Ayurvedic Tips for Summer
As the sun shines brightly and temperatures rise during the summer season, it’s essential to adjust our lifestyle and self-care routines to stay balanced and healthy. Ayurveda offers valuable insights and tips for thriving during the summer months. Here are some Ayurvedic tips to keep you cool, refreshed, and in harmony with the season.
Hydration is key during summer to counterbalance the heat and prevent dehydration. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and include cooling beverages like coconut water, sugar cane juice, fresh fruit juice, and herbal teas such as peppermint, licorice,coriander seeds or fennel. Infuse water with mint leaves, cucumber slices, or a squeeze of lemon for a refreshing twist.
Although you may be tempted to add ice to your drinks, ice should be avoided as it can disrupt the digestive fire—instead keep your water in earthen pots or copper vessels for naturally cool water.
Eat Cooling Foods
Favor light, cooling foods that balance the internal heat of the body. Include fresh fruits such as apple, coconut, berries, avocado, lime, prunes, plums and pomegranate, and cooling vegetables like cucumber, celery, cilantro, asparagus, broccoli, beets, greens, and watercress. Opt for lighter meals and enjoy cooling spices like coriander, mint, and fennel in your dishes.
Protect Your Skin
Shield your skin from the intense sun rays by wearing loose-fitting, light-colored (white, grey, pale blue and green) clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when venturing outdoors. Cooling herbs like aloe vera or sandalwood paste can soothe sunburn and reduce skin inflammation if you get too much sun.
Practice Daily Oil Massage
Abhyanga, or self-massage with cooling oils, is a wonderful Ayurvedic practice for summer. Use coconut or sunflower oil to nourish and hydrate your skin. Massage in gentle, circular motions before taking a shower to enhance circulation and keep your skin supple.
Cool Down with Aromatherapy
Aromatic essential oils can help cool the body and soothe the mind. Add a few drops of rose, jasmine, or sandalwood oil to a diffuser or mix them with a carrier oil for a refreshing body massage. These oils have cooling properties and can provide relief from heat-related discomfort.
Practice Yoga and Pranayama
Engage in a regular yoga practice to keep your body and mind balanced. Include calming and cooling postures such as:
- Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
- Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
- Salabhasana – Butterfly Pose
- Ustrasana – Camel pose
- Setu bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge pose
Incorporate Pranayama (breathing exercises) like Sheetali and Sheetkari to reduce body heat and induce a sense of calm.
Follow a Routine
Establish a daily routine that aligns with the natural rhythm of the day. Wake up early to enjoy the cooler morning hours, and engage in outdoor activities or exercise during this time. Avoid exposure to the midday sun when it’s at its peak intensity. Establish a consistent sleep schedule to ensure quality rest and rejuvenation.
Stay Mindful of Pitta Imbalances
The summer season corresponds to the Pitta dosha in Ayurveda, and excess Pitta can manifest as irritability, indigestion, and skin issues. To balance Pitta, practice stress management techniques like meditation and engage in calming activities that bring joy and relaxation.
By embracing these Ayurvedic tips, you can navigate the summer season with vitality and well-being. Remember to listen to your body, honor your individual constitution, and seek guidance from an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized recommendations. Stay cool, hydrated, and connected to the natural rhythms of the season for a blissful summer experience.
Dr. Joshna K.G., BAMS
Dr. Joshna received her Bachelor’s Degree in Ayurveda from Sri Raghavendra Ayurveda Medical College in India and has expertise in clinical, para-surgical, and Panchakarma practices.