We are entering the summer months, welcoming long, warm days and restored energies.
In Ayurveda, the summer season is related to the pitta dosha, the Ayurvedic fire mind-body constitution, the sun, digestion, and the fire element. As with all the seasons, there is a brilliant natural intelligence that occurs with the summer to support our vitality and diverse changes.
During this season, we are in full motion, energized by the sun. It is a powerful time of the year for transformation with its sharp and hot qualities. However, it is important during this season not to burn up and to maintain a balanced pitta dosha by integrating calming, cooling, and restorative practices for overall well-being and longevity.
Here are five Ayurvedic tools to incorporate as we approach the summer season:
1. Digestive foods
In Ayurveda, digestion is related to the fire element, since it recognizes that fire is needed to process and assimilate food. During summer, we crave light, raw, and cooling foods, which makes it the perfect season for salads and sweet fruits. It’s best to eat raw and cold foods for lunch to ensure a stronger digestive fire and enjoy cooked foods later for dinner. Remember to eat mindfully, while avoiding screens and emotional conversations.
2. Liquids and hydrating drinks
Make sure to remain hydrated during summer by incorporating room temperature water with mint or coconut water. Herbal teas, such as rose, peppermint, licorice, or fennel, can also support a more balanced season. Try to avoid ice-cold drinks as they deplete the digestive fire. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol as their qualities are both heating and sharp.
3. Spices and flavors
It is important to avoid overheating the body with spicy foods and pungent, salty, or sour flavors. Instead, try to incorporate sweet, bitter, and astringent foods to help balance the heat. Dairy is cooling and heavy, so this is the perfect time to enjoy the sweetness of milk, ghee, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Also, add spices such as coriander, fennel, cilantro, and cardamom to your diet, and try to avoid chili and cayenne pepper.
4. Outdoor activities
With the restored energy and access to outdoor adventures, summer offers so much fun under the sun. However, avoid the hottest time of day to prevent the body from overheating and aggravating the pitta dosha. While you enjoy all the summer activities, remember not to deplete yourself by giving them all your strength and power. This will help preserve your vitality and maintain overall strength and lubrication in the body.
5. Daily routines
A daily routine is essential to provide a dynamic framework for harmonizing the body, mind, and spirit. It supports the biological rhythm, healthy digestion, strong immune system, deep sleep, and inner peace. The daily rhythm focuses on when we wake up, when we eat, when we work, and when we go to sleep. Further, the consistent timing of these daily routines provides stable support for all body systems.
The best practice is to wake up with the sunrise and to go to bed by 10 p.m.
Incorporate these tips into your daily routine while you enjoy the summer season, and don’t forget to take deep breaths.