Whether you are the type of person into extreme outdoor activity or the type to enjoy long bike rides, sunbathing by the pool or into paddling a canoe on a serene lake, summer fills the air with a natural, laid-back attitude. This season surrounds us with long breezy nights, camping, family barbecues and fun-filled days.
The summer sun evaporates the humidity of the atmosphere, therefore increases hot, dry and sharp qualities, aggravating the pitta dosha. Flavourful foods that are naturally sweet and fatty, including cool drinks help you to balance the season. The following are a few helpful tips to help make your summer days more pleasurable and keep you cool and in balance, especially if you have a fiery personality.
Seasonal fruits such as apples, pears, melons, plums, figs and prunes are good choices, including lime, papaya and watermelon juices. Also a great selection of vegetables are asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cucumber. Basmati rice with mung dal or other legumes like chickpeas with a little bit of ghee or coconut oil make a light and tasty meal. Summer is the best season to indulge in green salads for their cooling energy. Avoid sour, hot, spicy flavours such as garlic, onion, chilli, tomato, sour cream and salted cheese, since they are hot in nature. Avoid dark meats, which are heating; instead if you do eat meat, enjoy white meats such as chicken, turkey or fish.
Room temperature, cold liquids are best. Avoid hot drinks, including hot water.
Alcoholic beverages such as cool beer can be refreshing. Avoid whiskey, rum and red wine.
Afternoon naps are a perfect way to recharge; the summer season has ageneralized low energy.
On a very hot day, go for a swim in a pool or lake, sipping a little lime juice. Perfect revitalizing combination!
Morning or evening times are the most suitable hours for light exercise such as walking, hiking, cycling. Avoid excessive and strenuous exercise during peak, hot, sunny hours, typically between 12:00pm - 3:00pm.
Yoga is best in the early morning. But do avoid head/shoulder stands, including hot yoga. A few suggested good poses are camel, fish, boat, cobra, cow, cat and palm tree.
Best cool-down colours: gray, blue, purple and green. Avoid hot colours: navy blue, red, orange and yellow.
Summer fragrances to wear: sandalwood, jasmine and khus oils. You can place a spritz of sandalwood scent on top of a pillow/sheets for a soothing sleep.
For calm, controlled breathing, try the cooling pranayama practice. This will help to balance Pitta in the summer. Choose a cool, quiet location where you won't be disturbed. Gently press your lower and upper teeth together and separate your lips as much as you comfortably can, so your teeth are exposed to the air. Inhale slowly through the gaps in the teeth and focus on the hissing sound of the breath.Close the mouth and slowly exhale through the nose.
Evenings are an excellent time to go out for a moonlit stroll in your neighbourhood. It helps to cool you down physically and mentally calms you.
Before bedtime, lightly rub coconut oil anywhere on your scalp and on the sole of your feet for a sound good night sleep.
Along with the suggested calming summer tips, try this delicious drink:
REFRESHING LASSI DRINK
1 cup of yogurt
4 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon of seed of roasted cardamom
1. Mix the yogurt and water in a blender until it becomes creamy
2. Then, add the cardamom
3. For a sweet version, add two teaspoons of sugar and add a drop of rose water
4. Serve chill
The world renews itself every day, and if you allow it to then it can renew your soul every day too.”
The Ayurveda Bible. by Anne Mcintyre
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad
Special acknowledgment to Jessica Caceres.
Connect with Monica and share your insights or new learnings. Stay tuned for next month’s topic!
Monica, enjoys sharing her passion to empower women in creating a wholesome approach to mindfulness, self-care and healing by integrating the science of Ayurveda together with the therapy of yoga to unfold your fullest potential, offering custom one on one services and online workshops.
Her credentials include: Akhanda classical yoga instructor, Ayurveda and Yoga therapist, Yoga for limited mobility, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for emotional balance, Healing meditation, Mantra and Mindfulness meditation. Monica is a strong advocate and active volunteer with the community-based, youth-led charitable non-profit organization, Youth Mental Health Canada.
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