Summer wellbeing: an Ayurvedic guide
When trying to align ourselves with the changing seasons, we need to bear in mind the great Ayurvedicprinciple of ‘like increasing like’. To help keep you balanced, you need a diet and lifestyle that is opposite to the quality of the season.
In summer, the fire element is higher with more warmth, dryness and lightness. The increase in environmental heat can influence the onset of inflammatory symptoms such as hay-fever, prickly heat and summer fevers. Similarly, our emotions can also become naturally more ‘heated’ and we may experience a tendency to become slightly more ‘hot under the collar’ in stressful or unexpected situations. So, naturally, summer is a time of calming and reducing heat.
Here are some top tips for a summer routine that will leave you feeling cool, calm and collected during the summer:
- Wake with the rising morning sun, take advantage of our natural instinct to awaken earlier
- Brush your teeth with cooling toothpastes such as neem or peppermint to clear heat
- Have a light massage with cooling oils such as almond or coconut to release some of the pent-up heat accumulated overnight
- For a blissful start to your day, walk with bare feet on a cool dewy lawn
- Start a daily yoga or meditation practice that will calm the body and mind, cooling your internal temperature. Heat often builds in the digestive tract during the summer months, so try and incorporate abdominal stretches and twists. After your yoga practice or meditation, you can place a drop of cooling calming essential oil between the eyebrows, such as rose oil
- Fill your diet with cooling foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent that are light and easy to digest. Avoid dark meats such as beef, lamb and pork; pungent flavours such as those from citrus fruits and the garlic and onion family; salt and sour flavours and heavy dairy products
- As the weather hots up, the emotions can take a similar route. You might find yourself becoming more ‘hot under the collar’ than usual. A good trick is to take a mouthful of cool water and hold it in your mouth for 10 seconds before you speak
- Before bed, try rubbing the soles of your feet with a cooling oil such as almond, coconut or castor oil to draw the heat down and out of the body
- For a bit of extra indulgence, wash your face in rosewater and fill your room with the scent of relaxing cooling scents such as rose and jasmine
- Try and get to bed before 11pm before the levels of the fire dosha ‘pitta’ begin to peak
Your herbal heroes for the summer are cooling, calming herbs such as aloe vera, wheat grass, spirulina, shatavari, peppermint, rose and licorice.
To discover your dosha, take our online dosha quiz and start your path of Ayurvedic discovery today.