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.

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available. A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives. When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.