What comes to mind when you think of summer? Is it the longer days, seeing the world around us come alive, or biting into the taste of the season?
Summer feels more playful as the leaves dance in the sun's light, the flowers explode in colors and the bird's sweet song bring awareness to the simplicity. It awakens all of our senses and reminds us to slowdown, breathe a bit deeper, and enjoy all the beauty the earth brings forth. But, it can easily leave us feeling exhausted and drained if we aren't mindful of how we interact with these energies.
In Ayurveda, summer is Pitta season. Pitta Dosha has the characteristics of being oily, sharp, hot, light, mobile and liquid- which is like the hot sticky humidity of summer. Based on Ayurveda, "like increases like". So to stay in balance we need to seek out activities and foods that have soothing, calming, and cooling qualities to avoid becoming aggravated or overexerted physically, mentally or emotionally. A few simple things we can do:
Imagine a day spent at the beach or pool, it may be exactly what we need to stay cool on a hot day, But, if we aren't mindful of how many hours we are spending in the sun or how many times we have applied sunscreen- it can easily result in skin irrtations. Its important to get your natural vitamin D, but it is also important to establish a routine that doesn't leave you feeling exhausted and physically burned by the sun.
What if we only ate foods that are salty, spicy and oily during summer- this would be an example of "like increases like". As we are consuming the qualities of Pitta Dosha, this may result in us feeling agitated and our food would be heavy and hard to digest. But, if we focus on eating fresh, sweet, bitter and astringent foods that are lightly cooked with simple spices and herbs this can help stoke our agni(digestive fire). In turn, helping us to feel cool, calm and lighter.
Summer is full of movement that can also lead to heat exhaustion. It's important that we stay hydrated, but chugging ice cold water is not recommended as it shocks our agni (digestive fire). It is best to slow down and enjoy room temperature infused water. Try adding cucumbers, strawberries and mint to get the sweet cooling effects of these summer bounties.