Cooling Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

Well, it’s definitely Summer here in South Florida! The temperatures have been pretty consistently in the 90’s, and the sun has been really hot. So it must be time for me to share my cooling tips with you, largely taken from the Ayurvedic wisdom I’ve been embracing for the past 25 years….

In the Ayurvedic system, summer is Pitta season, which means it is ruled by the Fire element. To keep cool, we want to balance this element by making cooling choices in all areas of our lives, and here are some great easy examples of choices that you can make this Summer.

Nutrition
The most cooling foods are leafy greens, so salads are of course an ideal choice for summer. Enjoy the bounty of vegetables and fruits that are available. Avoid hot spices, sour tastes, and red meat. Favor cooling herbs like parsley, dill, cilantro, and mint. And to prevent dehydration, make sure to drink plenty of pure water. (Ayurveda recommends room temp rather than ice cold, which can dampen the digestive fire.)

Body Care
While I usually highly recommend sesame oil for overall body care, it is a warming oil that can just be too much at this time of year, when cooling coconut oil is often a better choice. Sweet almond oil is another cooling oil that can be used.

Exercise
It should be obvious that playing tennis in the heat of the day is not a good idea, right? This is a better time for swimming, water sports, and relaxation. Work out in air conditioned spaces, and make sure to drink plenty of water.

Aromatherapy
Essential oils are wonderful for so many things, and keeping cool is definitely one of them. The sweet fragrances of rose and lavender are particularly cooling, so definitely keep these around. And here’s a great tip: add a drop of spearmint essential oil to a liter of water, it will both cool and hydrate you.

Just breathe….
There is a special yogic breathing technique that really helps cool down the body (also good for hot flashes!). It’s called the sheetali breath and involves simply breathing in with open lips and closed teeth, or alternatively with rounded lips and a curled tongue. Either way, it brings cool air into the body.

I hope these help! And feel free to share any of your own suggestions below.

Wishing you a cool and beautiful Summer!

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