I arrived in Pune, India, fresh out of a tumultuous divorce to study Ayurveda with the renowned Dr. Vasant Lad. Looking back, I had totally high vata and pitta—not the ideal state to live in a frenetic, hot, fast paced, loud (did I mention loud) setting.
One night after a full day of observing clients at Dr. Lad’s farm clinic, we fought through rush hour traffic—horns and congestion—for over two hours to reach his city clinic. With no time for dinner, my delicate nervous system began to shatter and my agni (digestive fire) began to combust because I was so hungry, or should I say “hangry.”
The heat and intense energy of India and our schedule had finally broken me down. I was clearly and obviously out of balance, and I had to be carried in a rickshaw back to the hotel where I was living.
Dr. Lad suggested to my roommate that she cut some cucumber slices and put them on specific marma (energy) points on my body. As soon as my roomie placed the cucumbers on my ankles, wrists, and eyes, my body temperature cooled immediately. My mind and emotional body quickly followed suit and, as if by magic, I felt soothed and calm.
The great thing is that you can do this to relax and cool down in a pinch. If you find your inner fire building within you, or perhaps it already lashed out of you in an explosion of impatience, frustration, or anger, follow this simple process:
- Go get a cucumber from your fridge and cut 6 slices.
- Lie down and place two slices of cucumber on your inner ankle points (gulpha marma), the small indented area between your main ankle bone (medial malleolus) and your heel. With your palm face-up, place another two slices on the center of your wrists (where your palm meets your forearm). And place another two cucumber slices on your eyelids.
- Relax and focus on slow, steady, and calming breaths. You'll begin to feel cooler within the first 60 seconds, but stay in this space of relaxation for 3–15 minutes to let the chill sink in. To enhance your pitta reducing home-spa experience, spritz some rose water on your face, chest, and belly.
Voila! You’re cool as a cucumber!