The ayurvedic lowdown on summer

/ June 21, 2014/ Holistic Nutrition, Recipes, Yoga/ 0 comments

Feeling the warm breeze on my skin as I walked by the lake, I rejoice in the knowledge that summer is here! The weather is warm enough to start putting in place the ayurvedic guidelines for summer. So keep reading to find out what is the lowdown for good health and holistic bliss.

If you need an introduction to the ayurvedic concepts discussed in this topic, read the ayurvedic lowdown for spring. I also recommend that you read some of the resources listed in the Ayurvedic Institute website for a more complete introduction ayurvedic science in and tests to find out what your constitution is.

Summer and late spring are the seasons for pitta. To remain in balance, we need to follow a regimen that keep us cool and that pacifies pitta especially, if your constitution is primarily pitta.

The qualities of summer are hot, bright, and sharp. The key to keep pitta in balance is moderation!.

What to eat

Choose cooling foods with a variety of raw foods. Favor foods with bitter, sweet, and astringent taste which are cooling.

  • Bitter taste foods help you to detoxify your system and to balance kapha and pitta.
  • Sweet taste foods help you stay cool and subdue the excess of vat and pitta. Be careful, excessive intake of sweets leads to obesity, diabetes, parasites, and kapha-like disturbances.
  • Astringent taste foods help to balance kapha and pitta.

Here is a list of recommended foods summer:

  • Green leafy vegetables such as collards, turnip greens, dandelion greens, and watercress (bitter)
  • Asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cucumber (bitter)
  • Legumes except heating lentils (astringent)
  • Whole grains such as barley, basmati rice, and wheat (sweet and astringent)
  • Fruits such as peaches, watermelon, berries, fresh coconut, and pomegranates (sweet and astringent)
  • Chicken, turkey, rabbit, and venison
  • Cumin, coriander, saffron, dill, fennel, mint, and parsley (cooling spices)

Sour, salty, and pungent taste aggravate pitta. Here is a list of foods to avoid:

  • Heavy, fried, and oily foods
  • Hard cheeses, sour cream, buttermilk, and yogurt (sour)
  • Read meat, seafood, garlic, and hot spices
  • Hot drinks

For a refreshing recipe see, Watermelon Granita.

What to do

Keeping cool is vital! Here are some of the recommendations:

  • Avoid excessive heat, steam, and humidity.
  • Get plenty of fresh air.
  • Go for a walk in the moonlight.
  • If you are accustomed to strenuous exercise, do it only early in the morning.
  • Short nap during the day if you feel low in energy.

What to practice in yoga

Practice quiet meditation and mild postures such as:

Practice breathing exercises such as:

Avoid inversions such as headstand and shoulder stand as they aggravate pitta…

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