Part 1 Summer Wellness: A Time of Transformation and Growth
The Summer is a season of abundant energy, growth, expansion, activity, and transformation. The additional hours of sunlight may increase energy, productivity and mood; however, some may also struggle with insomnia, dehydration, heat sensitivities, frustration, resentment and anxiety as a result of altered schedules and higher temperatures. I know personally having my kids out of school all day comes with additional demands of my time and energy, which requires some schedule and boundary adjustments. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my Summer wellness tips for staying healthy, happy and retaining sanity over the Summer holidays.
Physical and Mental Digestion
It is important when discussing health and happiness that we take a ‘whole’istic perspective, which considers physical, mental, social and spiritual elements of wellness. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) summer is ruled by both fire element (early summer) and earth element (late summer). Fire element encompasses our relationship to ourselves and to others, and how we deal with and process our internal and external experience. Fire is an alchemical element, transforming, digesting and assimilating our experiences and the food we eat. The earth element is grounding and nourishing. Correspondingly, they both have nourishment; emotional, and physical as their primary focus and therefore this month our focus will be looking at how we physically and mentally digest and absorb.
We are constantly recreating ourselves through the process of digestion. Our body transforms the food we eat into cellular structures and energy. Through our 5 senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) we also “take in” information which shapes our experiences and assimilates into our sense of self and reality. Similar to how both the quality of the food we eat and the health of the digestive organs effects our ability to digest food and absorb nutrients, our mental and social health will effect the way we experience the world around us. The beliefs we have about ourselves based on past experiences and the society we live in becomes the filter through which we digest our experiences.
Stimulating digestive fire and facilitating Transformation
Similar to the TCM philosophy, the ancient practise of Ayurveda also teaches us that overall health and well-being depends on the ability to digest what we take in. This not only refers to the food that we take in but what we consume through our senses. Summer is considered pitta season also correlating with fire element. In Ayurveda, the ability to digest what we take in depends on the strength of our digestive fire or “agni”. Agni breaks down the food and other things we consume, extracts the useful part and transforms it into nourishment while eliminating the rest. When agni is strong we create healthy tissues and eliminate waste effectively. When agni is strong, we are said to have clear perception, strong immunity and an overall sense well-being. When agni is weakened due to lack of activity, poor diet, repressive/toxic social environments or unhealthy/unconscious beleifs, our digestion (physical and mental) will be laboured resulting in Inflammation and toxic build up.
Common activities that are likely to weaken agni include lack of sleep, increased stress, negative mindset, repressed emotions, toxic environments, poor nutrition, lack of or excessive exercise and lack of social support.
Summer Wellness: Inside out and Outside in
Each week I hope to provide some helpful information on each aspect of summer wellness. Offering this information in small blogs over the next few weeks will ensure that the material is easy to digest and integrate into your life 😉 We will look at everything from overhauling digestion, improving nutrition, breathing better, efficient sleep, protecting yourself from sun exposure, creating healthy boundaries with your time and energy, staying motivated and more.
Throughout the summer I will also post various tips, videos and inspiration nuggets on instagram @micheletheoretwellness and @empoweredyoga.ca, or check out these Facebook pages: Michele Theoret and Empowered Yoga for articles, videos and events related to wellness.
If you are interested in more personalized coaching I have a weekend retreat, BEology: Disconnect to Re-connect at the end of August and a 12-week course beginning in September called BEology project where we will dissect the science of inner peace and the art of engaged living.
In the mean time drop me a line if you are interested in private consults or have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org