Have you ever noticed a shift in your mood and perception when the seasons change? For many of us, the heaviness of spring giving way to the lightness of summer brings with it a sense of lightness in body and mind.
Our day to day lifestyles and activities shift when kids get out of school or the company we work for changes to it’s “casual” Fridays or Fridays off policy. It stays light out so that we are able to enjoy time outside after work, the flowers and trees are bursting with color, and birds are chirping away. It’s no wonder that many of us look forward to the summer season and really thrive in it!
Luckily, that lightness of being helps to balance out the intensity of the heat in summer, but for some of us, that may not be enough. The summer heat can provoke skin eruptions (think rashes, hives, poison ivy), diarrhea, irritability, and a tendency to be too judgmental.
Riding the Heat Waves of Summer in Serenity
Follow seasonal eating guidelines. Bitter, astringent, and sweet flavors are cooling. Take advantage of the bodacious bounty of berries and other fruits available for their anti-inflammatory and cooling qualities.
Reduce your intake of meat at the barbecue as its acid qualities are heating. Instead, favor more beans for protein. Load up with liver lovin’ salads for their bitter yet benevolent benefits that promote detoxifying and destagnating/bile thinning effects. Spicy foods such as wasabi and hot chili peppers are, typically, not our friends at this time of year. Carefully explore how much of them you can eat without feeling too much heat. Continue to align with all things alkaline and you will be feeling fine & divine!
As the fire element pre-dominates in summer, we are aware of the need to stay hydrated so that we don’t burn out. Ayurveda, generally, recommends drinking half of one’s body weight in ounces per day. You can also add 8 ounces of water per hour of exercise or other activity that promotes perspiration.
Whenever possible, avoid exercising or working outside in the intensity of the midday sun. Walking “by the light of the silvery moon” is in favor at this time of year. Let go of heating, sharp, penetrating stares. Allow a diffusive gaze at La bella luna to invoke calming and cooling characteristics that transport you to a place of peacefulness.
Love the Skin You’re In
If you tend to suffer from skin eruptions, following the aforementioned guidelines can help to mitigate the effects of the heat or even prevent skin eruptions from occurring at all. Massaging the feet with coconut oil at bedtime is super self-care for keeping cool. The following are a few additional remedies for common summer complaints:
More Summer Remedies
A hot flash ‘cocktail’ consists of 1 cup pomegranate juice or 2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate syrup mixed with 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon of natural sugar, and 5 to 10 drops of lime juice. Drink up to twice per day.
Poison Ivy/Hives/Bug bites/Rashes
- Blend a bunch of fresh cilantro with about 1/3 cup of water. Drink the juice and apply the remaining pulp to the affected area.
- Apply fresh coconut water to the affected area.
- Melons soothe the skin too. Eat the melon and rub the rind (not the skin) on the affected area. If you eat watermelon, eat the red part and apply the white part to the skin.
- Steep 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon ofnatural sugar in 1 cup hot milk for about five minutes. Drink up to twice per day.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon of coriander, 1 tablespoon of cumin, and 2 tablespoons of natural sugar. Steep 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture in a cup of hot milk for about five minutes. Drink up to twice per day until skin is healed.
Avoid being “hot-headed” and sleep deprived with gentle, cooling, calming forward bends, as well as shitali and shitkari pranayama (breath work). Consult with your yoga teacher for a demonstration.
May these recommendations find you floating away on a pool of infinite wellness.