Ayurveda aims to create harmony between us and our environment. So, as the seasons change, so will our habits, routines, and dietary choices. Summer is the time to incorporate practices that are cooling, relaxing, and neutralizing.
We are now in what is considered Pitta season. The dominant element is fire, with some water. Early summer tends to be more warm and humid and late summer more warm and dry. Depending on your constitution, you are either basking in the heat of the sun or headed into the air-conditioning for relief!
Each season brings it's gifts and challenges. Fire brings the qualities of transformation and illumination. Balanced fire in the mind can make you feel clear and alert. Too much fire will have you feeling short-tempered, impatient, and agitated. Physically, rashes, acid indigestion, or a reactive immune system are signs of a pitta imbalance as well.
Tips for all constitutions to keep pitta in check this summer:
Favor foods that are bitter, astringent, and sweet
Vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, leafy greens, celery, fennel
Grains such as quinoa, white basmati rice, and barley
Fruits include grapes, pomegranates, stone fruits, melon, and limes
Cool and light proteins, such as mung beans, tofu, lean white meats, and fish
Coconuts and coconut products- both internally and externally
Cooling spices, including coriander, cilantro, cardamom, mint, and fennel seed
Reduce spicy foods, coffee, vinegar, alcohol, salty foods, and fried foods
Drink room temperature water, not cold
Avoid strenuous exercise in the mid-day
Practice soothing activities such as swimming, gentle yoga or walking
Enjoy the hopefully slowed down pace of life that this pandemic has gifted us
Practice Sitali Pranayam, a cooling breath practice, explained in the video below