• Briya Freeman

Summer Self-Care with Ayurveda

Updated: Jul 8



“Tension is who you think you should be.

Relaxation is who you are.”

–Chinese Proverb



Summer Self-Care with Ayurveda


Summer is one of my favourite seasons.


However, many of us need to take special care of ourselves during the summer, especially if we are sensitive to heat or have a predominance of pitta (or fire) in our constitution.


Here are a few simple tips to help you stay balanced this season:


Foods to Favor


In the summer, you may wish to make a few adjustments to your diet such by favouring: 

  • Vegetables: Salads, steamed leafy greens and vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, summer squash, avocados, sweet potatoes, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, zucchini, and cucumber.


  • Herbs: Fresh herbs such as cilantro, mint, nettles, parsley and dill


  • Legumes: Beans and lentils such as mung beans, red lentils, tofu and chick peas


  • Grains: Rice, barley, quinoa and oats (including breads and rice cakes)


  • Fruits: Sweet, fresh seasonal fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apple, rhubharb, cherries, figs, pears, plums, and watermelon;


  • Drinks: Coconut milk, coconut water; herbal teas such as mint, hibiscus, raspberry leaf, nettle, rose, black tea, dandelion, chamomile and lavender (served at room temperature or cool); Aloe vera gel can be useful to remove excess heat from the digestive tract.


  • Healthy oils: Local sunflower oil, ghee and olive oil


  • Desserts: Seasonal desserts such as strawberry shortcake, seasonal fruit pies, coconut ice cream, homemade fruit juices or smoothies. Ideal in the afternoon.


  • Detox & digestion: Take 1-2 teaspoons of triphala powder in the evening


Basically, any foods that are growing locally right now are good for you! To balance pitta, we want to focus on foods that are bitter, sweet and astringent.



Making a few small seasonal adjustments to diet and self-care can help you boost immunity, vitality, sleep and mood for the year to come.



The Summer Lifestyle


This is the time of year to slow down, rest and enjoy. Some simple lifestyle tips include:

  • Enjoy the outdoors in the early morning or evening. Try to avoid the mid-day sun.

  • Exercise at 80% of your usual capacity. Stay active, but try not to push yourself too hard.

  • This is a season to slow down. Try to take extra time for rest and vacation. Avoid overscheduling yourself during your day.

  • Keeping a daily practice for meditation, yoga and pranayama (breath work) will do wonders to support your relaxation and self-connection


Beauty and Self-Care

  • Massage your body with coconut or sesame oil

  • Enjoy a cool shower or swim

  • Spray your face and body with rose water

  • Rest with cucumber slices over your eyes or use an eye pillow (pitta rules the eyes)

  • Enjoy an afternoon nap or rest

  • Take regular breaks during your day for exercise or gentle movement

  • Wear silver jewelry and light colours

  • Enjoy natural perfumes made with rose, sandalwood, vetiver, peppermint, fennel or lavender

  • Drink at least 2 L / day of water per day or cooling herbal teas such as hibiscus, mint, raspberry leaf or Brahmi.

  • Make time for rest, play and leisure.


“If we want the world to change, the healing of culture and greater balance in nature, it has to start inside the human soul.” ― Michael Meade



What is Pitta dosha?


In the natural science of Ayurveda, Pitta dosha is a mind-body type associated with the fire element. It is associated with natural leadership skills, drive, heat and transformation.


Signs of Balanced Pitta

  • Passionate and productive

  • Natural leadership skills

  • Takes initiative and makes good decisions

  • Balances work, play and rest

  • Respectful and compassionate toward others

  • Healthy digestion and circulation

Signs of Summer (Pitta) Imbalance

  • Acne or rashes

  • Acid reflux or inflammation

  • Burning sensations

  • Control, anger, irritation or criticism of others

  • Diarrhea

  • Burn-out

  • Hot flashes

  • Heartburn

  • Overworking, overscheduling and perfectionism

If your constitution is dominated by pitta (fire), you will want to be especially careful about managing signs of excess heat and adopting a seasonal routine for the summer. 

Foods to Minimize


Each of us are a little different, and it's important to know how to listen to your body to recognize what it needs. If you are dealing with excess heat, you may find it beneficial to stay away from hot, acidic foods such as:

  • Hard liquor and red wine

  • Hot sauce

  • Coffee

  • Onions, garlic, black pepper, ginger, chilies

  • Processed/canned foods

  • White sugar (aggravates pitta)

  • Excess oil or fried foods (oil increases fire) 

If you are very sensitive to excess heat, you may wish to reduce/avoid heating fruits and vegetables such as bananas, cranberries, grapefruit, lemon, or pineapple, corn, eggplant, olives, radishes, tomatoes, and cooked spinach.





Are you curious to learn more about Ayurveda?


Ayurveda is a beautiful science of self-care which teaches us to align with nature's rhythms and to enhance our power for self-healing and self-connection.


Ayurveda for Vibrant Living is a practical exploration of the science of self-healing. In this bi-weekly course, you will learn:

  • principles for vibrant, natural health from Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga

  • practical ways to care for your unique mind-body type

  • to upgrade your cooking using spices, herbalism and food as medicine

  • secrets of self-care to purify, strengthen and balance your body, mind and emotions 

  • guided meditations and breathing practices to help you relax and connect with your body’s wisdom (or intuition)

  • natural solutions to improve digestion, sleep, focus, energy and natural joy


Our next session of Ayurveda for Vibrant Living starts in September 2020.


Details are here. We hope you can join us!



About the Author


Briya (Rachel) Freeman is a facilitator specialized in meditation, ayurveda and modern spirituality. She is passionate about exploring the potentials of human consciousness in a way that respects, unites and transcends global culture and tradition.

Briya is a long-term student of Berdhanya Swami Tierra, a female mystic and shaman of South American origin. She also holds studies in ayurveda at Anjali School of Ayurveda (Kerala, India) and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa. She is the creator of Ayurveda for Vibrant Living, an online course which explore practical principles of self-care and holistic self-healing. She can be reached at briyafreeman@gmail.com




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