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Keeping Cool this Summer – with Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, Summer is the season of Pitta or the fire element. Pitta governs our metabolism and intelligence and is our ability to digest food, information and emotions.
How to keep cool and optimize your summer health with Ayurveda. Graphic credit: Kate Towell's newsletter.

The following article is being reproduced with permission of its author, Kate Towell. Kate is a holistic wellness counselor who supports individuals to create the balanced, vibrant life they imagine.

Summer’s in full swing and BBQs, flip flops and sunscreen are in high demand. According to Ayurveda, Summer is the season of Pitta or the fire element. Pitta is the energy of transformation. It governs our metabolism and intelligence and is our ability to digest food, information and emotions. Pitta’s qualities are hot, sharp and intense.

Pitta is increased by excessive heat like too much hot spicy foods or a lot of hot emotions like anger, frustration and intense competition. Since the summer is the season of Pitta when it is hot outside the fire element in us increases too. We may experience irritability, skin rashes, increased sweat, red itchy eyes, acid indigestion and even be prone to road rage.

One of the main principles of Ayurveda is “like increases like” (that’s why hot things increase the fire element) and balance is achieved by the opposite qualities. So if Pitta is hot, sharp and intense think calm, cool and peaceful to bring balance.

In the summer you may be drawn to what is naturally cooling and calming. That’s great. Take time to enjoy clear skies, warm breezes, fresh sweet fruits and swimming to cool off from the heat. If you get too excited about all the sun and fun of the summer and you find yourself overheated, here are some simple tips to help keep Pitta balanced.

Ayurveda Summer Tips

  • Reduce your intake of foods with heating qualities especially salt, super spicy foods, coffee, alcohol and sour fruits.
  • Favor cooling, light foods with sweet, bitter, astringent tastes like berries, mangos, coconut, raw light salads and plenty of fresh veggies.
  • Keep hydrated, but avoid iced drinks. Use mint, cucumber, basil or watermelon in any drink to make a refreshing treat. Coconut water is also a great way to replenish yourself in the summer season.
  • Rose Water is super cooling and great for spritzing yourself for an instant cool down. I love keeping a bottle in the fridge and use it to cool down after yoga. I even spray it on folks during savasana on super hot days at the studio.
  • Aloe Vera is a summertime essential. Apply to your skin after a long day in the sun, or drink a little daily. Drinking aloe juice is great to relieve acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Take it easy during the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak. Avoid intense exercise and instead cool off in the shade.
  • For exercise take evening walks, a dip in the pool, lake or the ocean or a nice bike ride with the cool breeze in your face.

Most of all enjoy all that this summer season brings your way. Listen to your body, remember what it was like to be a kid during the summer and when it gets warm outside go play but stay cool.

Wishing you vibrant living!

Kate

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