Cooling Ayurvedic Tips: Dos and Don’ts for the Dog Days
We’re in the midst of the hottest days of the year now, the so-called Dog Days. Keeping our cool, through diet, exercise and self-care is important in helping us maintain balance in life, at work and in relationship with others.
- • Avoid midday sun. Keep covered when it’s unavoidable.
- • Exercise earlier or later in the day. We benefit from outdoor activity and are more likely to enjoy activity outdoors than indoors.
- • Drink plenty of water, coconut water and herbal teas at room temperature.
- • Avoid large quantities of caffeine, which is dehydrating.
- • A gentle, self-massage with coconut oil can be soothing and cooling. It also contains slight UV protection. I used a powdered sunscreen and wear long sleeves, sunglasses and a hat.
- • I especially enjoy soaking my feet in cool water laced with fresh herbs and flowers, and then rubbing my feet with coconut oil before sleep.
- • Avoid strenuous breathing, chanting or asana practices especially during midday. Depending on your time in life and experience with yoga practices, you might want to avoid these practices altogether. Speak with a qualified teacher.
- • Notice the colors you wear. Think of the living things in your area—greens, pinks and whites.
- • Eat your heaviest meal earlier in the day. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Focus on fresh, local fruits and veggies. Avoid spicy food, especially if you are challenged by the heat.
- • Take care of your skin. I love spritzing with lavender or rosewater throughout the day. Cleanse your skin gently, and use lots of coconut oil.
- • Don’t engage in conflict when you are heated. Heat seems to escalate conflicts. Take time to cool off first. (This is a good idea in any season.)
Enjoy the season and take care to keep yourself cool. I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Editor’s note: The hottest days of summer are a great time to practice the most cooling kind of yoga: Restorative Yoga. Pull out your bolster and treat yourself to a rejuvenating midday Restorative pose.