23 Jan Staying Cool this Summer with Ayurveda
Staying cool in Summer can be a challenge, especially here in Melbourne where the temperatures really soar. But if we turn to the yogis for some advice, we can find the ancient ayurvedic practices have a lot to say on this topic. Ayurveda works on three types of energies and characteristics, referred to as doshas. Pitta (heating, fiery, aggressive), kapha (slow, heavy, wet), and vata (airy, fast, movable). When it comes to summer, there is no surprise that pitta is what is dominant in the environment. So, to cool ourselves we have to calm the pitta energy. So what does ayurvedic medicine tell us to do when we feel hot and bothered?
Turn the shower to cold
Turn your phone off. Switch the shower to cool (not freezing), and let the temperature of the water cool down the temperature of your body. Make it a temperature that your can tolerate so you’re not getting flustered while in there, but as cold as you can comfortably go. This will help your body calmly cool down.
Oil self massage
Ayurvedic tradition often looks at oil massage for a range of reasons. It can revitalize the body, it can aid with digestion, and depending on the types of oils you use it can balance out the doshas. For summer when we’re trying to cool pitta, coconut oil is a great choice. And most of us already have some in the cupboard, making it an easy morning ritual.
Legs up the wall
Another cooling practice that is easy and simple. Either on the ground or even in bed, sit yourself next to the wall and extend your legs up, supported by the wall. Let yourself relax, use very little effort. And simply let the energy flow back down your legs. Sometimes our feet and legs can get heavy and tired, this is the perfect practice for relieve those symptoms. But it also calms and cools the entire system.
Do less with your day
The pitta dosha is fiery, busy, and agitated. If we want to balance out that energy within our minds, it can be really beneficial to try to fit in less in our day. And be happy with that. Put two or three things on your to do list and that’s it. It will allow you to calm mentally which will always help us calm down physically.
Swap a vinyasa class for a yin class
We can always use our physical yoga practice to find more balance. When it’s hot and we’re revved up, sometimes we can feel like a vinyasa practice, but that’s just going to increase the heat. Instead try to swap out a faster practice every now and then for a yin or more restorative practice. Yin has a lovely calming and cooling effect on the body and the mind.