ayurveda – anne shares

ayurveda has been called a sister science of yoga. it is also believed to be the, or one of the, oldest medical systems in the world. it primarily seeks to help human find establish a state of health and well-being and as such lays the foundation for the spiritual evolution that we seek in our yoga practice. living in harmony with the five natural elements – space, air, fire, water and earth – is an important cornerstone in ayurveda. as different elements or combination of elements dominate during different times of the year, it comes as no surprise that seasonal changes are an important factor to take into consideration as we try to find this potent state of harmony.

the junctions between seasons are times when we need to pay particular attention to how the natural elements affect us. during the season that lies behind us, the energy of the elements dominating this particularly time of the year will have had a chance to accumulate. as we are transitioning into the summer season – sometimes more, sometimes less obviously – we therefore need to make sure there is no excess of the water and earth elements, which dominate the spring season, in our bodies.

while seasonal adaptation will certainly look different from person to person, depending on somebody’s individual constitution, there are some overarching principles, we all can take into consideration.

the way to ensure that we move into summer without carrying too much earth and water with us is to switch to a lighter diet, composed mostly of light warming foods that are spiced to enhance digestion (we can use moderate amounts of heating spices such as ginger and pepper, cinnamon; the choice and amounts of spices used will always vary a little depending on what your personal constitution is). light cooked vegetables (leafy greens) are good choices. fresh fruit and whole grains can be had as well (millet, buckwheat, quinoa are good choices). avoid dairy and sweets, heavy foods, and eat only small amounts of high-quality fat.

also, see if there are any other forms of excess ballast that could be eliminated, such as long-held grudges, material possessions that have become unnecessary.
now is the time for many to pick up our exercise routine somewhat; consider moving somewhat more vigorously, but keep it enjoyable and do not make it too heating and strenuous. otherwise, the channels in the body become clogged due to over-straining and the water and earth energy we seek to eliminate become stuck.

in your yoga practice, keep your breath smooth and even at all times; inversions are a good way to lighten up a little and release the heavy energy that gets stuck in lower parts of the body. twists and energetic forward folding are a good way to squeeze water and earth energy out and the post-twist release will invite space and lightness into the body.

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anne is an ayurvedic lifestyle consultant as well as a yoga teacher at tranquil space.

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