A Cool Summer Sip
Each season has its own traits, its own personality. Now that the heat of summer has finally arrived after delaying itself quite a bit this year, we're feeling it's distinct character – hot, intense, light. The qualities of summer explode in its fiery nature, and we have lots of renewed energy from the long days and heat that motivated us to be more active, more mobile, more feisty.
In Ayurveda, these qualities are expressed by the Pitta dosha. Depending on our own unique energy or constitution, the summer can disturb our peace and make us quite volatile if we let it...triggering us to be more reactive or burn out. Making an effort to live more in harmony with the cycles of nature can not only keep us balanced when they change, but also improve our day-to-day physical and mental health. By adjusting our lifestyle and habits to accommodate the qualities or character of each season– especially through what we eat and drink – is an easy way to do this.
While we should drink lots of water throughout the year, it's especially true in the summer (and fall) when we're more prone to dryness or excess heat. Because external heat from nature increases heat in both body and mind, we want to opt for more cooling, refreshing things to achieve balance. Whereas in winter we might sip on warm water to balance the cold season, in summer we should choose a quenching beverage like this lemon-lime-basil drink to keep our digestive fire and revved up mental energy more stable and soothed.
Here's an easy-to-make quencher for your summer days. Citrus are naturally cooling foods and basil is, as well. Basil is also a great antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory to fight the ...well, flaming nature, of summer! Ice water is not preferred for any beverage in Ayurveda because it can shock the agni, or digestive fire... so drink it nice and cool, but not ice cold, and enjoy!
1 lime (organic preferred)
1/2 lemon (organic preferred)
4 cups filtered water
Handful of fresh basil leaves to taste
Wash lime and lemon and cut into round slices. Place in a pitcher or bowl with water and let sit for 2-3 hours in the sun or overnight in a refrigerator. Strain water and add the basil leaves and optional extra citrus slices for garnish. Drink!
(photo from Yoganonymous where recipe was originally derived from and slightly modified)