Did you know that according to Ayurveda, we are all made of the 5 elements, and yet we are all a unique combination of those elements, and their qualities?
For those with more fire in their systems, summer can be challenging. The fire dosha, called Pitta, is composed of qualities that are primarily hot but also light, oily, sharp and pungent. If you have a predominance of pitta or fire in your constitution those qualities will manifest as sensitivity to light, fair skin, bright blue or hazel eyes (often have less than perfect vision), a strong appetite and an intense gaze (think Steve Jobs). Other ways pitta expresses is through a medium stature, good muscle development, early gray or a receding hairline and a tendency towards acidity and loose stools. Mentally, pitta is sharp, focused, critical and discerning. They have a tendency to overwork, dragging one’s body around with the strength of one’s mind until they literally collapse. Out of balance pitta flares up easily into impatience, irritation and anger.
As summer arrives, we will all be working to stay cool, but those with lots of pitta in their constitution will have to work harder at it (something pitta folks enjoy).
Here are some simple things you can do to manage the heat this season:
Rinse your eyes with pure cool water first thing in the morning and at night.
Exercise in the cooler parts of the day (early mornings and evenings)
Do cooling pranayama (breathe in through your puckered lips, and exhale through your nostrils for 3 – 10 rounds, anytime).
Incorporate more forward bends, twists and viparita karani into your yoga practice.
Non-doing Meditation—just like it sounds. Take a seat or lie down and simply observe without doing…holding a broad focus. Do this for 5-25 minutes.
Stay out of the sun mid day (10am – 2pm).
Alternate periods of focused activity with breaks. Set a timer – when the timer goes off, get up and stretch, go outside for 5 minutes.
Walk in Nature
Avoid hot/spicy foods
Eat more cooling foods like cucumber, coconut water, cilantro, blueberries and cherries. A bowl of fresh fruit could be a great light breakfast before an earlier, bigger lunch.
Stay hydrated but avoid ice water, which will interfere with digestion. Note, its good to wait an hour after a big meal before drinking much so as not to dilute your digestive juices.
Rub your skin with a little organic coconut oil before or after you shower. Rub coconut oil into the soles of your feet before bed. Put an old hand towel on your night stand, and an old pair of socks to cover your feet to protect your bedding.
Gaze at the moon.
Unbalancing pitta is easy… simply eat a lot of hot spicy foods (like garlic and chilies), walk or do strenuous exercise in the middle of the day, continue your “hot yoga” practice through the summer (especially during your lunch hour), work harder this season and avoid Natural beauty. By incorporating just a few tips of the above tips, you can stay cool and balanced during this summer season.