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Summer: 10 Traditional Ways To Stay Cool

By RADHIKA IYER
April 25, 2022 16:54 IST
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In the summer, eat light, fresh meals so that your digestive system is not over burdened.
Holistic living expert Radhika Iyer tells us about natural ways to beat the heat.

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Athiya Shetty/Instagram

Indian summers are notoriously hot, and the intensity of the heat keeps adding up.

To combat the loss of energy and lethargy that comes with summer, Indians have long used amazing drinks that act as coolants and some household hacks to stay cool.

Here are some traditional ways you can beat the heat:

1. Earthen pots

Storing water in earthen pots is an excellent way to keep you water cool without having to refrigerate it.

Refrigerated cold water is not good for your health.

On the other hand, earthen pots carry minerals that help the body and give your water an irreplaceable earthy taste.

Start using earthen pots for cool, better tasting and mineral-rich water this summer.

2. Surya Namaskar in the morning

I know it sounds contradictory to say exercise will keep you cool in the summer, but it goes really well!

Every morning I perform surya namaskar.

While you sweat during the practice, that very sweat will remove dirt and toxins and cool down your body.

Moreover, this will help you beat the lethargy of summer by keeping your body moving and active.

3. Cooling drinks

India has some amazing cooling drinks including the naturally cool coconut water.

The famous panakam (a cooling drink made from lemon juice, jaggery, ginger powder, cardamom powder and black pepper), nimbu sharbat and chaas are just a few examples.

Find traditional Indian recipes for keeping the body cool.

These recipes are catered particularly to the Indian summer and work far more effectively than Western mocktails.

Please avoid carbonated drinks as they are extremely detrimental to your health.

4. Wear khadi

Don't you just hate it when your clothes cling to your body, which is already filled with sweat.

Khadi is the airiest material.

More airy than cotton, this Indian fabric keeps you cool and super comfortable through the summer.

Stock your closet with khadi clothing to stay cool and stylish this summer.

5. Pranayam

Pranayam is a wonderful way to maintain coolness in the body.

Our chandra nadi (left nostril) allows cold air to come in and out of the body.

You can look up how to perform chandra bhedana pranayama, sheetali pranayama or shitkari pranayama and practice these to infuse coolness in the body.

Trust me, it works like magic.

6. Eat lighter meals

I can't stress this enough. Your eating habits should change according to the season.

In the summer, eat light, fresh meals so that your digestive system is not over burdened.

In between meals, consume cooling drinks like mentioned above.

Consume a lot of leafy vegetables, pulses and fruits during the summer season.

7. Hang clothes to dry in the afternoon

When you hang clothes in the afternoon, during peak heat, the wetness of the clothes allow for cool air to circulate into the house and keep away the heat rather effectively.

Try this little hack out!

8. Plant trees

Plant as many trees as you can!

Bring plants home.

Big plants provide shade and keep the area around them cool.

If you plant trees that bear fruits, you can benefit from the tree all year around.

Planting trees is also a measure to ensure we have enough trees available for the next generation so they don't have to live with cruel summers.

9. Use natural room mists

You can make or buy room mists with lemongrass, jasmine, rose and so on.

Using natural ingredients as chemically made room fresheners can get irritating to smell after a while.

A natural mist will be subtle and calm the mind while making your space cooler.

10. Opt for lighter curtains

Replace darker curtains with light coloured curtains in your home.

We all know that light colours repel heat and darker colours absorb and attract heat.

Using lighter curtains in your home will make it easier for you to maintain the temperature inside your home.

Try out these summer hacks and notice the difference it makes in how you experience the season.

Remember not to skip meals or drink sugar filled cold drinks. They do not help you escape the heat. Instead, follow the steps above for a cooler summer experience.

Radhika Iyer is founder of Anahata Organic (external link) and the Raa Foundation.


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RADHIKA IYER