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Boston area yogis and natural health buffs have a generous maven of Ancient India’s healing traditions at their feet.

Cooling Down With Boston's Bethany Cantin

Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Practitioner Bethany Cantin

Bethany Cantin is a Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Practitioner serving greater Boston and Cape Cod. If you’re seeking more out of life or you’re so busy your health’s MIA then Bethany’s your woman. She’ll inspire you to make a deeper journey inward while utilizing the right supports along the way. She has over 15 years experience plus she walks her talk.

Bethany offers Ayurvedic consultations and private yoga therapy sessions. She teaches Ayurvedic workshops and seasonal group cleanses (see her August and September schedule below). She also is the founder and director of The Yoga Foundation, a non-profit offering free yoga and meditation classes to Boston’s underserved.

You may see Bethany cycling the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Chatham or making beach art on Lobsterville Beach in Martha’s Vineyard. Inland you’ll find her at Life Alive in Cambridge – some of the most vibrant and life enhancing food the city has to offer.

Ask her about historical archaeological sites in the area (she’s a former archaeologist for Boston University) or how your diet for Fall should be different than your diet this Summer.

Staying Cool With Ancient Wisdom

Cooling Way Down With Boston's Bethany Cantin

Bethany face painting at a Martha’s Vineyard fair.

We asked Bethany for some ways to stay healthy and cool in this hot summer heat. Because as summer builds momentum heat inevitably increases and anger, acidity and skin rashes can flare. Not fun! So this is how Ayurveda views summer heat, and what you can do about it.

Regardless of one’s mind-body constitution, we all have the potential for excess heat (known as pitta dosha) to accumulate and take us out of balance.

Pitta dosha is the Ayurvedic principle of fire in the body and mind. See, Ayurveda is an experiential natural science based on knowing life. Doshas are representations of the five elements of nature – earth, air, fire, water and ether.

Pitta dosha represents fire and water. It governs metabolism, digestion, absorption, assimilation of nutrients and intelligence. Late summer pitta aggravation is why, statistically speaking, more violent crimes take place in August as pitta dosha is at its peak – sharp, acidic, fire energy.

Vata dosha represents ether and air. It governs all forms of movement in the body. Kapha dosha is water and earth. Kapha forms the glue and structure of our bodies – our bones and tissues.

To stay calm, cool and collected in this hot summer heat, follow some of these simple pitta pacifying guidelines.

Favor Cooling Foods On Hot DaysCooling Way Down With Boston's Bethany Cantin

Include foods and beverages in your diet that are sweet, astringent and bitter. These tastes cool heat and calm pitta dosha.

Consume cooling fruits like mangos, plums, coconuts, sweet cherries, avocados and watermelon. Enjoy veggies like cucumber, celery, fennel, mixed greens, cilantro and kale. Eat soft cheeses like goat and cottage cheese. Enjoy soaked almonds, and favor avocado and coconut oils.

Avoid hot spicy foods, and use less salt.

Stay Hydrated + Replenish Electrolytes

Drink cooling coconut water a few times a day. Coconut water is pitta pacifying, has many electrolytes (like sodium and potassium) and is deeply hydrating. Coconut water is quickly replacing electrolyte drinks high in sugar at major sporting events. Our global consciousness is growing around such an amazing natural replenishment beverage.

Refresh Irritated Eyes

Since the eyes are a pitta organ, keep them cool with a pure water flush each morning and Ayurvedic eye drops during the day.

Chill Your Senses Down

Have a small spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of rose oil to spray on your face and body to feel cool and refreshed during the day. Sandalwood is another good oil to use to cool off (just be sure to shake the bottle before using).

Even something as simple as drinking your beverages out of a blue glass can cool pitta in the summer. Try a blue mason jar and drink from it all summer long.

Release The Heat At Summer’s EndCool Way Down With Boston's Bethany Cantin

A great way to release excess pitta dosha from the body (a process called shodhana) is to partake in a guided cleanse at the very end of summer, beginning of fall. This time period is called ritusandhi, and is the joint, or the time period, that joins two seasons together. This is the best time to start a cleansing process.

Why cleanse at the end of summer?

Even if we have done our best to keep pitta pacified, it has likely accumulated to excess by the end of summer. All of the pitta pacifying seasonal routines we adopted and foods we consumed to stay cool in summer, are the very same foods and actions that can potentially aggravate vata dosha (ether and air) during the fall season.  So we start the fall vata season with a cleanse as it is harmonizing and revitalizing for the body.

Cleansing at the end of summer brings us to a place of equilibrium so we can enter the fall with clarity and balance. Join Bethany for a 10 day fall cleanse starting September 27th.

Upcoming Introductory Workshops + A Fall Cleanse

Love Yoga Fest
Saturday August 15th and Saturday August 16th
workshop Times TBA
Aselton Park, Hyannis, MA

The Yoga Barn
Saturday, August 29th 4-6pm
Fee $ 35
Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Bethany’s 10 day Fall Ayurvedic Cleanse starts September 27th.

Pre-Cleanse Meeting
September 20th – 4-6 PM (or by private consultation)
377 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Photos: Unsplash.com, Bethany Cantin