Ayurvedic Tips for Summer

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Summer.  The season of Pitta.  It’s hot.  It’s hot.  It’s extreme.

We also have a tendency to be hot (think: cranky and critical) during the summer.  How do we keep ourselves cool in this season of hot, wet, and extreme?

#1.  Know yourself.  What are your personal weaknesses and tendencies?  Where are you most likely to go out of balance and how do you catch it before it happens?  Irritability, frustration, anger, and excess heat (inflammation, acid, and hot flashes) are often Pitta imbalances.

#2.  Balance the hot, wet qualities of summer by applying the opposite: COOL DOWN

Simple summer tips:

Eat seasonally.  Summer foods are naturally cooling (berries, cucumbers, etc). Eat simply, cooly, and maybe right off the stem.  Digestion tends to be weaker in the summer, so it’s important to eat easy to digest foods.  An overabundance of raw foods may not be the best thing for your digestion.  Lightly steam your vegetables to give your digestion a jump start.

Movement. We spent the spring moving more vigorously to eliminate the excess gunk that accumulated over the winter.  Now it is time to think cool and gentle.  Don’t over-push yourself.  Think gentle yoga with cooling breath work.  Think cool hikes under the  canopy of trees.  Think swimming!!  Water is cooling and calming.  PS: if you just got really irritated because I suggested a more cooling practice for summer that might be a sign of excess Pitta/heat.

–You may have more sensitive skin in the summer, so don’t be surprised if you need to revamp your skin regime for the summer.  Rose water spritzer is awesome!!  It’s cooling and toning for the skin.  Coconut oil is the go-to cooling summer oil.  Neem is a great go-to for cuts, scrapes, bites, and persistent irritated skin.

Avoid the addictives.  They are usually hot: coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol.  Trade out coffee for cool herbal teas through the day.  Consider cumin, coriander, and fennel tea.  It’s balancing, cooling, and wise.

–Pittas like to learn things.  Maybe as you putter around the garden, learn something about the plants going in your yard.  If you don’t use pesticides or over-mow, you might find plantain (great for insect bites).  You might find dandelion (the best liver and blood cleanser).  You might find violets (packed with vitamin A so it’s great in skin salves).  You might find Jewel Weed on the edge of  your woods, it’s your go-to for poison ivy.  Explore.  Slow down and learn.  Grab a backyard herb book, maybe this one by Rosalee de la Foret.  I don’t even own this one yet…

–Use a little less salt and a little less spicy.  Remember we are reducing heat and water. Explore cooling spices instead of salt.  Fennel for starters…

Time outs!!!  We are grown ups, so we have to give ourselves our own time outs.  Take some time for yourself to just be.  Put the phone and the laptop away.  Stop working.  Go to the beach, the lake, or hang out under the moon.  All cooling practices.

–Cooling coconut oil body treatments or self massage (Abhyanga).

Think cooling and kind practices for summer.  Don’t overdo it. Laugh and stay cool.  Eat well (not too much, mostly plants, right off the stem).  Spend leisurely time with the company you love, you know the ones you can just relax with.

Feel free to contact me with follow up questions!!

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