“Me mind on fire—Me soul on fire—Feeling hot hot hot
Party people—All around me feeling hot hot hot
What to do—On a night like this
Music sweet— can’t resist”
Feeling Hot Hot Hot—The Merrymen
Ayurveda calls summer pitta season. Pitta is governed by the fire and water elements and is characterized by hot, sharp, spreading, and oily qualities.
The accumulation of summer’s heat can manifest imbalances that cause irritability, eruptions of the skin such as rashes and hives, and an overly judgmental and intense nature. But, if we pay attention to self-care, we can have a sweet, satisfying summer.
Tips for Sailing Through Summer in Coolness and Comfort
If you tend to overheat, pitta’s sour, salty, and pungent tastes that heat are balanced when we favor the sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes that cool.
If we follow nature’s lead and eat in season, we’ll be provided with the foods we need to stay balanced. This online seasonal food guide shows you what’s in season where you are in the US. (Search “seasonal food guide” and your country to find one specific to where you live.)
While a typical Independence Day barbecuing of burgers, steaks, chops, and ribs may be your tradition, it’s actually the antithesis of what we need at this time of year.
The heavy and acidic nature of meat conjures up heat and subsequent inflammation in the body. Before you load up the grill, consider some alternatives, there are loads of plant-based grilling products to satisfy both meat-eaters and vegans alike! Add to your menu some gorgeous side dishes—be sure to include our Broccoli Avocado and Potato Salad—and no one will miss the steaks.
RECIPE: BROCCOLI AVOCADO AND POTATO SALAD
1 c. diced potatoes
2 c. finely chopped broccoli
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
3/4 c. diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
2-3 tbs. shredded coconut; toasting the coconut is optional and tastes great
Chopped Cilantro for garnish
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. Pink salt
1 tbs. toasted cumin seeds
1 tsp. each-ground coriander, ground fennel
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. Turmeric
1 tbs. Nutritional yeast-optional
- Steam the potatoes for about 10 minutes or until soft and tender. Set aside to cool.
- In a blender or food processor, process half of the broccoli until smooth.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the salad fixings, including the processes/blended broccoli.
- Add the dressing to the salad and mix well.
- Garnish with cilantro
Avoid going out to exercise in the midday heat. Head out early in the morning or walk by the light of the moon in the evening. You can even try moon bathing—it’s a thing!
Competitive sports are intense for the mind and body. They can overheat and create imbalances. Favor swimming and, if you walk, run, or hike, seek shaded areas.
Massage the body with coconut oil. Daily abhyanga, Ayurveda self-massage nourishes and relaxes the entire body—life-changing!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day and drink eight ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise. Take note that alcohol and caffeine are dehydrating.
Soothe the Senses & Improve Your Mood with Meditation
Take a step back and observe yourself. Do you tend to have a more competitive nature or are you prone to being judgmental of yourself and others?
A body scan meditation can help you relax, tap into your emotions, and draw on compassion for yourself and others.
When you meditate, do you approach it as if you are bound and determined to get it done? Instead of checking the box at the expense of truly integrating the experience, dismiss any agenda you might have and focus on softening and releasing. Approach each inhale as if you are making a deposit of compassion into your emotional bank account (for yourself and others) and approach each exhale with the intention of letting go of resentment, anger, and irritability.
Notice what your senses are taking in throughout the day. Are the movies, music, TV, and podcasts you see and hear negative or violent?
Keep a consistent schedule and avoid overloading yourself with too many tasks.
Take a look at your schedule and be sure to weave in time for relaxation. Those who tend to overheat are prone toward driving hard and don’t value downtime. It all goes back to balance. Don’t wait until you have pushed yourself to burnout and are forced onto the sidelines!
Eat at consistent times, and avoid skipping meals which can vitiate blood sugar, create irritability, and overheat the body.
Download the Dinacharya, the Ayurvedic Daily Routine
Avoid technology at least one hour before bedtime, turn out the lights by 10:00 pm, and keep your bedroom as dark as possible while you sleep.
Rise by 6:00 am. Set an alarm that provides soft, soothing music to wake you up, or use a dawn-simulating alarm clock.
Before you get up, acknowledge something or someone for whom you are grateful. Starting off with gratitude sets the tone for the rest of the day.