Ayurveda has quickly evolved into a household name used among yogis and alternative health enthusiasts. But what is it exactly? Our friends and ayurveda experts at XUXO Healing lend their insight on why keeping cool during the summer is actually more important than we think (it's not just a matter of comfort!), while giving some practical tips on how to cool down our internal systems.
The HistoryAyurveda is the oldest healing system in the world. Ayuh meaning life and veda meaning knowledge, this practice centers around the pursuit of balance and harmony between you and your environment.
Ayurveda consists of the 5 elements; air, space, water, fire and earth. Everything on this planet is made of these elements, including ourselves according to ayurvedic principles. People fall in either of the 3 doshas which also correlate with the seasons; pitta, vata, and kapha dosha. Summer is Pitta season (the fire element), meaning intensified heat, firey emotions, shorter fuses, and energetic outbursts. Sound familiar? Our doshas naturally increase during seasons with similar qualities to itself. With summer, the fire element will increase. This means that we can quickly begin to feel out of balance, overdoing it by over heating from exertion and summer heat. It's extremely important to eat cooling foods and practice activities that calm and cool the body and mind to maintain equilibrium.
Signs of Dehydration (Pitta Excess)
- Sunburn, red skin irritation, acne
- Cracked skin and lips
- Dry eyes
- Sore muscles
- Diarrhea, irregular eliminations
- Anger, fiery, competitive
Ways to Keep Cool this Summer & Maintain Dosha Balance
- Drink water with electrolytes: Make sure you’re drinking water that has a good source of electrolytes and minerals. Waiakea water has magnesium, potassium, silica, sodium, and calcium. These guys are nature's building blocks to hold water in the cells and aid in the proper flow of nutrients. Magnesium regulates transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature, detoxification, and energy production. Potassium helps the brain, nerves, and muscles function correctly, and plays an essential role in the breakdown of amino acids and carbohydrates. Calcium strengthens bone structure, teeth, and cell membranes, ensures nerve and muscle impulses are properly transmitted, and helps prevent blood clotting. Sodium is an essential factor in hydration as it holds water in the cells. It also helps send nerve impulses, and is needed for all muscle contractions. Lastly, silica provides the answer to healthier, younger looking, more radiant skin, hair, nails while promoting good bone health.
- Eat cooling foods: Indulge in foods that are cooling, sweet, astringent, and slightly liquid. Enjoy fresh fruits, salads, and occasional smoothies. Some examples of cooling foods are; mint, cilantro, fennel, cucumber, and coconut. Have fun eating wet and alkaline rich foods like; jicama, radish, daikon, and lemons/limes. Try snacks like; celery and almond butter or hummus and cucumber.
- Get wet! Take advantage of natural bodies of water. Try kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling or even standing under a waterfall! Taking a cooling shower in times of intense heat will also ease an aggravated pitta. After the shower apply coconut oil to cool the skin. Make sure the skin is fully wet before application. Try to exercise in the morning or at night to avoid super hot temperatures.