Summer, like every season, comes with its own individuality. Depending on your constitution, summer can increase your inner sense of harmony or worsen any of your innate tendencies. For example, a person who prefers a cool climate may love winter and will be warmer to such an extent that he may feel uncomfortable with the increase in summer heat.
On the other hand, someone with chronically cold hands and feet, who can never warm up during the winter months, will feel the exact opposite: long cold winters will be a challenge for him and he will like the heat of summer more.
One of the basic principles of Ayurveda is that our habits, routine and diet choices must be adapted to the seasons. We can maintain a good state of balance throughout the year, by making a conscious effort to live in harmony with the cycles of nature and to regularly adjust our lifestyles and habits to accommodate the arrival of each new season. Although this idea may seem daunting at first, many people find that recommended seasonal adjustments come naturally and that a few simple changes can significantly increase a person’s health and vitality.
If you know your nature, you can still take adequate steps to harmonize your inner balance with the changing nature of the seasons.
Summer – a season of pita dosha, lifestyle and general tips
Summer time is full of life energy and most people find it easier to get up early in the morning at this time of year. This is a natural and auspicious rhythm that you should practice if you have not already done so. Early morning is also the best time to exercise. Before bathing, massage your skin with a soothing oil suitable for pita dosha in the summer season, such as coconut or sunflower oil.
This will calm your nervous system and cool your body. Jasmine or khi essential oil are good scents for summer. Be sure to enjoy them. They have soothing, cooling and refreshing properties for the mind.
Wearing light, breathable clothing made of cotton, linen or silk in favorable cooling colors such as white, gray, blue, purple, yellow and green will help protect you from intense heat. Summer is perfect for spending time in nature, but when you’re outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Especially on hot days, there is often an afternoon lull in energy and you may find that a short nap will work well for you.
In the evening, before going to bed, wash and dry your feet and massage them with almond oil to ground your energy and reduce heat. It is best to go to bed no later than 10 or 11 o’clock, to avoid an overly stimulated mind. Also, keep in mind that excess sexual activity can irritate the pita dosha and deplete your energy, so cultivate moderation in this aspect of your life, especially during the summer months.
Your main focus during the summer months should be on maintaining a balanced pita dosha while staying cool and not too busy. You need to find time to relax and ground your energy. You may also find it helpful to learn to recognize the early signs of pie imbalance so that you can take steps to deal with them quickly if they occur.
Pita dosha – exercises suitable for the summer season
Summer can motivate improved physical activity and is generally a great season for more activity, provided you train at the right time and with the right intensity for you. Many warm-up exercises at this time of year are best avoided during the hottest parts of the day, especially from 10:00 to 16:00.
Exercise early in the morning when the weather is fresh and cool. It is also important that the exercises are not too physically engaging and intense. Ideally, exercise with about 50-70% of your capacity, breathing through your nose at all times if possible. After a workout, apply a drop of rose oil to the area of your third eye, throat and navel, to help the body calm down.
Pita dosha – yoga exercises suitable for the summer season
Pita is fiery and intense and especially active in the summer, but you can balance it by simply adjusting your yoga practice to calm any imbalances. Allow the routine to guide you to calm activities: move smoothly and gracefully, keeping your breathing stable. Practice a calm inner consciousness and do not do actions that require great muscular effort. Focus on creating a sense of grounding and balance in body and mind.
Since the solar plexus tends to retain heat, practice asanas (yoga poses) that massage, strengthen and stretch your abdominal area. Always end your yoga practice with a few minutes in the Shavasana pose to ground your energy and reap the benefits of practicing it.
Pita dosha – a suitable diet for the summer season
In summer, our bodies naturally crave light foods and small meals, which are easy to digest, as the digestive fire, which is a strong source of internal heat, dissipates to help us cool off in the heat.
Summer is a time for sweet, bitter and astringent flavors and enjoy cool, liquid, even slightly greasy foods. This is the best time of the year to enjoy fresh fruits and salads. It’s also a great time to indulge in sweet dairy products, such as milk, butter, melted butter, cottage cheese, fresh homemade yogurt and even ice cream in case, of course, you eat animal products. All unrefined sweeteners, except honey and molasses (putty), are cooling and can be used sparingly during the summer months.
When it comes to which drinks are best for dealing with heat, go for lukewarm or room temperature water, mint or lime and a little sugar if you wish. Drink cooling herbal teas such as mint, licorice, dill or rose, but beer from time to time will not hurt you. But be sure to avoid iced drinks, because they upset the digestive balance and create toxins in the body.
It is recommended during the summer days to avoid unripe fruits, aged cheeses and vegetables and spices such as carrots, beets, radishes, onions, garlic and ginger. Try to avoid extremely spicy foods, such as hot red pepper. Also, keep in mind that raw vegetables will be better digested if eaten at lunch rather than dinner.
Herbs. There are numerous herbs that maintain the healthy function of pita dosha and are especially useful during the summer season. Among them are: Amalaki, Brahmi, Kurkums, Bhumyamalaki, Guduchi, Neem and Shatavari.
Use the six flavors with each meal
Ayurveda recognizes six different flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, sharp and soft. Each fruit, vegetable, grain, nuts and more. have a certain taste or a combination of several and you need to take a balance of flavors with each meal. This is because each taste has a specific connection with one of the doshas.
- Jam: carbohydrates and natural sugars
- Sour: sour fruits / vegetables and fermented foods (probiotics)
- Salty: salts (which contain key minerals)
- Spicy: spicy foods (ignite digestion)
- Bitter: dark green leafy vegetables and herbs (antiseptic and detoxifying properties)
- Soft: legumes and cereals
Incorporating each of these flavors into each of your meals not only balances the three doshas, but also ensures that you get all the nutrients your body needs. Biologically, it makes perfect sense because each taste represents different chemicals that our bodies need.
It is easy to eat unhealthy things, especially when our lives are busy, as most of these foods are either very easy to prepare or are ready to eat. But these “easy” foods lack many of the nutrients we need to get from whole foods. In addition, the addition of spices, herbs and lemon juice makes dishes much tastier and healthier.
But don’t just focus on what you eat, but also how you eat it.
Obviously, what we consume plays a big role in the balance of body and mind during the summer season and so it is good to eat a wide range of nutritious foods while avoiding those that upset our system. But the way we eating is just as important as what we eat. Correcting digestive problems can be as simple as making sure your posture is upright and your abdomen is tight.
Ayurvedic science says that digestive problems occur when the digestive fire (called Agni in Ayurveda) is weak, so lighting it before eating is very important for proper digestion. Adding spices such as cumin or turmeric to your diet will help your digestion.
You can also add about a teaspoon of fresh ginger with a few drops of lime juice to the meal before eating. This will help produce the required amount of digestive enzymes.
Ayurveda takes proper digestion very seriously, as it believes that this is the only way our bodies absorb the necessary nutrients, making us feel good. Eat more slowly and drink ginger tea every day, to keep your digestive system in good health and balance, especially on hot summer days.