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Keep your cool in the summer sun

Here’s the second blog I posted last year on the theme of staying healthy and cool in summer – hope it’s of use again.

Practicing warrior pose so that I can enjoy a bun later !

Practicing warrior pose so that I can enjoy a bun later !

In my last blog I talked about yoga for the summer, which I hope you’ve given a go (outside for extra Brownie points), so today I’m going to share with you some other holistic tips for staying healthy, vibrant and cool during the summer months.

According to the Ayurvedic tradition summer increases the element of fire, with the element of air increasing as the summer progresses. We can see this in our bodies in inflammatory conditions such as hay fever and prickly heat. A summer routine is all about reducing heat, bringing in calm and peace.

It’s the digestive system that accumulates heat, so focus on foods that are cooling, light and easy to digest. Green leafy veg, fresh fruits and salads, mung beans and rice are all summer winners. Reduce your intake heavy foods such as meat, alcohol or too many dairy products (give almond milk a try instead of cows milk). Peppermint and fennel are great cooling summer flavours too.

Watch out for fraying tempers in the heat! If you feel yourself getting hot, bothered and increasingly irritated, try this little tip – take a large sip of water and hold it in your mouth until the water warms up to body temperature. This will take the hot irritability out of the body and stop you saying something in the heat of the moment that you will regret later. It’s also more cooling than gulping down a fridge cooled or icy drink. The body likes to be at a stable temperature, when you drink something freezing cold, the body is shocked so will naturally heat up to get back to it’s optimum temperature.

Sleeping seems to be a common problem in the heat and although we generally need less sleep in the summer, as there is more daylight (which is just lovely), we still need good quality sleep. Before going to bed try some of the cooling breaths (see last blog) and try to sleep on your right side – believe it or not your body will be cooler for this, you may even find that you are naturally rolling onto this side anyway. Try to get to bed before 11pm too, as the fire element peaks around midnight.

Before going to bed on warm evenings I like to massage my feet with fractionated coconut oil with a drop of rose essential oil (please check out any contra-indications before using oils). In the Ayurvedic system of good health, this mix is said to draw heat out of the body plus it smells delicious. You can also spray cooling organic rose water around the room where you sleep, use it as a beautiful refreshing skin tonic or trying calming irritated eyes by resting with cotton wool pads soaked in rose water placed over your closed eyelids.

Stay cool and enjoy the sun whilst we have it, until next time Ix

Ps. And don’t forget to send me your photos of you practising your favourite yoga pose outside.

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