It’s the first day of summer, which moves us into the season of pitta in ayurveda. For a little more on doshas, ayurveda and seasons, rad my previous post on Spring.
Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu medicine that is referred to as the science of life. It seeks balance of mind, body, spirit and recognizes that everything we encounter effects this balance. Like increases like is a simple way to look at ayurveda. If you have a pitta dosha, then having more pitta enhancing foods, exercises or even seasons is going to bring you further out of balance. In order to balance you want to then decrease your pitta and increase another dosha in this example.
Summer is the time for pitta. Pitta is associated with heat, it’s elements are fire and water. It makes sense then, that as the temperature starts to climb, and in some areas like where I am, so does humidity, our pitta increases as well. Since pitta enhancing foods tend to be spicy, sour, oily, and salty, we want to reduce these in summer. Start choosing tastes that are bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes calm pitta. This would include apples, cucumbers, grapes, dairy and other such items. Heavy meats should be avoided too. Rather than a roast, try more fish or put some kabobs on the bbq.
Cottons and linens are great choices to wear in summer because of their breathablility. Try to avoid synthetic in the summer to keep cool. Even think about the colors you are wearing or surrounding yourself with if you are particularly sensitive this time of year. Go for cooling colors like white, blue, green, silver and gray.
Sitali is a form of pranayama (breath work) that is cooling. If you find yourself heated up or your temper has flared (a sure sign of a pitta imbalance) try this out: Make an O shape with your lips and curl your tongue lengthwise. Imagine your tongue is a straw and ‘sip’ in the air. Breath until the lungs are filled and then bring the tongue back into the mouth and close the mouth. Hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale through the nose. Do this several times and you’ll cool off like magic!
Do you know your dosha? Try a dosha test like this one: Discover Your Dosha Type