Ayurvedic Summer Tips
Summer energy usually looks like many of us cramming as many activities as possible into a season. In Ayurveda the summer season is associated with the pitta dosha. In Ayurveda summer is all about balancing the heat and fire that are often associated with the longer days and shorter nights of summer. The pitta dosha is associated with the fire & water elements.
Coconut oil Massage
Abhyanga is still a wonderful practice to incorporate into your daily routines. Trade your oil in for a more cooling one using coconut oil. To find directions on how to perform abhyanga check out this video.
Be mindful of Coffee, caffeine and alcohol
Due to the warming properties going on in the warm summer months outside. Along with the warming affects during menstruation, you need to be mindful of heating stimulates. Coffee and caffeine tend to increase cramping in the uterus. Alcohol in the summer is hard to balance as it’s a warming substance to the body. If your body is already warm from bleeding adding alcohol to the body might not feel as refreshing as it might sound.
Alcohol in general is not recommended in the summer according to Ayurveda. It can be quite heating. Dr. Vasant Lad has this to say if you do want an alcoholic beverage every once in awhile in the summer heat. Alcohol should be consumed mindfully and maybe on hot days a lighter beer can be cooling to the body. Avoid whisky, brand, rum and red wine which are more heating to the body.
Shitali pranayama is a cooling breath which is perfect for the summer months. Pranayama can be practiced in your morning routine, evening routine or as a mid-day centering exercise.
Benefits of Shitali
- Lowers oral temperature
- Makes the saliva cool
- Quenches thirst
- Improves digestion, absorption and assimilation
- It is effective for high blood pressure
- Cooling to entire body
How to Perform
- Curl your tongue into a tube. If you can’t curl your tongue, close your teeth together and press your tongue to the back of your teeth.
- Inhale slowly through curled tongue, swallow and exhale normally through the nose keeping the mouth closed.
- Perform for 1 minute or 10 breaths
Ginger Basil Limeade
Another summer treat. This drink is balancing for all three doshas. This is a great drink to have on a warm, mid-summer day to truly hydrate the body and lose the brain fog.
- Ginger increases circulation
- Lime stimulates the entire body
- Lime, salt & sugar replenish electrolytes
- Fresh basil clarifies your thoughts
- Strengthens your agni- digestive fires
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 inches of fresh ginger (peeled)
- 1 whole lime
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 cups water
- Use fine grater to make 1 tsp of lime zest & juice. Chop ginger into smaller pieces.
- Add 1 cup water to a blender with ginger, lime juice & lime zest, sugar and fresh basil.
- Combine ginger-lime juice with 3 cups water. Optional garnish with fresh basil.
- Chill & serve.
The moon is the balancing energy to the sun. Making time to get outside under the moonlight not only helps balance the pitta dosha but also the vata dosha.
Summer bedtimes might be a bit later 10-11pm. It’s the perfect season to receive the balancing moon light rays. Going for a walk, sitting at a campfire and seeing the moonlight from above helps cool the mind and body. Maybe even doing a few moon salutations.
In Ayurveda opposites heal so when it’s hot outside you need more cooling foods to put into your diet.
*In Ayurveda fruit is eaten as a snack or in between meals
- Steamed asparagus
Eating seasonally and local is important. Notice what foods are in season right now where you live. Salads are okay to enjoy for lunch in the summer as long as you have regular digestion.
Heavy meats, cheeses, sour fruits and pungent foods are not recommended in the summer as those tend to really make you feel full and heavy.
Morning Summer Rituals
- Arise with the sun around 6am
- Tongue scrape and brush your teeth
- Mild yoga practice which could include- Moon salutations, fish, camel, boat, cobra, cow and tree pose.
- Pranayama- Cooling breath
- In summer meditations can be performed twice in the summer months for balance.
Craving a more seasonal approach to your life?
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