Dehydration, tiredness, lack of appetite, dryness of the skin and fatigue are common during summer months. Going by Ayurveda, one of the oldest sciences of health and well-being, this is due to an imbalance in the Doshas or bio energies during the summer, when Pitta tends to get aggravated, Kapha is reduced due to excessive heat and Vata dosha increases. So what does an ideal diet include, that can help you keep your Dosha imbalances in check this summer?
According to Ayurveda, each season is dominated by unique Dosha or bio energy. Doshas are a combination of the five great elements- earth, water, fire, space and ether. For example, summer is dominated by Pitta and is essentially a Pitta season. Pitta combines water and fire elements and Ayurveda strongly recommends a diet and lifestyle routine (Ritucharya) for the summer that balances Pitta, while making sure Kapha does not get imbalanced beyond a point, which could affect the digestive fire in the body. Simply put, here we bring few very useful tips that can help you get through this summer with a happy and calm enough digestive system.
1) Moderate eating
You might experience lack of appetite during summer. This is due to digestive fire being low. Here, respecting you body signals is important. So you must balance this out by eating in moderation. Not eating at all, might cause Pitta to rise and also aggravate the other two Doshas. During summer, your body likes to have for more fluids.But not all fluids are good for you in this season.
2) The right fluids for summer
Try and avoid
-Minimize consumption of alcohol
You can have
–Sherbet or juices prepared from Indian gooseberry, kokum, and raw mangoes
3) Right foods for the summer
You can have:
-Fruits (mixed or blended)-
-watermelon, peaches, plums, mangoes, grapes, pears, avocado and berries
-Salads and juices
-Bitter sweet veggies like asparagus, cucumber, cabbage, sweet potato, and celery
You should avoid:
–Spicy and oily food
-Fermented, fried, artificially flavored or stale food,
-Sour cream and cheese,
4) Herbs for summer
Some herbs that help you bring balance of the Doshas during summer are
-goose berries ,
–Brahmi, (water hyssop)
5) Reduce your work out
You almost heard that right. During summer, the prana or life force is low due to the heat in your environment. So Ayurveda suggests you do not physically exert yourself too much and take up leisure sports like swimming or water polo that makes you stay near water or in it. But nothing that causes too much exertion. Summers provide a great natural excuse to slink away.
6) Ayurveda recommends detoxification and rejuvenation therapies to slay the summer
Based on your individual constitution, there are various Ayurvedic therapies you can take during the turn of the season to get rid of the stressful toxins that have accumulated in your body due to irregular lifestyle habits and Dosha imbalances.
- Shirodhara (a Panchakarma process where stream of oil is gently pouring liquids over the forehead )
- Nasya (a Panchakarma process to purify your nasal passages. It helps treat and headaches, hair fall, congestion or allergies,) or
- Netra Tarpana (An Ayurvedic treatment to soothe, lubricate and relax the over stressed and overused pair of eyes)
It might help to know that, situated in the lap of the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains in Boone, North Carolina, The Art of Living Retreat Center offers one of the best Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments, ranked the #1 Ayurveda program in the US by Organic Spa Magazine.
7) Breathing Exercises for the summer
You can kick start your day with a couple of sun salutations. These will help you improve your blood circulation and settles the imbalances in your digestive fire.
- A few rounds of Shitali Pranayama (literally means ‘cooling breath) and
- Shitkari Pranayama can be practiced
8) Other Ayurveda prescribed tips to let the steam off and handle the Pitta
Walk in the gardens or around water bodies
Walk in the moonlight
Listen to calming music,