6 Ayurvedic Tips for Staying Cool This Summer
In Ayurveda, summer is Pitta season. The hotter temperatures, the increase in humidity and sweat and even the fact that we tend to be more irritable when we’re hot and tired all correlate with Pitta’s hot, oily, liquid and sharp qualities.
Lots of summer activities are naturally beneficial to Pitta, like taking a cooling swim and spending relaxing time with friends and family. Pitta governs the agni (or digestive fire), sweat glands, blood vessels and skin, so when Pitta is in balance, our digestion, skin and circulation improves. However, when Pitta becomes imbalanced and its qualities are experienced in excess, we can experience overheating, irritation and frustration, indigestion, heartburn and red, irritated skin. In other words, we become overly hot, fiery and inflamed.
Here are several Ayurvedic tips for keeping Pitta in check this summer. By doing so, you can keep yourself cool, calm and collected—both physically and emotionally.
Exercise in the Mornings
As we’ve written about before, when we exercise, we need to make sure we’re doing so under conditions that don’t aggravate Pitta’s fire. We should exercise in the morning, before the hottest part of the day, which occurs from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., in order to stay out of the sun’s rays. On the flipside, it is also okay to exercise in the evenings, after the sun has set.
Eat Pitta-Pacifying Foods
Foods that are spicy, salty, hot, fried, sour and processed, in addition to alcohol and red meat, are aggravating to Pitta. Try to minimize your consumption of these foods to avoid overheating, inflammation and indigestion. Instead, aim to eat bitter, astringent and sweet foods such as water-rich fruits, green vegetables, summer squashes, light legumes and cooling herbs like cilantro, mint, dill and fennel. And be sure to stay hydrated with lukewarm or cool drinks.
In addition to eating in alignment with the season, it’s also important to keep your own individual constitution in mind and try to formulate an eating plan that harmonizes both. For more on how to eat for your individual dosha, check out our blog here.
Wear SPF & Protect Yourself from Sun Damage
Since the sun is a valuable source of Vitamin D, an appropriate amount of time spent in the sun is certainly a good thing. However, it’s also important to make sure we are protected from the free radical damage that can result from UV exposure. In addition to staying out of the sun during peak hours, be sure to wear sunscreen, protective clothing, sunglasses and hats before venturing out. That way, you’ll be able to balance the benefits of sunshine without overheating the body or burning the skin.
Meditate to Soothe the Mind
Especially for those who live in warm climates, the heat of the summer can cause us to feel more tired, aggravated and frustrated than normal. During this time, we may be more prone to lashing out at others and ourselves. To prevent these negative reactions and maintain a balanced emotional and mental state, try taking time every morning to meditate with deep breaths. These sessions can be as short as 10-15 minutes long, and they make a big difference on our internal well-being, cooling down our tempers and offering profound tranquility. For more information on how to meditate according to your dosha, check out our blog here.
Try Out Cooling, Calming Aromatherapy & Essential Oils
Filling your space with sweet aromas is one great way to cool down your environment. You can do this by bringing in fresh flowers, or by using cooling, sweet and light essential oils. Aromas that are well-suited for summer include jasmine, rose, lavender, geranium and chamomile.
You can incorporate these cooling ingredients into your daily routine in many ways. For a lightweight, hydration-filled toner that brightens and nourishes the skin, check out our UMA Ultimate Brightening Rose Toner, which incorporates water-filled, cooling watermelon, papaya and rose. For a soothing bath oil that incorporates the sweet scents of lavender, chamomile and jasmine, try our UMA Pure Calm Wellness Bath Oil. And our lavender- and chamomile-infused UMA Pure Calm Wellness Candle is a surefire way to bring instant tranquility, peace and contentment to any space.
Take Breaks & Plenty of Time for Yourself!
Pittas tend to be fast-paced, passionate and committed, throwing themselves fully into whatever they set their mind on. Pitta season can also be one full of passion and indulgence, which, when in excess, risks bringing on burnout and aggravation. Be sure to take lots of time for yourself this summer, and to take things at a slower pace than you usually would. Your mind and body will thank you for it!
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