Until last year, summer was never my favorite time of year, in fact I despised summer the HEAT, the blaring bright sun, tiny bodies in tiny clothes… did I say heat?! While summer is still not my favorite season after last two years I have a new appreciation for the beautiful summer days, in fact now I see it as an opportunity to get out and connect with nature and myself. During what I used to see as a healing crises now I realize it was an opportunity to let my spirit free and do the things I only envied others doing. I spent the last two summer in nature, camping, hiking, kayaking, exploring the mountains, oceans and the open road and most importantly healing! This year, well I’ll be in India for 15 days, and I am ready for this summers adventure and life changing experiences! But enough about me….
It’s Pitta season, summer is here, and the days are getting longer. Camping trips, beach outings and BBQ’s fill our weekend schedules. Are you ready to keep your cool during the hot summer days?
The spicy, passionate, go-getter, Pitta Dosha headlines our summer season. Comprised of fire and water elements giving Pitta her hot, oily, and sharp qualities and is responsible for all transformation and digestion in our bodies. Summer is Pitta season, and Pitta dosha accumulates more easily in the body during this time. If you are Pitta predominant take special care to not over heat this summer.
Excess Pitta can manifest in the body as:
Inability to handle excess heat
Heartburn, acid reflux
Anger, irritability, frustration
Feeling irritable if a meal is missed
Foul body odor
Irritability, criticism, intolerance
Pitta can also show up as acne, rashes, reddish complexion and an aggressive behavior and could indicate excess pitta in our body. Before we discuss how to bring balance during the summer months, lets talk about how pitta becomes imbalanced. There are many causes that contribute to excessive amount of pitta in our bodies including:
Eating a pitta provoking diet- oily, pungent/spicy, and fried foods.
Excessive alcohol, and caffeine, and sodas.
To much exposure to the sun
Excessive exercise during hottest time of the day
Not taking time to express our Vata and Kapha sides.
As with any imbalance or dis-ease Ayruveda recommends first, stopping that which is causing the imbalance and then, incorporate pacifying activities, lifestyle and foods into our daily routines. Some simple, gentle and effective dietary, herbal and lifestyle guidelines to assist the body in eliminating excess Pitta dosha/toxins are COOLING & CALMING.
Simple dietary guides to reduce Pitta are:
Eat sweet juicy seasonal fruits like plums, peaches and watermelon.
Eat bitter and astringent foods like collard, kale and asparagus.
Add cooling digestive spice to your diet such as Cumin, Coriander, Fennel and Turmeric.
Remove spicy, fermented, fried food, oily, overly salted food from your diet.
Reduce or eliminate alcohol and caffeine from your diet.
Stay hydrated with cool water.
Lifestyle guidelines to reduce pitta are:
Establish routine with meal and sleep times. Going to be by 10pm is ideal.
Swim in cool water, such as natural spring, ocean or lake even a cool bath or pool.
Wear cool, loose cotton clothing.
Engage in cooling, calming exercise like swimming, hiking and team sports.
Moon bathe, taking in the cooling energy of moon.
Meditate or chant to reduce high emotions such as anger, irritability.
Make time for self care.
When pitta is in excess, you are prone to self-criticism, judgment, anger, envy, hypertension, ulcers, skin disease and acid-reflux. Practicing a pitta pacifying lifestyle, during the hot summer months and year round if you are Pitta dominant can keep your fire regulated and balanced. Meditation is especially beneficial for pitta, meditation increases our ability to monitor and release negative emotions, which allows us to cultivate patience and compassion for ourselves and the world.