Ayurveda tells us it’s important to live in harmony with the cycles of nature, adjusting our diet and lifestyle practices as the seasons change. According to Ayurveda, summer is pitta season. Summer is hot, fiery and intense, just like the pitta dosha and it’s during this time of the year that our pitta can easily increase and go a little crazy. We can overheat, become irritable, cranky and frustrated. How do we counteract this increased pitta? With the simple Ayurvedic philosophy that says, when there is excess of a quality we need to do the opposite of that quality to become balanced again. Therefore, during this hot season we need to implement cooling, calming practices. It’s that simple! Here’s a few tips to keep you cool this summer.
- Eat cooling and sweet foods. Think watermelon, cucumber, celery, asparagus, lettuce, zucchini, avocado, coconut, limes, grapes, melons, cherries, strawberries, mangoes.
- Favour bitter and astringent fruits and vegetables such as alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, kale, rocket, fennel, broccoli, green beans, apples, cranberries and pomegranate. Bitter taste is considered cleansing and cooling to the blood, while the astringent taste tones the tissues and enhances fluid absorption.
- Favour cooling herbs and spices such as coriander, fennel, cumin, parsley, mint and turmeric.
- Avoid sour, salty and pungent (spicy) foods as these tastes aggravate pitta.
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. And although you may feel like it, avoid drinks with ice as according to Ayurveda ice-cold drinks dampen our digest fire. Try adding cucumber and mint to room temperature water.
- Coconut water is also a great option. It’s extremely hydrating, containing many electrolytes and is low in fat.
- Exercise during morning or evenings, the cool parts of the day. Avoid strenuous exercise by working out at 50-70 per cent of your normal capacity to avoid overheating.
- Take swims in the ocean to cool the body. Try to avoid the middle part of the day when the sun is as its most intense and the UV rating in high.
- Practice a slower, less intense yoga routine. Include cooling asanas such as:
· Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)
· Wide-legged forward bed (Prasarita Padottanasana)
· Puppy pose (Anahatasana)
· Camel pose (Ustrasana)
· Fish pose (Matsyasana)
· Moon salutations (Chandra Namaskar)
· Corpse pose (Savasana)
- Start your day with some self-care and give yourself a self-massage (abhyanga) with cooling coconut oil.
I hope these tips help keep you cool this summer! Feel free to comment below with any questions or let me know how you beat the heat!
Peace & Love