Have you ever felt your temperature rise after one sip of wine or a cocktail?
Then before you know it you’re forehead is damp and your shirt is soaked?
Living in New Orleans, we’ve all felt the weight of the oppressive heat and humidity.
One time at a party in the woods, one of my friends threw a bottle of high-proof alcohol into the blazing wood-burning stove. Just to see what would happen.
I was passed out on a cot in the corner of the hunting cabin nestled in the Georgia pines. Even in my drunken stupor, I felt the blaze erupt behind me and a rush of intense heat swept past my ears. Then I heard people shouting. Things could have been much worse and my friend sustained only minor injuries, but the party was over.
I’m reminded of this scenario each time I think of the sheer quantity of alcohol I’ve consumed over the years and how I’ve had to struggle to learn that, for me, drinking alcohol is a lot like throwing fuel onto an already raging fire.
In New Orleans, the fire outside (read: hot temps) rages for a solid nine or ten months out of the year. If you’re a regular drinker, that means you’ve got fire going on outside of you as well as in whatever you drink.
And if you’re naturally fire-y in constitution, this is even more true.
So what’s a sweaty Pitta-dosha Southerner supposed to do?
Choose quality drinks that are lower-proof and contain cooling mixers like fresh melon or cucumber with lots of ice.
Choose lighter beers over wine for the cooling effects of bitter hops. And embrace the bitter taste of amari (plural of amaro) over ice or very chilled, and feel so very European as you sip.
Put cooling pranayama practices into your yoga practice (like shitali breathing). If you’re a devoted practitioner, practice in the earlier, cooler hours of the day.
And take it easy when you feel intense heat rising, on and off the mat.
Savor your summer by “moon bathing” — spend time basking in the moonlight.
Want to learn how to cook and practice yoga for summer heat? Check out our Summer Solstice Cooking Workshop, Sunday, June 25th.