Wellness for Warmer Days
All humans are healthier and more resilient when we pay attention to our natural daily and seasonal shifts. Even though it’s still spring, we’ve got summer on the brain here in Seattle, with sunny days and temps reaching into the 80s! As we move further in the year, rest is key to maintaining wellness during the hot months.
In Ayurvedic terms, summer is pitta season, blending elements of fire and water. Each day has a pitta time too - around noon. We find ourselves out of balance when the activities we choose increase the qualities already present in the season and time of day. So, if mid-day we go take a run in the hot sun, or continue to work ambitiously during lunchtime or throughout the entire summer without a vacation, we increase our internal heat. This sets us up for irritability, anger, and judgment (towards self or others). If instead we find ways to decrease fire in the middle of the day, and in the summer season in general, we encourage health and wellbeing.
Other cultures are smart about this, perhaps forced into a varied pattern of living due to a closer relationship with the weather (a lack of air conditioning will quickly and effectively put you in touch with the realities of summer and a need to move more slowly). Think siesta. This isn't some quaint southern European notion, a nod to laziness. Surrender to mid-day rest is actually a tool for increased energy and mental focus. Research shows that workplace naps offer health benefits, no joke!
For most of us, a mid-day rest is quite a countercultural notion and it's hard to break the habit of non-stop doing. We can't just flip a switch and suddenly take 2 hours for rest. But we can start small, and even 10 to 20 minutes of a real break from our screens will benefit our afternoon efforts.
Below are a few other tips for a restorative lunchtime wellness practice. If you have access to a quiet space like the beautiful meditation room at our Capitol Hill location, lucky you! If not, try and find a shady, quiet spot outside as we move into late spring and summer. Happy resting!
Rebekah Papé is a writer, food and wellness consultant, yoga teacher, and The Riveter member. She is also the new Director of Community and Outreach at Ecolibrium Farms. She teaches breath, meditation, and yoga asana on Thursdays and Fridays at noon at the Capitol Hill studio.