This is the time of year that Pitta can be pacified by diet, eating what is in season, as well as utilizing cooling practices from both yoga and Ayurveda.
Our digestion is called Agni, which means fire. Digestion is not as strong in summer as it is in winter. If we think that “cooling” off in this season is to use a lot of ice in drinks, in fact, the cold will slow down the digestive capacity of the stomach acids, off-setting the body’s efficient digestive system. Taking advantage of summertime fun, both spontaneous opportunities and planned vacations and events will “cool” Pitta’s emotional tendencies to be overdriven. Getting enough sleep and maintaining daily practices also have a calming effect on the mind-body connection. As in all aspects of life, the key is to find balance. Here are some summertime Pitta-balancing suggestions that come from Ayurveda:
1. Drink room temperature beverages with meals to optimize on the body’s digestive capacity. Having a hot beverage actually opens the pores and allows the body to cool itself. All in all, make sure to drink plenty of liquids in the summertime, especially when outdoors or in the sunshine.
2. Consuming a lot of raw food also taxes the digestive system. Cooking food makes it more digestible, but take note that overcooking will destroy the nutritive capacity of any food. Dairy is sweet and can be appropriate for Pitta, and the most ideal time for cold treats like ice cream is late afternoon, and not a large amount, (not after a big meal and not before bed), when the body’s is able to still utilize the sugar and caloric content.
3. Avoiding foods that increase Pitta dosha will also prevent skin damage. Hot peppers, vinegar and sour foods will heat the body. Leftovers, alcohol, genetically modified foods and foods with preservatives will also aggravate Pitta dosha. Now is time to avoid pungent, sour, and overly salty foods and favor sweet, astringent and bitter foods and herbs, in order to cool both body and mind. Using a Pitta Churna, a blend of spices that pacify Pitta is ideal – see what our friends at Maharishi Ayurveda have to offer
4. Respect the season, the fact that our nature and the nature of our environment is one. Protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun by wearing a hat, using sunscreen, spritzing the arms and face with rosewater, and staying hydrated.
5. Having daily a routine is imperative for a calming effect to the mind/body connection, and especially for Pitta as the tendency of aggravated Pitta is to be irritable and fiery. A good night sleep begins by being in bed before 10 pm and getting up at 6 am. Morning dinacharya (elimination and care of body to include massage with carrier oils infused with herbs and/or essential oils) followed by meditation and then a cooling yoga asana practice is imperative, for a clear grasp of the day. A deep restful sleep preceded by massage, abhyanga, again carrier oils steeped with herbs and/or essential oils, like chamomile, frankincense, geranium or sandalwood. To learn more see pp.16 – 24 in Essential Yoga Practice: Your Guide to the New Yoga Experience With Essential Oils .
6. Take the time to enjoy meals, (Pittas tend to eat hurriedly) and enjoy one of the great pleasures in life, food! Note: as the morning and afternoon meals are the larger meals of the day, the dinner meal should be lighter.
7. Afternoon is the time for more productive work and at the end of the work day, put it all aside. With the removal of stress and fatigue that comes from breaking the work day and transitioning to family and personal time.
8. Yoga asana for Pitta should be grounding and centering. Opt in for our weekly blogpost to receive the Centering Practice!
9. Take a walk in the moonlight! Lunar light is feminine and very soothing to pacifying Pitta.
10. “Circuit breakers” help Pitta personalities. Have fun – it is important for Pittas to not be so serious! Seeking daily inspiration, distancing from negative people, making time for leisure, and participating in community all lend themselves as “cooling practices” for the mind-body connection.
Summertime is Pitta season, a time to seek “cooling practices” in every way. Enjoy your practice and enjoy life!
Learn more about how yoga and essential oils can pair to support your wellness practices and everyday lifestyle by joining us for a two week online course, Essential Yoga Practice Sangha, beginning July 30. This course is written for both yogis and essential oil enthusiasts, novice and seasoned students in each area. We will explore the world of aromatherapy, Ayurveda, and yoga and how they compliment each other. Yoga teachers will receive 10 CECs from Yoga Alliance when signing up for the second tier of the sangha course. Text for the course is a copy of Essential Yoga Practice, and is included in the course fees! Register here and connect with us on social media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!