Sweaty...sticky...irritable… parched...ahhh, summertime. The heat is high, and the discomfort is real. Flushed skin, excess sweating, a quick temper, and thirst imply an imbalance of your pitta dosha, the fiery energy that regulates your heat and metabolism. And since in Ayurveda, like is said to increase like, soaring temperatures can further throw your pitta dosha out of whack. The cooling solution? Follow these tips to calm your agni (internal fire), which will restore energy, clearheadedness, joy, and strength.
Sip plenty of water (roughly 8-10 cups) throughout the day. Tired of plain H 2 0? Cucumber water, coconut water, and watermelon juice are cooling alternatives. Drink liquids at room temperature; your body has to regulate its internal temperature after sipping hot or cold beverages, which can disrupt digestion.
See also Quiz: What's Your Dosha?
Heated yoga spaces and athletic flows stimulate your fire element—which can leave you feeling lightheaded, overheated, and drained during the hotter months. The wave-like sequence on the following pages is designed to open the water and air elements that reside in your pelvis and heart channels and soothe the excess warmth that can build in your solar plexus.
Melt into each posture for several breaths. Once you’re comfortable with each pose on its own, practice moving freely from one to the next until it feels almost like a dance. As you find your flow state, your body and mind will ease and restore to a place of balance. Try both sides a couple of times.
Rethink Your Diet
In Ayurveda, sour, spicy, and salty foods (plus red wine, red meat, and hard liquor) are considered heat-builders, so avoid them when it is hot out. Instead, fill up on foods with sweet, bitter, and astringent qualities, which are more cooling. Cook with cilantro or mint, snack on sunflower seeds, or top your oats with ghee. Enjoy plenty of fruits and veggies such as berries, melons, zucchini, broccoli, kale, and spinach.
Bask in the Moon’s Glow
Excess heat generates a pitta surplus, so steer clear of direct sunlight during peak daylight hours and dress in reflective clothing (think airy whites, blues, greens, or grays) to keep cool. In the evenings, take a stroll in the moonlight: The lunar rays are soothing for your subtle energy body.