Summer Tips for Staying Cool with Ayurveda
In ayurveda, summer is associated with pitta dosha, the mind-body type associated with fire and water. This means that those who are predominantly pitta in their constitution will need to take extra care.
Here are 5 tips to help you stay cool this summer:
- Eat Summer Foods: Balancing foods for summer include zucchini, asparagus, green vegetables, rice, lentils, quinoa salads, hummus, coconut curries or vietnamese spring rolls. Seasonal fruits, such as berries, cherries and melons are also great. Reduce hot and spicy food, which can aggravate heated emotions. Add cooling tastes to your meals such as chopped mint, dill, cilantro, cardamom or a refreshing squeeze of fresh lime.
- Drink: Contrary to popular thinking, lots of ice cold drinks are not necessarily your best choice. Instead, favour warm or room temperature dunks as much as possible, and include cooling teas and drinks such as rose, hibiscus, mint, nettle and red clover to help balance the summer heat. You can also treat yourself to a refreshing coconut water or make cucumber water at home. Go easy on the alcohol, sugary drinks and coffee.
- Breathe: Your daily yoga and meditation practice is your best friend to help keep your emotions balanced and your mind clear. As you read this, you can also try a simple breathing practice, called Shitali Pranayam: Curl your tongue into the shape of a straw. Take a long deep inhalation through your tongue (as if sipping through a straw). Exhale through your nose. Repeat 10 times, using long, deep inhalation. This simple breath helps cool the mind and balance hot emotions.
- Sun: The sun has definite mood enhancing benefits. However, too much sun will easily aggravate the kindest of pitta types. You will feel the best if you take the sun in the early morning and late afternoon, and stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
- Vacation: The worst habit of a pitta-type is to work too hard and leave no time for play. Be sure to book a yearly vacation (or at least, a few getaways) to disconnect from your usual routine and responsibilities. There is truly nothing more refreshing to your mood, productivity and inspiration than leisure time.
If you’re interested in learning more about ayurveda, be sure to check out my upcoming course in Ottawa starting in September. Have a great summer!
About the Author
Briya Freeman has been teaching courses in meditation and natural healing since 2011. She is the creator of Vibrant Living with Ayurveda, an online course in self-care and radiant living for women.
Briya is a long-term student of Berdhanya Swami Tierra, a female mystic and shaman of South American origin. She also holds studies in ayurveda at Anjali School of Ayurveda (Kerala, India) and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa.