Stay Cool This Summer
We’ve been really blessed this summer with some beautiful sunshine. But as the temperature outside rises, the fire element within us rises too. And since summer is a Pitta (fire) time, it is important to keep it in balance. Excess heat can create problems such as rashes, acne, burning eyes, inflammations, skin sensitivity, diarrhoea, heartburns, fevers, ulcers or fatigue. Too much fire in your mind will create irritability, anger, frustration or impatience. To stabilize your inner fire, follow these easy steps:
Concentrate on naturally sweet, bitter and astringent tastes (sweet potatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, carrots, figs, apricots, berries etc.) and avoid anything that is highly spicy, sour, salty or oily.
Anything that is green is bitter and cooling. Green leafy vegetables, salads and green smoothies are the right choice for you!
Avoid aged, hard, salty dairy (cheddars, brie, sour cream) and favour soft, unsalted fresh one (cottage cheese, cow’s milk, mozzarella)
Choose food that is liquid, moist rather than dry; lukewarm/ cool rather than hot or icy cold. Room temperature liquids are ideal to keep you awake and hydrated during summer.
Black tea, coffee, alcohol, fizzy drinks, tobacco and drugs dehydrate and heat up the body so stay away from overindulging yourself with those during hotter times. For party lovers stick to beer or dry white wine as it’s less warming.
Stay hydrated. Drink 4 to 6 cups of water daily, along with cooling beverages like coconut water, watermelon juice, or lassi (deliciously refreshing yoghurt drink)
Fennel, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and saffron are your spices! They will cool you down and refresh.
Eat when hungry. Skipping meals will leave you irritable, angry or even hypoglycaemic.
Keep your body and surroundings cool. Stay away from the direct sunlight and any sources of excessive heat such as sauna. Swimming is one of the best activities for you.
Avoid vigorous, competitive activities, especially between 10:00-2:00am and pm as this is the time when Pitta is at its highest peak. Water sports, cycling and spending time in nature are ideal for the summer.
Practice yoga! Poses releasing excess heat include camel, cobra, warrior, half moon, fish, pigeon and bridge poses.
Make friends with a coconut oil. It protects you naturally against damaging effects of the sun, working as a sunscreen and moisturiser.
Apply rose water to your face. It is not only beautifully fragrant but it will cool down, awake and help to get rid of the redness, headache or burning, tired, puffy eyes.
Always remember to dedicate enough time for relaxation, fun and play in your busy and driven life.
Practice left nostril breathing, which quiets the mind and cools the body. http://www.grdhealth.com/yogameditation/leftnostril.php
Eyes are the first place in the body where the excess heat tends to accumulate. So try an ayurvedic eye bath (akshi tarpana) - special Ayurvedic treatment that provides relaxation to eyes and improves the eyesight.
When feeling heavy in your head try ayurvedic head massage (Shiroabhyanga). It is a simple yet very effective stress releasing therapy. It helps to reduce stress and fatigue, increase mental clarity, and to rejuvenate and relax. It benefits those suffering from aching shoulders, tight neck, sinusitis, tension headaches, sinus congestion, eyestrain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, hair loss, tinnitus and lack of concentration. Shiroabhyanga practiced daily can also aid scalp dryness, loss of hair and premature baldness and grey hair.