August - An Ayurvedic Perspective
Where did July go? In a blink of an eye, August is here! While summer is still in full force, a subtle change begins in nature. As Ayurveda understands, our body and mind begin to change too. The days are getting shorter. The mornings are crisp. Humidity gives way to dryer and cooler air. We may feel our skin becoming drier and our mind might seem more scattered and overwhelmed with tasks for the upcoming school year. A transformation begins around us and within us.
As we move away from the intense heat and humidity of the Pitta season, the rise of water and fire elements give way towards increased air and space elements of the Vata season. Fall represents these elemental qualities of cold, dry and mobile. We might need a blanket at night to feel warm. Windy, hot days begin to dry out and deplete our body. We can use herbal oils to massage the skin (know as "abhyanga") or plain sesame oil. It nourishes the skin and supports the nervous system. Helping one feel grounded on "airy" days.
Changing our diet can help us to stay grounded and balanced with this change as well.
Fresh peaches ripen just on the cusp of July and August, and are a perfect way to counteract dryness. Their sourness improves digestion while gently cleansing the liver.
Peaches are also high in fiber which encourages healthy elimination and clean intestines.
In the summer some individuals feel an utter lack of energy, as though the sun has sucked every last drop of your vitality, leaving you exhausted and unable to digest a heavy meal. Grapes are a perfect remedy that arrive just in time. By the end of August, grapes are ripe and heavy on the vine. Considered to be the ideal fruit, grapes nourish blood plasma, helping to rebuild fluids and restore sapped energy.
Stick with cooling, lighter meats and proteins like yogurt, beans, nuts, fish, and poultry. Whole grains such as quinoa are also high in protein. These foods are easy to digest, especially eaten at lunch when the sun is hot. These proteins will keep your blood sugar and emotions steady. Seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp are grounding. Sprinkle these on top of grain salads or vegetable sautees.
Understanding Ayurveda can help you choose self care habits that will make fall a breeze!