Skip to main content
Tag

Summer Archives - Rakta Hot Yoga

Grace

By Ayurveda, Breathing, Covid-19, Energy, Health, Mindfulness, Seasons, Values, Vulnerability, Wellness, Yoga No Comments

Last month, the concept for my blog focused on my observation that we act differently around others while wearing a mask. When we are anonymous, our moral codes are disguised and we are not accountable. It seemed like we were losing kindness, connection, common courtesy, and politeness as we interacted or avoided interaction with each other. Over the past month, I have personally witnessed and heard others relay stories of aggressive, hurtful, and rude behavior in our town. It feels like we have hit an energetic low in this community.

There are so many possible reasons or a combination of reasons for this. Steamboat is super crowded right now. It has become more challenging to get outside and enjoy the feeling of getting away from it all. There are more people on the trails, at the lakes, and in open spaces. There are ongoing economic concerns as well as uncertainty around COVID-19 and its future impact on our lifestyles, businesses, physical and mental health, children, parents, and politics.

One thing to remember is to take a breath and realize that we are in the middle of pitta season. Wait, what? Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, is the traditional medicine system of India. It is based on the idea of creating balance throughout the body’s systems via diet, herbs, yoga, and pranayama. Things that affect the body’s balance include the seasons and the associated temperature, characteristics, and elements.

Pitta, or fire, season runs from late spring to early fall. In this season of fire energy, we can get out of balance from living at a high elevation, being closer to the sun, enjoying outdoor activities in the heat, lack of air conditioning, and even the foods we choose to eat. Too much pitta may manifest as becoming impatient, quick to anger, confrontational, or grumpy. It can also manifest as skin rashes, joint pain, or gastrointestinal symptoms such as reflux or diarrhea. The bottom line is: it’s hot, crowded, and we are losing our cool!

The one word that keeps coming to mind as I begin my asana practice on my mat these days is grace. It is one of my favorite words. I love its simplicity and elegance when spoken aloud. The word has several different definitions and uses. It can mean smoothness of action or beauty of form. It can indicate a pleasing or attractive quality. It can refer to kindness, forgiveness, or reverence.

When I practice grace on my mat, I am meeting myself right where my body is with honesty and kindness. Through the lens of an observer, I honor myself. When I practice grace with others, I accept them where they are in their journey and I extend kindness and compassion. I honor them. Grace is ending class with Namaste, which means the light, spirit, and divine in me bows to the light, spirit, and divine in you. I honor myself and I honor you.

It is easy to practice grace. And it is easy to be full of grace, until you aren’t anymore. I can be full of grace until I walk into the grocery store and spot someone walking down the aisle the wrong way with their mask below their nose. Incredulity, righteousness, and rage flash through my system. And I am instantly reminded that grace is a practice, and I am committed to it. My righteousness recedes, and so does my judgment.

Grace means we acknowledge that we are all shipwrecked in this boundless and unforgiving ocean right now. And we acknowledge, too, that we are all in our own, unique boats. I cannot assume I know and understand the kind of stress someone else is experiencing, just as others cannot truly know and understand mine. Just as it is important to balance pitta by selecting or avoiding certain foods and activities, it is also important to find ways to cultivate grace with yourself and others around you.

In light and love,

Sandy

Understanding and Managing Your Pitta This Summer

By Ayurveda, Health, Wellness, Yoga No Comments

In Ayurveda, summer season is Pitta. Pitta embodies constitutional elements of fire and water and the characteristics of being hot, sharp, penetrating, spreading, oily, and light. According to the deep traditions of Ayurveda and the constituents of nature, “like increases like.”

As the days start to heat up, accommodate for the longer, brighter, warmer, sunnier summer days with these cooling, centering suggestions….

Favor foods that are naturally sweet, bitter, and astringent. Melon, berries, dates, figs, avocados, artichokes, asparagus, leafy greens, kale, celery, peas, and broccoli are a few examples.

Avoid hot and spicy foods.

Use alcohol and caffeine in moderation.

Try self-oiling (abhyanga) with coconut oil or olive oil.

Exercise early morning or evening to avoid the hot midday sun. Favor refreshing activities like gentle yoga, swimming, walking, running, or biking in nature.

Observe your emotions and addictions. How long does the afterglow of your yoga practice last? What are you craving mentally, emotionally, or physically? Are you noticing that anger, frustration, judgement, or critical thoughts arise? Enjoy summer’s emotions by encouraging joy, peace, patience, tolerance, love, and harmony.

If you have questions about dietary, lifestyle, and herbal treatment strategies and how Ayurveda can support you this summer, or if you want to learn more about your personal constitution, please call me at Sole Balance Ayurveda LLC, 970.846.9699.

By Becky Obray