Ayurveda, the ancient science of natural health, is based on the principle that, in order to live well, you must find balance. So when things heat up in the summer, the key to perfect health is to find ways to cool down – mentally, emotionally and physically.
The governing agents for Ayurveda are the doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Summertime is Pitta season, and it affects metabolism, digestion and heat in the mind, body and environment. When Pitta becomes aggravated and overheated we get out of balance, affecting our emotions, body and behaviors. You may have noticed that, during hot weather, tempers are shorter. This is the perfect example of an imbalanced Pitta. Stay in balance by staying cool this summer.
Enjoy foods that cool you down. Sweet, ripe fruits like avocados, cherries, plums, grapes, pineapples, peaches and mangos are perfect. Cilantro and mint are excellent herbs, and asparagus, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, zucchini and green beans are all good choices.
Limit ice cold drinks. While we need to keep cool, it is even more important to keep your digestion strong. Your digestive system is like a fire that is responsible for converting food into energy. When you drink that ice water with lunch, you are effectively putting out the flames of your digestive fire. Room temperature water will be assimilated into your body much faster, because it is closer to your body’s temperature, and you will feel rehydrated more quickly.
Make time to play. Balance the intensity of the heat with less intensity in your work, by building in time for play. When Pitta is out of balance we tend to be driven, demanding, impatient and we overdo it, creating more imbalance.
Turn down the temperature of the mind. The most powerful way to settle down the mind is to build in some regular time for meditation each day. If you aren’t interested in meditation, there are many other ways to turn down the dial on your frazzled mind. Listen to some beautiful music, take a walk in nature or practice some conscious breathing to soothe your soul.