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cool summer

The arrival of summer brings with it a plethora of delights – long days, outdoor adventures, and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. However, for some, the sweltering heat of summer can also bring discomfort, especially if you’re prone to imbalances in your Doshas, particularly Pitta Dosha. In Ayurveda, Doshas are the three elemental forces that govern our physical and mental well-being. With summer health in mind, let’s explore a few Ayurvedic tips to stay cool and balanced in summer according to your Dosha.

 

Understanding the Three Doshas

 

Before delving into specific strategies for staying cool in summer, it’s essential to understand the three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each Dosha is composed of a combination of the five elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth and is responsible for various physiological and psychological functions in the body.

 

  • Vata Dosha: Governed by the elements of air and ether, Vata is characterized by qualities such as cold, dry, light and mobile. Imbalances in Vata Dosha can manifest as anxiety, dry skin, and digestive issues.

 

  • Pitta Dosha: Associated with the elements of fire and water, Pitta is characterized by qualities such as hot, sharp, oily and intense. Imbalances in Pitta Dosha may lead to irritability, inflammation, and digestive disturbances.

 

  • Kapha Dosha: Composed of the elements of water and earth, Kapha is characterized by qualities such as heavy, slow, cold, and stable. Imbalances in Kapha Dosha can result in lethargy, congestion, and weight gain.

 

Pitta Dosha and Summer: A Recipe for Imbalance

 

Summer is considered the Pitta season in Ayurveda, as the intensity of the sun’s rays mirrors the qualities of Pitta Dosha – hot, fiery, and intense. During this time, individuals with a predominance of Pitta Dosha may experience a worsening of Pitta-related imbalances, such as excessive heat, inflammation and irritability.

Common symptoms of Pitta imbalance in summer may include:

  • Skin rashes or irritation
  • Digestive issues such as acidity or heartburn
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Emotional irritability or frustration

To maintain a balance during the summer months, Pitta-dominant individuals need to adopt practices that help pacify Pitta Dosha and stay cool both internally and externally.

 

Staying Cool in summer According to Your Dosha

 

Here are few ways to say cool during summer according to your Dosha:

 

Pitta-Pacifying Diet

One of the most effective ways to balance Pitta Dosha in summer is through diet. Pitta-pacifying foods are cooling, hydrating and nourishing, helping to offset the intensity of the season. Here are some dietary tips for each Dosha:

 

  • For Pitta Dosha: Focus on incorporating sweet, bitter and astringent tastes into your meals. Opt for cooling foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, coconut, leafy greens and sweet fruits like grapes and pears. Avoid spicy, oily and overly salty foods, which can aggravate Pitta.

 

  • For Vata Dosha: Emphasize warm, grounding foods that provide stability and nourishment. Cooked grains, root vegetables, ghee and warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom can help balance Vata’s cold and dry qualities.

 

  • For Kapha Dosha: Choose lighter, stimulating foods that counteract Kapha’s heaviness and congestion. Incorporate pungent, bitter and astringent tastes, such as green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils and spicy herbs like ginger and black pepper.

 

Cooling Lifestyle Practices for summer

 

In addition to dietary modifications, adopting cooling lifestyle practices can further support your efforts to stay balanced in summer:

 

  • Stay Hydrated

 

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and help regulate body temperature. Opt for cool beverages like coconut water, cucumber-infused water or herbal teas with cooling herbs like mint and coriander.

Furthermore, avoid consuming carbonated drinks as they can inhibit your digestion. Fresh fruit juices and nectar that are not chilled are nutritious, satisfying and delicious. Some revitalizing choices include grapes, tasty pineapple and succulent watermelon. 

 

  • Protect Yourself from the Sun

 

Limit exposure to direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day (typically between 10 am and 4 pm). Wear lightweight, breathable clothing and use natural sunscreens to protect your skin from sun damage.

 

  • Practice Mindful Movement

 

Engage in gentle, cooling forms of exercise such as swimming, yoga, or walking in shaded areas. Avoid strenuous activities during the peak heat of the day to prevent overheating.

 

  • Cooling Breathwork

 

Practice pranayama techniques such as Sheetali and Sheetkari to cool the body and calm the mind. These breathing exercises involve inhaling through the mouth with the tongue curled or teeth clenched, respectively, to draw in cool air and release excess heat.

 

  • Take Regular Breaks

 

Listen to your body’s signals and take breaks when needed to rest and rejuvenate. Incorporate moments of stillness and relaxation into your daily routine to help soothe Pitta-related stress and tension.

 

In hot weather, it’s best to wear loose and soft clothing to remain comfortable and cool. Refrain from wearing clothes that are tight or cause itchiness. It is beneficial to assist your body in removing excess heat through activities such as dry brushing, consuming ample water and herbal teas, and adopting a light, fresh, and colorful diet to aid in liver detoxification.

 

It is recommended to avoid outdoor exercise and excessive sun exposure at this time. Conversely, numerous children participate in tennis camps and sports events, where their bodies become more active due to the sun and physical activities. It’s not the right time to be traveling to different shrines or holiday destinations, or to be moving from one relative’s house to another. In the summer months, it’s ideal to remain indoors, consume light meals, and steer clear of direct sunlight.

 

Conclusion

 

As we navigate the heat and intensity of summer, it’s essential to honor our unique constitution and adapt our lifestyle accordingly. By understanding the interplay of the Doshas and implementing Pitta-pacifying strategies, we can stay cool, balanced, and vibrant throughout the summer months.

 

Whether you’re a Pitta-dominant individual seeking relief from summer’s heat or simply looking to optimize your well-being during this season, incorporating Ayurvedic principles into your life can provide valuable guidance and support. By nourishing your body, mind and spirit with cooling foods, lifestyle practices, and mindful awareness, you can embrace the wisdom of Ayurveda and thrive in the summer sun.

You can also seek the help of an Ayurvedic doctor for expert guidance. 

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Consult with Dr. Rekha Radhamony