Sweet Summer Days and Nights…
I always get a little emotional this time of year. I remember organizing binders, making photocopies, setting up my classroom… sometimes I can even smell the freshly-sharpened pencils and feel the heat of little room 109! Back to school time can still make my heart beat and my stomach do a flip flop; then I remember I don’t have to rush off to school! Well, not really. For those of you who may not know, I am enrolled as a full-time student at New World Ayurveda in Gorham, ME, a 730 hour program that will allow me to work with clients of all ages to create and sustain better health from a systemic place using traditional Ayurvedic treatments, remedies, nutrition, herbs, essential oils, yoga, meditation, vedic astrology, yoga nidra, and soooooo much more, oh my!!! By the time I am finished I will have completed about 1,000 hours of Ayurvedic study with two different institutes (California College of Ayurveda and NWA) and many superb teachers. AND in late February into mid March, I will even be co-leading an Ayurvedic retreat to India with John deKadt!!! It’s a lot of work, but I am really loving it all. Needless to say, being a student and a studio owner/teacher is a full-time job. Not to mention parenting. With one kid in college and the youngest beginning her LAST year of high school, I admit, I can cry at the drop of a hat. Try me. On Monday, Bridie’s first day of senior year, she asked me where her “Jessie” doll from Toy Story was. She had taken it to school the very first day of kindergarten, and she wanted to journey full circle with her very first school buddy. I knew just where she was (along with Woody, Buzz, and Bull’s Eye). As I pulled Jessie from the box of treasured childhood toys, those days of little kid-dom flashed before my eyes. I handed Jessie to my girl, complete with red cowgirl hat, and she asked “Mummy, can you take a picture of me with Jessie?” (Can you see me crying? Totally losing it).
But it’s STILL SUMMER!!!! Unfortunately all the radio and TV ads have raked away the last glorious month like a pile of leaves that won’t even begin to fall until October! So even though the kids are back in school and the days are getting a little shorter, there is still a sweetness to these late summer days and nights, and I don’t want a day to go by without our breathing it all in and soaking it all up, so let’s savor it while we can! “Late Summer” is the season of Earth in Chinese element theory and TCM, a season of the stomach and spleen (come to Yin yoga to learn more!), a time of richness, contentment (and often a bit of heaviness—think heat, full garden, all around tiredness from the fests of summer); it’s a season to eat all the cherry reds and yellows right off the vine, and to feel the fullness of our gardens or farmer’s market tables in abundance, as well the fullness of our hearts as we tiptoe our way into the last brilliant weeks of summer. In Ayurveda, this is a time to eat light foods: fresh fruit, veggies, yogurt lassi, kefir, or buttermilk, to enjoy ripe avocadoes and light grains such as basmati rice or quinoa (yummy with a cooling squirt of lime), and it’s a great time to douse your skin with sesame or sunflower oil to replenish the moisture all this sun has dried up in the past couple months. Between hot and cool seasons like our Septembers in the Northeast, we may use herbs to slightly increase our digestive fire to maintain proper function. The preparation of meals and teas with orange peel, rosemary, fennel (yummy in an asian slaw!), cumin, coriander, and cardamom can add just the right amount of spice without too much heat… Oh, and if you have dandelion in your yard, throw some of that in your salad or sautee it up with some kale! Chamomile and lavender are great in a tea if you are feeling restless about summer’s end, and they also promote peaceful sleep.
Last but not least: allow yourself to bask in the warm days when you can, enjoy the cool nights with the windows wide open, listen to the lullabye of night-time crickets, sink your limbs into the lake or river, and take good care of your insides with healthy organic food grown right here in our own neighborhoods. Of course, maintaining a regular yoga practice is a tremendous asset to your routine: it will keep you calm but energized, focused and creative, strong and limber (in body and mind), and it is so much more than just an asana practice. Stay tuned for a couple Ayurveda & Yoga clinics I’m planning, and if you would like a consultation about your yoga practice or want to design your own home routine based on the principles of Ayurveda, I am a certified Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist ready to help support your well being and best health!
LABOR DAY WEEKEND:
NO CLASSES SUNDAY OR MONDAY, September 6 & 7th.
Much love and late summer dreaming to you all,