Dealing with summer heat can be thwarting. Dehydration, sweat, and skin eruptions become familiar friends with individuals gasping for cool retreats, especially here in South Florida. What better way than Ayurveda to tackle the hot, sharp, penetrating Summer! Pitta dosha, or the subtle energy that takes charge of the metabolism and transformation in the body, becomes aggravated during summer. This tends to flare as the temperature rises. The imbalances include hot flashes, acne, exhaustion, heartburn, diarrhoea, anger and impatience. Does this sound quite familiar to you? Beat the heat with best ayurvedic tips this summer.

These are the best Ayurvedic tips to follow during the summer - 

  1. Ayurvedic sunbathing: Take a 10-15 minute walk at sunrise, as the gentle rays fall on your skin, sadhaka pitta will be stimulated- a subtype of Pitta dosha which lifts the mood instantly and assist us in achieving our goals. Sunlight helps to stimulate the production of vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in calcium absorption and facilitating a healthy immune system. 
  2. Aromatherapy:  Dab a drop of sandalwood essential oil on the throat centre, eyebrow centre, wrists, and belly button. The whole aura is soon charged with sweet fragrance pacifying the pitta dosha. Some essential oils work best for heat stroke, such as lavender oil that soothes skin and nerves. Peppermint oil also helps in lowering the body temperature. 
  3. Soothing meditation: It is powerful to begin the day with spiritual practices honoring the sun. Several practices such as Surya namaskara (sun salutations) and Surya trataka (sun gazing) helps to soak in the morning rays. The sun is the source of life, it is the source of all energy which is why during summer, when the sun is most powerful, we can benefit by absorbing more color energy into our aura. Summer is also the ideal time for reciting the Gayatri mantra, the Vedic song of sunlight.
  4. Day sleep (Diva-Swapa): Day sleep is contraindicated in Ayurveda for  every other season besides summer. However, napping in the afternoon is recommended for the summer season as the weather soaks most of the energy. It helps restore energy while relieving you of physical and mental fatigue. It increases Kapha that the body lacks due to the hot and dry weather. The best direction to do so is the left lateral position facilitating optimum digestion. Sleeping under the moonlight outside is also recommended during summer months. 
  5. Eat cool foods: The best pitta-pacifying foods are coconut, cucumber, leafy greens, watermelon, and cantaloupe. The ideal dairy products are milk, ghee, and yogurt. Water-rich fruits such as apples, pears, watermelon, prunes, berries, and plums keep you away from the heat. Cool off with salads and other dishes comprising parsley, cilantro, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc.
  6. Bring coconut to the rescue: Coconut oil, a tropical land's delight, is a savior during summers. Rub 5-6 ounces of oil on the body prior to taking a bath. It gives a cooling, soothing effect on the skin. Alternatively, you can also use sunflower oil. 
  7. Drinking naturally cooled drinks: Ayurveda never suggests drinking an ice-cold drink as it extinguishes the vital digestive fire. However, one may drink room temperature water infused with cooling herbs like rose, mint or fennel to stay cool.

Summer is the season for Pitta as the heat is on. Ayurvedic remedies shield you from the dampening impact of the season with ideal dietary choices, routines, and habits.  The beautiful thing about Ayurveda is that it has guidelines to help us find balance in every season, something called Ritucharya. Embrace Ayurveda in your daily life to stay cool this summer season. 

To learn more about how you can align yourself with nature’s cycle and find balance, contact Susama Ayurveda- where we bring Ayurveda to life. 

Importance of Shirodhara in Ayurveda

Ayurveda is defined as the holistic and nurturing science of longevity and well-being and has been in practice in India for thousands of years. Found in several Vedic scriptures, Ayurvedic components have the power to improve health, enhance the soul and promote emotional balance. Most Ayurvedic practices are done with the help of different herbs, oils, spices and other similar natural components. Shirodhara is one such Ayurvedic practice that not only heals the mind and body but also brings them to one harmonious level.

What is Shirodhara?

A classic Ayurvedic therapy, Shirodhara is hailed as one of the most rejuvenating and purifying treatment processes. Shirodhara is designed in a way that not only eliminates toxins from an individual’s body but also removes mental exhaustion and stress and also cures several other disorders. In this therapy, warmed medicated decoctions, medicated oils or other liquids are poured on the forehead steadily so that it induces a relaxed state of mind. The whole process aspires to achieve a psychosomatic balance in the individual. When undergoing the Shirodhara treatment, one would feel totally relaxed, mental lucidity and a rich experience of the soul connecting with the body.

Different types of Shirodhara

In Ayurveda, Shirodhara is advised to someone when there is found an aggravation of Pitta and Vata Doshas in body and mind. The therapy focuses on the third eye, i.e., the center of the forehead where stimulation and balance of the pituitary and pineal gland occurs. The feeling of the oil slowly dripping on the forehead creates a meditation-like effect on the person. This leads to an aura of stillness in the mind, thereby diffusing tension and stress from the brain.

There are different types of Shirodhara therapy. Take a look at the following to know about them:

  1. Taila Dhara - Herbal oils are mixed with essential oils or herbal extracts in Taila Dhara. This mostly balances the Vata Dosha in the body.
  2. Takra Dhara - Useful for balancing the Pitta Dosha, Takra Dhara uses an infusion of buttermilk and special herbs. This also helps to maintain homeostasis.
  3. Ksheer Dhara - Milk mixed with herbs becomes medicated and is poured over the head. Ksheer Dhara controls the Pitta and Vata Doshas.
  4. Kwath Dhara - Various herbs are used to make decoctions needed for Kwath Dhara. This therapeutic oil balances the Kapha and Vata Doshas.
  5. Jala Dhara - Clean normal water or coconut water is used in Jala Dhara. This is suggested when the matter is about bringing down the excessive heat of one’s body.

Why is Shirodhara practiced?

Shirodhara eliminates mental toxins and purifies the doshas by bringing them to a proper balance. The therapy stimulates the major points on the head so that blood circulation is enhanced. As the Ayurvedic medicine is massaged on the scalp, the medicated oils infuse deep into the head and give a sense of ultimate comfort and relaxation. This process goes as deep as into the internal peripheral nerves of the forehead.

Shirodhara has lots of health benefits. Get in touch with an Ayurveda professional at Susama Ayurveda to know how this therapy can improve your overall being.

Everything you Need to Know About Ayurvedic Detox

Ayurveda is an alternative medicine system going back thousands of years, with its origins in ancient India. It focuses on natural, holistic healing and is widely regarded as the oldest treatment science in the world. Ayurvedic detox has also gained immense popularity due to its effectiveness in reducing the levels of toxins in the human body. It follows the principles of Vedic medicine to heal in a way that leaves one rejuvenated and full of vitality.

Ayurvedic medicine is mainly centered around the concept of three 'doshas' or humors, namely Pitta, Vata, and Kapha. Based on its fundamentals, most illnesses and diseases are a result of the three doshas being out of balance. Through tried-and-tested detoxification treatments, thousands around the world are healing up from serious ailments. Ayurvedic detoxification methods can have life-changing benefits for people across ages.

Valuable Insights about Ayurvedic Detox

Ayurveda divides the world into multiple elements i.e. Vayu, Prithvi, Aakash, Teja, and Jala. These represent air, earth, fire, space, and water, respectively. The science states that the humors or ‘doshas’ of an individual are combinations of the above-mentioned elements (Vata is made of air and space, Pitta of fire and water and Kapha of water and earth). The toxification of an individual’s body can lead to a host of unwanted issues and conditions like skin problems, chronic fatigue, anxiety, diarrhea, arthritis, constipation, UTIs (urinary tract infections), and asthma. The main objective of Ayurveda medicine specialists is to help those affected by such conditions to experience the benefits of powerful and natural remedies. Take a look at some of the key practices below.

Key Practices of Ayurvedic Detoxification Treatments

Panchakarma - The detoxification process of Panchakarma is one of the most important procedures recommended by experienced Ayurvedic practitioners to eliminate accumulated impurities from the mind and body. It is divided into three main phases known as Purvakarma, Panchakarma and Paschatkarma. The first phase of Purvakarma employs methods such as steaming, warm oil treatment, and oil massage to assist in loosening and lubricating waste products (ama) from bodily tissues in preparation for their removal. Panchakarma, the second phase, consists of five detoxification processes named virechan (emesis), vaman (purgation), basti (enemas), rakta moksha (blood-letting) and nasya (nasal administration of medicated oil). All of these aim to purify the elements of one’s body by removing toxicity, however, not all clients with receive all 5 panchakarma treatments. Each one serves to expel different imbalances. Therefore, recommended procedures will be based on an individual’s specific doshic vitiations. The third and final stage, Paschatkarma, consists of individualized rejuvenation therapies which may include recommended herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes that help restore and replenish the bodies’ digestive fire and bodily tissues. A panchakarma is one of the superior ways to treat imbalances and heal from within.

Dietary changes – A simple Ayurvedic detox can be done with dietary changes. An Ayurvedic detox will always involve the reduction of the consumption of foods that are ama-producing. Ama is translated as undigested food waste and can accumulate in the system via incorrect food choices, poor dietary habits and a compromised digestive fire. It’s best to choose warm, light, cooked, fresh and easily digestible food during a cleanse. Often times a kitchari cleanse is recommended. Kitchari is a dish consisting of mung dal, white basmati rice and spices according to your constitution. A mono-diet of kitchari is ideal for cleansing because kitchari is tridoshic, meaning it is beneficial in balancing all three doshas. It is also extremely easy to digest, it’s a complete protein, and due to its inherent loosening and scraping properties, removes ama from the system. Ayurveda supplements may also be recommended to enhance outcome

Purifying massage (Abhyanga)- Frequent massages with warm oils containing herbs help to combat lymphatic issues, remove toxins, curb early aging, calm the nervous system and also enhance skin health. Yoga is also recommended alongside massages, which should all be done under the supervision of trained Ayurveda treatment professionals.

Meditation - Meditation is a crucial step in detoxification. It involves several practices such as breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness tactics. All of these lead to reduced stress and anxiety levels, which results in better healing. It is often said in Ayurveda, that all disease starts in the mind; if we are able to heal our minds, our bodies will follow suit.

There are so many ways to detoxify through Ayurvedic methods. At Susama Ayurveda, we will recommend and provide an individualized Ayurvedic cleanse with specific therapies according to your imbalances to launch you into a new level of health you never knew possible. Get in touch with us today to gain further insight and avail these treatments! Susama Ayurveda is located in West Palm Beach, FL and is seeing clients online as well.

Ayurveda places huge importance on dinacharya, or daily tasks that help integrate our being with nature’s cycles, and teaches us how establishing a daily routine that promotes self-care can improve overall health and wellbeing. Adopting a consistent daily routine is one of the most nurturing things we can do for ourselves that invites health and vitality into our lives.

While dinacharya is one of the core concepts of Ayurveda, there is no single template that can satiate the requirements of everyone. Ayurveda practitioners modify the general template to match one’s specific needs. Irrespective of how different these routines might look, adopting a dinacharya can significantly improve your approach to life.

Dinacharya daily cycles
Ayurveda mentions two dinacharya cycles that carry distinct types of “dosha” or energy. These relate to different elements of nature. These are as follows:
● Kapha: 6:00 am – 10:00 am and 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Associated with balance, this cycle is best saved for some light work and preparation for the day of work ahead.
● Pitta: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm – 2:00 am
Pitta is related to high energy, meaning one’s body is the most active during this cycle. When awake, focus on tasks that require high productivity. Meanwhile, when asleep, your body focuses on detoxification of its system.
● Vata: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm and 2:00 am – 6:00 am
Vata is associated with air and lightness. The best activities during this period are ones that require movement or creativity.

Ayurvedic dinacharya cycles - how to integrate daily routines into your life

  1. Morning cycle
    One of the main principles of Ayurveda is waking up before sunrise and preparing oneself for a positive day ahead. The Vata periods are associated with calm and self-reflection - use this time to meditate for a while and set your intentions for the day. If you have Ayurveda supplements, take them, and complete your healthcare routines to feel rejuvenated.
  2. Afternoon cycle
    In the morning, kapha periods focus on light exercises that boost circulation. The afternoon pitta period is the time to get productive and you must focus on completing the bulk of the work during these hours. Take small breaks during this phase and try to feel the warmth of the sunlight to enliven your mind and body. Once you are at the afternoon vata period, you can focus on tasks that require creativity but not physically exerting ones.
  3. Evening cycle
    The evening kapha period is a fantastic time for self-care. You can spend these hours with your loved ones and get ample rest so that your body can prepare for detoxification and your mind can prepare for the next day.

While this is only a simplified overview of thousands of years of teachings, the aforementioned information on ayurvedic dinacharya has enough to get you started on building your own self-care routines to live more in tune with nature. For more information on doshas and the benefits of Ayurveda, you can get in touch with experienced Ayurveda practitioners at Susama Ayurveda Holistic Care.

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