5 ayurvedic tips to keep it cool this summer
posted: July 18, 2014
Longer days, warmer weather, and bright sunshine stoke a summer glow. But the high humidity and intense sunlight can also cause sunburn, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and cranky moods.
According to Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, which emphasizes daily self-care, summer is related to the pitta dosha and fire element. Both share the same qualities of hot, light/bright, and sharp. Since like increases like, it’s important to keep your pitta dosha and fire element pacified during summer.
Integrate these easy, effective, and enjoyable Ayurvedic tips into your daily routine and summer workouts. You will maintain a cool body temperature, healthy skin, and a chilled-out attitude all summer long.
When temperatures rise, one changes their wardrobe. Yet most folks don’t change their yoga practice. Adjust your practice to release excess heat from the body and mind. Everyone, especially those with more fire element in their constitution, benefit from cooling poses.
The best poses to keep cool on your mat are hip openers because they stimulate the water element. Favour these ones, which keep your solar plexus area soft, so as not to ignite the fire element.
- Seated Straddle Fold
Keep body temperatures from rising too high by only lifting arms halfway in poses like Warrior I and Warrior II.
Favour sweet and bitter foods and minimize spicy, sour, and salty foods. Fresh juicy fruits like plums, blueberries, apricots and watermelon, as well as bitter vegetables like arugula, chard, cucumber, cilantro and summer squash, best support digestion during summer.
Sun, salty water, and chlorinated pools all stress skin. Refresh sunburned skin and soothe hot emotions with coconut oil and rose water spritzes. Apply a little organic coconut oil after showering to soothe red irritated skin. To avoid excess body heat and sweating, spritz the body throughout the day with organic rose water (a spray to the crown of head, back of neck, and wrists provides instant cooling relief)
Take a little summer holiday from intense workouts—at least during the heat of mid-day. Slow down and create some calorie-burning, muscle-toning fun by integrating playtime into your routine. Try paddleboard yoga. Climb a tree. Make sandcastles. Skip rope. Dance under the moonlight.
Sip cooling drinks like organic coconut water and AyurAde tonics. They maintain electrolyte balance, boost energy levels, and staying hydrated supports healthy skin from the inside out, resulting in a radiance this summer, and well into your golden years. Here’s an easy refreshing AyurAde tonic for the gym, or to take to the beach or lake and sip on your towel between dips.
Kuru Rose AyurAde
11 medium cut cucumber slices
I/2 tsp organic rose water
Pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt
Sprig of fresh mint leaves
In a 64 oz glass pitcher or jar, add the above to spring or filtered water. Allow about 20 minutes for everything to mingle. Pour, sip, and enjoy. (“Kuru” means “cool” in Japanese). Add a fresh mint leaf to each glass.
Kellen is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, yoga teacher, writer, and lululemon ambassador in Santa Barbara. She believes daily self-care is the most important element of health, well-being, and optimal creativity. That, and the occasional cupcake. Connect with her at www.kellenbrugman.com.