Light my FIRE.. Summer according to Ayurveda
It’s HOT… and Summer influences the FIRE element in the body. In Ayurveda it is called the Pitta Dosha.
During my favourite season, both the sun and wind become strong, powerful and DRY this time of year. It takes away the cooling qualities of the Earth. And right now, in Australia we are having some of the HOTTEST days on the planet.
WHAT TO DO?
According to Ayurveda, we really need to make adjustment to our lives and diets as seasons change so that our bodies and immunity stay strong.
This medicine teaches us seasonal routines that will help counteract the effects of Summer and help us to balance our bodies energies throughout the year. Some helpful tips are listed below. Ayurveda is inherently an intuitive science and the spirit of Ayurveda is to be gentle with yourself, it is important that these suggestions are not used in a rigid way. These are suggestions to support you to take a more intuitive approach to the food you eat and the activities you get up to during Summer.
Summer tips according to Ayurveda:
DIET: Intuitively how is your appetite in Summer? Generally, we want to eat less in Summertime. Our digestive fire, Agni, is lower in Summer; it actually leaks out of the body. So, overeating should be watched out for.
- Favour the flavours of sweet, bitter and astringent tastes as these cool the FIRE
- Eat fruits like watermelon, dark grapes, cherries, peaches, plums, and berries.
- Use vegetables like cucumber, sweet potato, celery, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, asparagus.
- Drinks such as coconut water which is super cooling and full of minerals lost in the heat. Also, Buttermilk (or yoghurt) with a dash of water and a pinch of cumin, and traditional juice from Indian gooseberry – Amla and sweet lime juice are cooling.
- Cooling Salads and raw vegetables are best taken for lunch when the Agni is strong otherwise these may create gas.
- Avoid foods that produce heat within the body like spicy, oily, fast and fried foods.
- REDUCE coffee, tea and carbonated drinks as they contain acids and caffeine that causes dehydration. These also increase the Pitta dosha.
- Icey drinks may seem to look like they will cool us down, yet the truth is, it actually triggers Pitta and causes heat in the body. Best to throw the ice out!
HERBS: Fire is high, so it is best to avoid too much hot and spicy herbs such as ginger, black pepper, chilli and cayenne pepper. Use some cooling herbs can help like coriander leaves and seeds, mint and fennel.
ACTIVITY: HOT days seem just suck to life out of us sometimes and Summer is the only season where Ayurveda recommends a little nap in the daytime.
Try an avoid too much exercise or exposure to the sun, it heats us up too much. Gentle walks in the cool of the evening, near the water or on the beach. As the texts recommend, walk in the light of the moon – as it is cooling and wear white flowers from frangipanis or gardenias as these balance Pitta. Sounds so romantic!
HOT HEAD! In one of the texts of Ayurveda, it mentions to spend time with “pleasantly talking parrots”… WHAT?? My mind strums over a number of amusing interpretations of what this could mean. I understand this suggestion to imply that the FIRE within us is rising, with that, our patience may also wane a tad. Spend time in pleasant company, otherwise we may be a bit snappy. As one of my teachers once said: “We become the company we keep, choose wisely.”
Use your own tuned in intuition this Summer season, make some simple changes and you will feel better.
Digest well, be well.
Heidi DeWald Veraa
Thinking of wanting to make some changes in your life? Be that with your diet, destressing your life and mind or wanting to lose some weight? Book in for an Ayurvedic Consultation with me. We can do this online or face-to-face in my clinic on the Sunshine Coast. You can book in via the Shop on my website: https://yourlifeinbalance.com.au/product/online-ayurvedic-initial-consultation-90-minutes/