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Living seasonally : Ayurvedic routine for summer time

Summer time is the time the time to embrace all that life has to offer. Accordingly to Ayurveda, summer is considered the Pitta season, characterized by heat, intensity, and an abundance of energy.

Pitta dosha is composed of fire and water elements. It governs metabolism, digestion, and transformation. During the Pitta season, the external environment mirrors these qualities, often leading to an increase in Pitta dosha within individuals.

How can we stay balanced during this period of time?

Ayurveda encourages us to observe nature closely, as it holds valuable insights into our own well-being. By observing the rhythms, patterns, and cycles of the natural world, we can gain a deeper understanding of our own bodies and minds.

By observing the behavior of plants and animals we can certainly get clues about balance and harmony. Ayurveda teaches us to be attuned to nature, which will guide us towards a more holistic and balanced way of living.

Excess Pitta during the summer can manifest as symptoms such as irritability, anger, inflammation, skin rashes, heartburn, and excessive sweating. Here are some Ayurvedic strategies to pacify Pitta and restore balance during this time:

  • Stay Hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay cool and hydrated. Is lemonade your favorite? Ironically, lemons are actually heating in nature. You can better try infusing your water with cooling herbs like mint or cucumber. Keep also in mind to avoid cold drinks during meals as cold water has Vata increasing properties and thus disturbs a healthy digestion.

  • Eat Cooling Foods and keep meals light & refreshing such as salads, fresh fruits (like watermelon and berries), cucumber, coconut water, and leafy greens. Minimize spicy, oily, and heavy foods which can aggravate Pitta.

  • Adapt your Yoga practice, including restorative backbends supported by a bolster, and Viparita Karani, or 'legs up the wall' pose if your legs are feeling heavy or swollen after a long day in the sun are a good idea!

  • Take Regular Breaks,  especially during the hottest parts of the day.

  • Meditation and Pranayama can help cultivate a sense of inner calm and balance, reducing the intensity of Pitta-related emotions like anger, frustration, and impatience. Choose balancing Pranayama such as Nadi Shodhana & mindfulness meditation.

Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of paying attention to changes in our mental, emotional, and physical states. Feeling out of sync, experiencing mood swings, low energy, or changes in appetite and sleep patterns can also indicate an imbalance.

To determine your specific doshic imbalance, you can consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner who can conduct a comprehensive assessment, including pulse diagnosis (Nadi Pariksha) and examination of your lifestyle, diet, and emotional well-being.

Once you recognize signs of imbalance, you can take steps to restore harmony through Ayurvedic practices such as adjusting your diet and lifestyle, practicing mindfulness and stress reduction techniques, and incorporating herbs and spices that pacify the aggravated dosha. It's essential to listen to your body and make conscious choices that support balance and well-being.

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