As per calendar, we are still in winter. Or at the last leg of winter. But the reality is that we have already felt the pinch of a harsh summer. The changes in geographical and temperature situations have altered the natural order of affairs.
So it is pertinent to prepare yourself for the impending summer, which by all indications, is going to be a very sultry and dry one.
Ayurveda is all about maintaining the balance of life. When things get too hot outside, the balance is achieved by cooling things internally – mentally, emotionally and physically. The same happens when the chill set in around us, we need to warm up internally. This is done through the food we intake, the way we move around, exercise and most importantly, the way we relax.
Ayurveda bases this balance on three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The condition of the body is decided by the combined position of these three doshas.
How to achieve balance in Summer?
Summer is when Pitta dominates and exerts more control over metabolism, digestion and all the heat generating activities in mind, body and environment.
Pitta being aggravated means body going out of balance. Emotions will be affected and you tend to be more angry and impatient, the body becomes affected as it becomes sweaty, ruddy and skin irritations and your entire behaviour changes.
So we need to think of ways to keep the balance during summer.
Seven tips to stay cool in Summer
Avoid spicy foods: Spicy foods like curries featuring too much chillies or hot peppers as well as sour foods like yogurt, cheese and sour cream are all bound to heat up the body internally. It is also better to reduce salty food, which leaves the body dehydrated. Ginger, black pepper and cumin are acceptable, but only in small quantities. It is better to stay away from tomatoes, garlic, onion, beets and spinach. It’s a big no to alcohol during summer.
Food that cools you: Milk, butter and ghee are good for your body during summer, as are Coconut oil, Sunflower oil and Olive oil. They help to balance Pitta. Sweet and ripe fruits like grapes, mangoes and pineapple are good. Cucumber, green leafy vegetables, green beans and the like do well to your body.
No ice cold drinks: Contrary to the popular belief, ice cold intakes does not cool down your body. Taking ice cold drinks will affect your digestive system as it slows down the digestion process. It is better to take in food at room temperature, as it will help the body to digest the food easily and get rehydrated more quickly.
Eat on time: Have the main meal in the middle of the day, when digestion is most efficient. Skipping meals is the surest way to aggravate Pitta.
Go easy on exercise: Exercise when the temperature is bearable, do not push your body too far. It is advised to have lighter exercises like yoga or walking.
More play: Pitta tenses up the mind. So it is better to slow down a bit and have more fun. It helps to attain some balance of being.
Relax your mind: Music, a long walk in Nature, some breathing exercises…try anything that calms you down. It cools your body internally.