This time of year can be challenging for many people. Hot temperatures, poor air quality, too much sun can all contribute to overheating and general agitation. In the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda, we are in the Pitta season. Fire and intense heat. I am a pitta which means I am naturally heated, physical and fiery. I crave heat building, intense yoga practices and flavorful spicy foods. But this time of year that’s not always the best choice. Ayruvedic philosophy suggests to balance the pitta energy and to cool the body, calm the mind, relax and be gentle with ourselves. It also is good to eat cooling foods: cucumbers, watermelons, lettuces. Anything that cools the fire and balances the pitta energy. All of this makes sense but isn’t easy to do for Pittas who constantly want to intensify and push themselves to feel the heat. I’ve eaten so much cucumber and watermelon this week I have seeds coming out my ears. I’m sick of cold, raw food. I am craving meat. I am craving warm root vegetables. I’m talkin steak and potato fantasies. The exact opposite of what I should be feeding my body this time of year. But I’m a big believer in listening to our bodies. Pay attention to cravings. “Our minds can make mistakes, but our bodies are always right” Joshua Rosenthal said that in his lecture tonight at IIN. I totally agree. Not every diet or nutritional path will work for every body. We are all made differently and have different needs. One person may react favorably to a certain dietary style while another one will be completely miserable (like me with ayurveda) and that’s OK. Our bodies are our best teachers and healers if we can listen to what they are telling us.
What are your cravings? Have you been giving your body what it needs or neglecting what it’s trying to tell you?