noticed your digestion has changed or become irregular? As one season fades and the next season starts, Vata dosha often becomes more active in us all. Vata’s role as the bringer of change can give rise to irregular digestion, bloating, gas, acid indigestion or an unusually sharp appetite, where you feel impelled to eat more than you usually do. These symptoms of imbalance occur when Vata accumulates within the digestive tract and starts to create some mischief!
Most of us rejoice when the cold of winter gives way to spring. Yet a large percentage of the population cringe when they see flowers start to bloom, as they know they will soon be experiencing spring allergies. Surveys show that allergy rates are increasing worldwide and will affect 30-35% of us at some stage of our lives. These increases, which were initially found in Europe and USA, are now being found in all countries undergoing industrial development.
The best tips for slimming New Year's resolutions. by Dr Charlotte Bech - Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant. "With the start of the new year is a good idea to set out to introduce new slimming habits in daily life. Here are the best tips for slimming New Year's resolutions:"
The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of your daily habits and routines and see if they’re in line with your goals. Do you have any big-picture plans for the year? If so, are you supporting them with your daily habits and routines?
Cultivating the Inner Garden. Returning to the normal routine after a busy Christmas period, filled with biscuits and puddings. Most people will be in the mood to start January afresh and think about renewal to ensure that our health and immunity are in good shape for the challenges of the year ahead. In harmony with nature it always seems easier to make a fresh start now. With this in mind in my last blog I remarked about the pervasive use of use of artificial chemicals in our diet, that harm the inner flora known as the microbiome and give rise to ama in the system.
Be well nourished this Autumn As the cooler weather is setting in, have you noticed that your eating choices are changing? As you walk about your local farmers market or food store are the fruit and vegetables choices available also changing?
Only a few more nights to Christmas day! Have you thought about what special culinary delights you would like to prepare or share this Christmas Day? It can be a challenge to find tasty and balancing options all in one. Tasty meals that include easy to find ingredients and incorporate seasonal produce while helping to promote balance in our mind and body too. Also as it is a special time you may want to do something a little different or try something new.
Autumn Recipe & Eating Tips What to cook that will be both tasty while also helping you to stay in balance? As the days settle into Autumn do you wonder what to cook that will be both tasty while also helping you to stay in balance? I pondered his question while thinking about how I could best help you to enjoy greater balance this Autumn. The answer was to provide [...]
As Autumn gives way to Winter it’s a good time to check how balanced Vata Dosha is within you. This is particularly helpful for ensuring we maintain balance during the colder months of Autumn and Winter. As you read below consider the question... How balanced is Vata Dosha within me right now?
When the weather becomes colder and windy (Autumn), it sets the scene for an increase in respiratory discomfort. Coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma and in the extreme pneumonia become more prevalent. Other more chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema may become aggravated. This can increase the demand on the national health care services, especially with the elderly.
The Winter solstice on 22nd December is nearly here signalling the start of Winter. Over the next 3-4 weeks nature guides us to be aware of Ritu Sandhi - the cleansing gap between two seasons. Autumn seems to have flown by! With this change of season comes a special opportunity to move with the rhythms of nature in order to enjoy a healthy and happy winter season ahead. Here’s what you can do.
In the environment, major changes occur when winter turns into spring. As the forces of nature change externally, those same forces present within your body are now ready and willing to help you both purify and renew. Cycling through the year and through your life The cycle of the year represents the cycle of life: January through to May is the Kapha [...]
Temperatures are down, wind is up, trees have changed colour and leaves are being shed and are blowing everywhere. Autumn has its own distinctive weather, colours and qualities. The air element and the vital force called Prana have become abundant in the atmosphere and the dry, rough, windy, erratic, cool, subtle, and clear Gunas or qualities now predominate. As these Gunas are shared by Vata Dosha (the principle of movement), autumn is considered [...]
I’ve recently been helping an Australian friend in her quest to find a decent café latte up here in the North West of England and it’s not been easy. While Sydney seems to be chock full of expert Baristas who can serve up the perfect café lattes at the drop of a hat, many of our British versions don’t seem to quite hit the mark.My friend’s obsession with [...]
Even during the summer, hot weather can come as a surprise to those of us in the UK. One day it can be overcast or raining and the next it can be clear skies and swelteringly hot. Below is a transcipt of the video Dr Donn Brennan has recently made on how to deal with hot weather, especially if you have a Pitta body-type. Following this are some [...]
From the Ayurvedic viewpoint, interesting things happen within your body as winter gives way to spring and then spring give way to summer. As spring progresses, the cold, slow, heavy and sticky qualities of Kapha Dosha, that build up during late winter, gradually melt away and this often results in the chest colds and runny noses common in March, April and May. Springtime supports the body’s natural elimination [...]
You often find assertions such as “Ayurveda is a 3,000-year-old medical science”. Are such origin dates just plucked from the air because writers know their audience needs some reference point to what may appear, a mysterious and obscure health system? What are the real origins of Ayurveda? As old as mankind I recently went to a fascinating talk by Dr Jagdish Vaidya here in Skelmersdale, where he stated [...]
The transition from winter to spring is the best time to shed your old skin cells and build up new radiant cells. Compared to the harsh winds of winter, spring breezes have a softer and gentler effect and, combined with the warmer sun, the pleasant feeling it creates will affect your entire physiology. It is important to have a new, clear and fresh skin to take full advantage [...]
It’s freezing outside. You shiver and get goose-pimples. The pores and blood vessels in your skin shrink and contract to preserve the body’s heat within its core. Your body changes and adapts during cold weather and Agni (digestive fire) increases to give you a stronger appetite. The extra food you are able to take in, helps you generate more heat.
From when she was young, my cousin Sandra’s drink of choice has been hot water. She has always had remarkably good health and a good complexion, yet she insists that her beverage choice was not due to health concerns; she simply dislikes the taste of tea and coffee. I used to think my cousin’s hot water foible was strange, until I came across Ayurveda and its insistence that drinking [...]
January heralds the start of the Kapha season, and its cold, dull, damp and heavy weather tends to increase Kapha within the body. We often think of winter as a time for Kapha-associated diseases, such as colds and flu, yet Ayurveda maintains that winter is not weakening but strengthening, and the best season to improve your immunity. Bala is the term Ayurveda uses for immunity and general strength, whether [...]
In the UK, and most of Europe, January signals the start of the Kapha season; the time of year that increases the cold, wet and heavy Kapha qualities in our body. To stay healthy during late winter and spring, balance the influence of Kapha by adjusting your diet. The colour, aroma and taste of this Kapha-reducing meal is warming. Chickpeas are very nutritious but can take time to [...]