How to Beat the Summer Heat: Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool When Temperatures Soar [Episode #810]
This week’s topic is: How to Beat the Summer Heat: Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool When Temperatures Soar
Do not worry if you live in a place that is currently sweltering hot, because we have some simple, yet powerful tips that come from the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, so you can start to balance the Pitta, the fire element, which accrues a lot in August.
It’s really important to find the balance with the fire, and the other elements, of water, air, space, and earth, to make sure that this fire doesn’t get too much, which can accumulate into that searing inflammation, the rosacea, the burning, the anxiety, irritation, frustration, diarrhea. Many different disorders can come when there is an excess of fire and we want to learn to work with the fire, which is very powerful and the element of transformation.
We want to make sure that we keep this beautiful balance throughout our systems, which we adjust seasonally. In other months, there is a preponderance of the other elements. This beauty of self-care, which comes from tuning in with Ayurveda, the Pancha Bhootas theory, the five elements in nature are the same elements in our body. And today I’ll be sharing tips on ways to expand in this area of your life while incorporating all the Cornerstones because everything affects everything else.
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Kimberly: 00:00 <silence> Namaste, love and welcome back to our very practical, timely Thursday q and a show today where our topic is How to Beat the Summer Heat: Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool When Temperatures Soar. So do not worry if you live in a place that is currently sweltering hot, because we have some practical tips for you today. Some simple but powerful tips that come from the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, this ancient medical science that you can start to incorporate to balance the Pitta, the fire element, which accrues a lot in August. It’s been building in our bodies for the past few weeks and months, and it can come to a crescendo this month. So it’s really important to find the balance with the fire, with the other elements, specifically water, air, space, and earth, to make sure that this fire doesn’t get too much, which can, you know, accumulate into that, searing that inflammation, the rosacea, the burning, the anxiety, irritation, frustration, diarrhea.
01:11 Many different disorders can come when there is an excess of fire. So we wanna work, wanna learn to work with the fire, which is very powerful, the element of transformation. And we wanna make sure that we keep this beautiful balance throughout our systems, which we adjust seasonally. So in other months, there is a preponderance of the other elements. So this beauty of self-care, which comes from tuning in with Ayurveda, the Pancha Mahata theory, the five elements in nature are the same elements in our body. So whatever’s happening in nature is something that we can’t extricate ourselves from. We are innately connected to all, to each other, to the collective. We are part of nature. So what we do is we, you know, we’re like that beautiful tree swaying in the wind and going with the flow. We’re rooted, we’re grounded in ourselves, in our intuitive wisdom, and this gives us the ability to adjust our foods, our practices, the ways in which we live our lives, season to season.
02:23 Of course, we keep some core fundamental aspects such as taking our S B O probiotics every day, ideally drinking hot water with lemon, drinking our g g s, taking Detoxy at night. These are some of our core principles, but the foods that we eat, the herbs that we may use, the ways in which we exercise, the timing for our exercise, so on and so forth, can adjust for the season. So I’m very excited to get into our show today.
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03:26 So thank you very much for being in our community and, and being a participant. You can ask questions. These, all these community questions come directly from you guys. So if you head over to my sauna.com, there’s a tab for the podcast and anything that you’re wondering about, I can almost guarantee other people have the same questions. So you can submit your questions over on there. And another aspect that our community was founded on was, is, you know, sharing and support. So the sharing part, you can also participate in by sharing this episode with anyone that you think could benefit from cooling down the show in general, any other episodes with others. This is how we share from our heart, this is how we expand our connection, our abundance. So I definitely encourage that as well.
Question around the topic of: How to Beat the Summer Heat: Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool When Temperatures Soar: Temperatures here in Houston have been sweltering this summer. I find that it is really throwing my eating patterns off because my body is always so hot. What can I eat to keep cool?
All right, let’s get into our show today. And our question comes from Janelle, who lives in Houston, Texas, sending you much love out there, Janelle. My Texan beauty, I have a lot of Texas friends, and I know it is hot. As you write in your question, temperatures here in Houston have been sweltering this summer. I find that it really throws off my eating patterns because my body is always so hot. What can I eat to keep cool?
So thank you so much, Janelle. I love this question. I love that you are, you know, seeing this through the perspective of, hmm, self-care, food. Today we’re gonna expand it to all the cornerstones because everything affects everything else. And the ways in which we take care of our body, our emotions, our spiritual growth affect our digestion, they affect our food and vice versa. This is why the yogis have always included teachings around diet, because how we eat has such a mental impact, emotional impact on us as well.
How to Beat the Summer Heat: Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool When Temperatures Soar: Food Cornerstone
05:37 So the first thing that I wanna talk about, we’ll go to food first. This is a study published in the Journal of AYU, which is Research on Ayurveda. And from 2013, it investigated the effects of a cooling diet on Pitta, which we’ll talk about in a moment in individuals with hypertension. So cooling foods include cucumber, coconut water, and the spice coriander considered, um, wonderful essential cooling foods. And the findings from this study found that shifting into cooling foods in the diet had a positive effects on blood pressure, lipid profiles suggesting potential benefits for Pitta imbalances, specifically related to hypertension. So I love that this is being studied now in a formal context inside of us, our intuitive guidance can show us the way, but sometimes when we see a piece of research, when we say, oh yeah, there’s a formal study on this, it confirms what many of us already know when we drink coconut water, when you tune into that, whether it’s a fresh coconut, we have a lot of coconut trees on our land in Hawaii, very blessed.
06:52 Or you get some wonderful coconut water, preferably not from concentrate, no sugar added. It’s naturally perfect. It’s really a perfect drink. You’ll feel that it cools you, you’ll feel that. And when you have cool cucumber slices, which is such a wonderful, um, it’s, it’s actually officially a fruit. We like to call it a vegetable, but it’s a fruit contains its own seed, just sliced very simple, maybe a little bit of seas, salt, maybe a little bit of olive oil. If you make a simple salad, it feels cooling inside of you. And same thing with coriander. You can even have some coriander tea or work with coriander in a simple bean salad, for instance. This is what we feel. It’s, it’s doing something energetically because food really comes down to energetics and it affects our energy. So this cooling means it’s bringing almost like a, um, a water element inside.
07:50 It’s helping to cool down the fire without putting out our digestive agni fire flame. It’s just helping to quell it from <laugh> becoming this huge flame, this, you know, flame that’s too big inside of us. So along those lines, the water element is very potent. It’s very full in the raw fruits and vegetables. So raw fruits and vegetables right now are very cooling. So if you’re finding like it’s hot and you’re getting irritated, and this may sometimes push us into eating junky foods, we’re just finding some way to soothe ourselves. Instead, I suggest that you keep some of your favorite fruits and veggies around sliced, and you can, um, snack on them raw. I do this with my kids. They love raw carrots and they love raw celery. And my older son loves raw cauliflower. So just keeping that around, it’s like, you know, they don’t think about it, it’s just there.
08:49 They chew on it. It’s bringing in this cooling. Um, and you know, plus my older son is his, um, dosha. He’s, he’s primarily Pitta. So I’m always bringing in some of this cooling, um, into his body. And definitely both of my sons love coconut water. So that’s, these are some of the staples that we always have around us. So you want to eat what are called Pitta pacifying foods. They add this more gentle quality, the soothingness, um, green vegetables are also really great encouraged to keep drinking your g g s, especially through this time. Also, um, pears, apples, berries, prunes, plums and melons are considered pitta pacifying foods. So now’s a great time to eat those beautiful melons, whether you like honeydew or cantaloupe or watermelon, which are, you know, such a high percentage of water. Anyways, this is also really great time to have the green salads to keep your meals.
09:52 Very simple, right? And then on the other end of the spectrum, we don’t need, or we’ll cover both ends here, we don’t need really icy drinks and icy foods, excessive ice cream, <laugh>, even though it’s hot outside, there is this imbalance, which comes from going way under the body’s natural temperature because it takes energy to bring those foods up so that they can be properly digested and assimilated. So it’s very prevalent in modern culture to use a lot of ice on the planes. We see this in restaurants. A lot of the, i the water comes out with, you know, most of the glass, full of ice. So we wanna move away from that into cooling, but not icy cold. We don’t want numbing, which can really, um, arrest the full functionality of your digestive enzymes. It can actually slow down lipid fat metabolism. Just throw your body out of whack.
11:00 So it’s good. I, it’s a good idea. Cooling is okay, but remember that cooling doesn’t just mean ice. It means these certain foods, um, as well. And then on the other hand, we wanna avoid pitta aggravating foods or Pitta enhancing foods that bring up that fire. There are times of the year where we would like some more fire, we would like a bit more heat in the body when it’s cooler outside, but now is not the time. So these foods would include dairy, which for many of us avoid anyways, but I wanted to call that out. Garlic, onions, beets, chilies, and tomatoes. So tomatoes are a summer, um, fruit. We actually have, we grow tomatoes
Kimberly: 11:52 As well, and our lettuce grow, but in excess. And if you’re feeling particularly aggravated or irritated, it is one that you might wanna avoid. In general, I’ve seen this on other podcasts. My family personally does not use any onions or garlic. There’s enough pita in our home environment. I, my husband and my older son, as I mentioned, are primarily Pitta. My younger son is more kafa and I am more Vata. So, but in general, I think any of you know, all of us living in modern society in more urban spaces, which I’m on the outskirts when I’m in la but you know, we’re part of this more hurried, rushed modern space. I personally like to do without those foods, which can cause a little bit more irritation inside. It’s a personal choice, but in general, across the board, it is recommended to avoid the onions and garlic for sure in the heat.
12:57 And there’s an interesting study, which I also wanted to call out, um, in the journal PLoS One from 2012, which found that drinking hot beverages actually kept, um, more body heat stored hot body heat storage increased and reduced the sweat rate. So this is interesting because I had read in the past, and this might be anecdotal, I think I read something in Thailand talking about how hot teas and beverages actually made you sweat and were good. But here they’re saying in hot and humid environments just stick to the cooler drinks. So maybe you wanna drink some cooler iced tea. If you’re a huge tea lover like me, I still like to have hot beverages in the morning and at night, but during the day, I think it’s quite natural, of course, to drink more cooler or room temperature. And of course there’s research around that as well.
13:56 So we don’t wanna have the icy drinks and foods too much. And on the other end, we don’t wanna avoid, we don’t wanna have the, the really spicy, the chilies, the onions and the garlic and some of these pitta enhancing foods. And we also don’t wanna overconsume hot beverages, particularly in the morning of, um, uh, in the, in the middle of the day rather. Another part of helping to keep your body cool is timing your meals and circadian rhythms. This study came from the National Journal of Medicine in 2021, and it found that when we eat meals on a regular basis, a regular time structure, this helps to regulate our circadian rhythms, our own body’s natural internal clock, which has an a positive effect on metabolism and health. This was echoed in a podcast I did a few months ago with Dr. Suhas, which is an amazing Ayurvedic physician.
15:00 We will link to that podcast in the show notes. He actually wrote a book all about timing called Change your schedule, change your Life. And Ayurveda very much believes in this regularity of eating time of practices. It’s like putting this structure, it’s almost like putting rains on yourself. Imagine yourself like this wild horse kind of buckling around trying to find its way and not trapping yourself with these reigns, but providing this groundedness. Okay, I always eat lunch at one o’clock. We eat dinner as a family at six 30, and this starts to create regularity and your digestive system, your body starts to ideally go to the bathroom at a regular time and you are digesting at regular times. So of course it’s not going to be perfect. And our family does go back and forth between LA and Hawaii, so it’s not always gonna be right on track, but it does have a positive effect.
How to Beat the Summer Heat: Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool When Temperatures Soar: Body Cornerstone
16:08 The more that you can practice this regularity, it will be wonderful for you. Now, another aspect that I wanna cover is oiling the skin. So we’ve talked about this as well. We’ve done full podcasts on the benefit of Ab Bianca, which in our day and age we’re always seeking, we’re always searching for ways to calm ourselves and to find inner peace. And something that’s so simple but profound is actually touching your body in a healing way with intention to care and to soothe yourself. This is the basis of warm oil massage, known as a Bianca in Ayurveda, which is where you warm the oils gently, you can put it in a jar, run it under hot water, or put it in a little bowl with hot, hot water around it, and then you massage yourself for a few minutes. It’s very simple, and then shower a few minutes later to get the excess off so it doesn’t, you know, stay all over your body all the time.
17:13 But what’s really great about this practice is that it cools you down. And, um, a review published in the National Journal of Medicine in 2019 found that coconut oil specifically was anti-inflammatory and of course, moisturizing and great for skin health. So I want to point out, if you haven’t yet, checked out our amazing new sauna healing balm, which is perfect for this. It’s something that I use daily, and it has cocoa butter, it has coconut oil, it has some amazing therapeutic plants that contain vitamin E that help to promote cell turnover like moth bean extract. So I use it on my acne scars. I use it, um, on my belly just to keep my belly skin smooth. I’ve been doing this practice for seven years since my first pregnancy, and it’s great for digestion as well. So it’s a wonderful oil to check out for yourself.
18:17 It’s over on our website now, my sauna.com. Just a great one to keep around and it has a lot of these wonderful cooling oils and herbs and plants in it. Um, and then you can also try coconut oil for your ab bga as well. So the next aspect of lifestyle that I wanna talk about is exercise. And this was a study called heat stress decreases exercise tolerance in humans, meaning that when we exercise in the heat, and again, a lot of this is intuitive, but it’s nice to know that it’s backed up with science. It creates a negative, um, it creates stress on the body and reduces your exercise capacity. Whether this means decreasing exercise performance, it decreases the motivation to wanna exercise because it’s uncomfortable, it’s not natural. So this is the time, first of all, to shift into cooling exercises such as not doing hot heated yoga.
19:26 This is not the season for it. Heat on heat Ayurveda would teach, would really bring in excess bitta and it would imbalance your body. So if you do wanna still be active and running and, you know, high intensity workouts, it’s suggested to do these exercises in the morning. So we wanna do it before the sun is up at its peak, and we wanna do it before, um, we feel like, ooh, like this frustration starts to build. So when I’m in Hawaii, I do my walks, I put Momo in the stroller, and I do walk in the morning here in la. Um, and we spend, you know, most, all the summer Hawaii here in la. I tend to, um, walk in the middle of the day, sort of my break from, from working. And it’s, you know, it’s a very different energy. It’s a different flow.
How to Beat the Summer Heat: Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool When Temperatures Soar: Emotional and Spiritual Cornerstones
20:24 The sun is at its peak and it feels good here. But you know, in the summer, in Hawaii, if I were to walk in the middle of the day, it would feel way too hot. It would feel depleting. So as much as possible shift your routine, you wouldn’t wake up earlier. You can move things around in your day, and ideally you would exercise in the morning. So I also wanna talk about how to work with fire emotionally and spiritually, which are our other two cornerstones Toro, to round out our podcast today. So when we hold on to old memories and especially emotionally charged memories, things that happened to us, or things that we did that we weren’t, we aren’t necessarily proud of, it can create this feeling of, of burden, of heaviness. And then if we are constantly recalling these, you know, or things that happened in our childhood, if we keep recalling these subconsciously or consciously, we start to create these little reactions, whether that’s, you know, feeling shame and contracting or lashing out at others because it reminds us of something that happened when we were younger that didn’t feel so good when someone didn’t understand us, or we were neglected or, um, we had to fight for our certain rights or feeling safe, whatever it is.
21:53 So we carry that with us into the moment, into this, um, fu you know, into the present. And then it colors our future and it makes us more fiery. It’s hard to feel inner peace when we have that. We start to feel more of this Pitta growing. So there’s a really beautiful practice that I’ve been doing myself over these past few weeks, which is true, and this is an ancient yogic practice. Yoga is the sister science to Ayurveda. And the Sanskrit I don’t have right in front of me, but it’s a three word term that, um, I will add at some point. Or maybe by the time you get this, it’ll be added into the show notes over at mysolluna.com. I’ll actually make sure it is. So, it is this practice of writing on paper, things that you wanna let go of, whether it’s an old memory from the past, a pattern, um, something you feel guilty for, something that someone you know did to you that you’re carrying, and then you burn it in a fire safe container.
22:56 So this is where fire can really be transformative. This is where we’re using fire to combat excess fire, the excess fire of anxiety, because we’re constantly holding onto things that create inflammation and fiery reactive emotions, reactions in this day. So I encourage you to try it. But again, make, please make sure that you have a fire safe container, like an actual fire pit or something that can contain fire safely. Otherwise, this is something that you can just do metaphorically and symbolically and rip it up into small pieces or whatever feels good to you. So try it. I’ve been doing it every day. You know, things that we realize are no longer of us, things that we’ve been carrying, things that induce that heat, that guilt, whatever it is. And then I also encourage spiritually to sit for a few moments before you start the day in prayer, meditation to just ground yourself and to feel that cooling deep breath.
24:02 So when we start to breathe more deeply, we take in more oxygen. We exhale, we expel more waste from our body. We feel cooler when we are taking deep breaths. You can also practice nodi, uh, sh our breathing. We have some, I think there’s some videos we still have on YouTube for this where you’re alternating your nostrils and specifically, um, breathing in and out of the, um, so the iida and the pinkola are the two different sides of the body. One is of the sun, one is of the moon. You can also look up some of these videos on YouTube. I’m sure there’s others as well, which are explanatory. And we’ll explain how if you breathe in and out of the left nostril, the iida, this can help to cool you because the pula, the, the solar side is when we wanna bring in some more fire.
24:54 And then the iida is the cooling. When it’s just so hot out, we can use the breath, we can use the energies of pranayam and breathing to bring that beautiful coolness. But in a simplistic sense, just taking nice, full, deep breaths to relax yourself and to bring you into this here and now is going to feel very beneficial. So I encourage you to try it for yourself, to check it out and remember to check out our show notes. There’s recipes and more. We will link to prior podcasts and Ayurveda and others related to this topic.
But to review, you wanna bring in the cooling foods. You wanna avoid the pita, um, aggravating foods. You wanna make sure that you, uh, shift your spices towards cooling. Ones like coriander, also fennel. And you wanna, um, move away from chilies and garlic and onions and spices that are overly warming and over can overly exacerbate heat.
25:55 Even cinnamon in excess can be too much right now. We wanna eat on a regular schedule. We wanna tune our clocks, our internal circadian rhythms as much as possible. So we wanna make sure that we eat at regular times in junctures in the day. We wanna make sure that we are exercising more in the morning, which is wonderful for our bodies. We wanna use some cooling oils on our bodies to just bring in that cooling element through the skin. Our largest organ and our sauna, new healing balm is an amazing tool to keep around. We also wanna make sure by the way, that we are expelling waste, because if we just keep building and building in the body, we can start to feel aggravated and irritated. So taking
Kimberly: 26:42 Your detoxy oxygen supplement in the evenings is wonderful, especially if you have been traveling. I take it all the time in Hawaii and daily when I’m moving between Hawaii and la, but at least you know, three or four times a week regularly because when I have bigger bowel movements, I feel better. My skin glows, I just deal better in life. And then as we mentioned, you just also wanna be really intuitive and with your beverages, it’s a good idea to have your electrolytes to drink coconut water and to avoid excess heat, excess hot beverages right now. So I will see you Monday for our next interview show to then take great care of yourself. Stay cool again. Check out all our amazing podcasts, podcasts, resources, products, courses, everything that we have for email@example.com. Keep your questions coming as well and I will see you back here soon. Sending you so much love. Namaste.