Healthy people change their behavior patterns and food preferences from season to season, following changes in nature and weather. However, people that have health issues lose their connection to natural rhythms and keep the same diet and behavior throughout the year which only worsens their health condition. Ayurveda can provide us guidance to a healthier lifestyle depending on the season and weather conditions. In this article, we will share with you Ayurvedic tips for the summer season that will help you to stay healthy and full of energy throughout the summer.
Ayurveda and Seasonal Changes
A season is a behavior trend that manifests itself in all living beings. For example, in winter, people naturally want to sleep more, eat hot meals and high-calorie food, and spend more time at home with their loved ones. This behavior during the winter season gives us health, supports the nervous and immune systems, and saves energy. This is the time when we recover, connect with our family, remember traditions, and pay tribute to our ancestors.
Why are we drawn to this behavior in winter? According to Ayurveda, winter is the time of Vata dosha, the main qualities of which are lightness and cold. To reduce Vata, we should be grounded, calm, and warm our body and soul. Most people naturally do it.
Summer, on the contrary, the time of the abundant nature. This is a period of lightness, energy, movement, bright colors, and communication with nature. If during summertime you tend to keep the winter behavior (prefer to stay at home, eat hot high-calorie food, and sleep a lot) your energy will go away, and your body will be exhausted.
A healthy person intuitively wants to go out and spend more time connecting to nature, moves a lot, prefers to eat lighter food than usual, swims, and drinks more water during the summertime.
According to Ayurveda, summer is controlled by the Pitta dosha, which is a combination of the water and fire elements.
Out of all of the five elements, only fire can transform matter from one state to another. Therefore, Pitta, like bile in our body, is responsible for digestion. Pitta represents the fire of transformation. It determines how well you absorb nutrients (on the physical level), as well as understand the essence of things (on the mental level).
It is very important to learn how to control the Pitta fire especially during summertime.
If there is too much fire, Pitta will dry your body from the inside, which will affect your skin, hair, and mucous membranes. Too much fire element also causes inflammation, heartburn, and increased appetite. And on the mental level, fire causes anger, irritability, and criticism.
At the same time, a moderate fire will give you energy for internal and external transformation. By understanding the essence of Pitta, we can use its qualities to our advantage. Balanced Pitta gives determination, performance, leadership, energy, passion, good metabolism, a clear mind, and smooth skin.
If you are mindful of the Pitta dosha during summertime, you will be receiving its benefits all year long. Summer is the most resource-intensive time of the year – there are abundant number of fruit, vegetables, berries, and herbs you can include in your diet to boost your vitamin and mineral levels. Healthy digestion will allow you to absorb the maximum of vitamins, and a clear mind and insight that Pitta dosha provides will help you set up clear goals and manifest the most ambitious plans.
To keep Pitta under control, it must be balanced. Therefore, the keys to a comfortable Pitta season are cooling relaxation, moderation, hydration, and grounding.
18 Ayurvedic Tips For The Summer Season
Now let us share with you 18 Ayurvedic tips for the summer season that will help you to stay in tune with nature rhythms!
Tip #1: Give Up Heavy Food
In summer, your body needs less energy from food, and it is better to take it from seasonal products that are maximally charged with vitamins.
Ayurveda recommends to exclude or minimize:
- heavy gluten cereals;
- citrus fruits;
- spicy food;
- sour and salty foods;
- raw onions and garlic;
- black pepper and chili peppers;
- tomato juice;
- sour and unripe fruits;
- mustard seeds;
- poppy seeds;
- fermented foods.
Tip #2: Detox
In the summer, it is very good to go through a detox. To learn more about ayurvedic detox, read our article “Ayurvedic Detox Tips“.
Tip #3: Include seasonal and local fruits, vegetables, berries, and herbs in your diet
The Summer menu should be based on seasonal and local fruits, vegetables, herbs, and berries. These foods are the best sources of micronutrients and have a cooling effect.
Tip #4: Use herbs, oils, and spices with a cooling effect
These are chamomile, peppermint, dandelion, fresh coriander, dill, rose, lemon verbena, licorice, aloe vera in the form of juice or gel, cardamom, saffron, turmeric, fennel seeds.
Tip #5: Support your liver with the bitter taste
During summertime, it is good to include wild plants and bitter greens into your diet. The bitter taste supports the liver. Eat at least two large portions of green salad a day. Greens, in addition, contain chlorophyll, which alkalizes, cools, and saturates the body with oxygen.
Tip #6: Lean on the turmeric
You can add it to juice and smoothies. Turmeric also supports liver function, acts as an anti-inflammatory, cleanses the body, and can help with skin, indigestion, and gallstones problems.
Tip #7: Include coconut in your diet
Include as many coconut products as possible in your diet (oil, milk, water, flakes, etc.). Cook with coconut milk, make smoothies with coconut water, and use coconut oil in your beauty routine. You can rub coconut oil into your hair and rinse your mouth with it. Coconut cools very well, improving your skin and the mental state.
Tip #8: Don’t skip meals!
It is not good to skip your meals during summer. However, keep in mind that the heaviest meal should be between 10 am and 2 pm. Eat in a measured and relaxed manner.
Tip #9: Use cooling drinks
During summertime, Ayurveda recommends drinking more:
- room temperature (not cold!) water with slices of cucumber, lime and fresh mint;
- coconut water;
- coconut milk;
- bitter and astringent herbal ayurvedic teas based on mint, hibiscus, strawberry leaf, dandelion, chicory, licorice root;
- wetgrass and fresh juices (such as pomegranate, pineapple, cranberry, celery, and green vegetables juices);
- green smoothies with coriander and arugula.
Tip #10: Take supplements
Ayurveda recommends to use supplements that calm the mind, purify the blood, and reduce inflammation:
Tip #11: Get up early
It is best to get up before sunrise. If you feel like it’s too difficult for you, then at least try to get up before 9 am. The Pitta period begins at 10 am. Therefore it is recommended to get up, exercise, and have breakfast before 10 am. If you Wake up late, physical activity after 10 am will overheat and tire you out, instead of energizing you.
Tip #12: Use cooling oils for massage
It is good to use cooling oils for your massages during summertime. Such oils as coconut, olive, and sunflower are perfect for light massages. Oils can be infused with cooling bitter and sweet herbs. Touches during a massage should be careful, softening, and not warming up.
Tip #13: Keep moderate activity of medium complexity
During summertime, it is recommended to include activities as regular cycling, swimming, walks, qigong, or Tai Chi in your routine. It is recommended to perform physical activities that give you a short time sweating that should end with a cold shower. Prolonged sweating are not recommended because it can cause thirst, burning sensation, dizziness, and fever.
Exclude or minimize the following activities during summer season:
- aerobics classes;
- exercises with effort and tension;
- excessive activity during the midday heat;
- extreme sports.
Tip #14: Practice Yoga
Build your yoga practice in such a way that the emphasis is on flexibility and regularity, not strength; and your focus is on the process, not on the result. Include more sitting or recumbent asanas, shoulder stand, forward bends, twists, and bends lying on the stomach.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana;
- Chandra Namaskar complex.
Tip #15: Practice Pranayama
Choose pranayama practice with a cooling and calming effect. For example, you can choose sheetkari pranayama that cools the body and reduces thirst.
Tip #16: Meditate
You can choose any kinds of meditations. However, during the summer season, it is good to meditate on the sounds of water, the noise of leaves, and the birds singing. Meditation is a very beneficial practice for both Pitta and Vata, as it calms the agitated mind of these doshas.
Tip #17: Use aromatherapy
During summertime use the following essential oils for aromatherapy:
You can use these oils in the aromatherapy diffuser, add them to your massage oil, or burn them in the aromatherapy essential oils burner.
Tip #18: Use color therapy
To balance the excessive fire element during summertime, choose clothing in blue, green, and white colors. Make sure you choose natural fabrics.
Surround yourself with cool colors – add more blue and white decorative elements in your interior design.
Try to avoid very rich or very bright colors (especially red) during the summer season. Gray and brown colors can be used, but deep black is best avoided.
The Bottom Line
Summer season is the recharging time. Use this time to relaxing, calm down, have fun, find mental peace, and restore your health with all the vitamins and minerals nature can provide. Ayurveda suggests us do less and feel more during summer. Set aside time for a relaxing break every day. Spend more time with family members and friends. Try gardening as your new hobby. Walk barefoot more on the beach and on the grass – it will help you ground yourself and recharge.
We hope these 18 Ayurvedic tips for the summer season will help you stay healthy, happy, and energized!