My 5 Top Ayurvedic Tips to Keep Healthy and Balanced During the Summer Season
I love summer. The warmer temps, the longer days, and just the activity and lightness of it all. I also know that I have a basic Vata/Pitta Ayurvedic constitution and can lean towards unbalance, and become impatient at times in the summer.
In the ancient healing system of Ayurveda, we associate every season with a different dosha or mind/body constitution. And summer season is Pitta season - which makes perfect sense because Pitta is all about fire and heat! The Pitta dosha is comprised of the elements of fire and wind. If you tend to ‘run warm’ you may be dominant in Pitta dosha and summer may be overheating for you.
Each of us have all 3 doshas - just in our own unique, individual proportions. When in balance Pitta types can be driven, focused, and ‘intense’. They tend to have good muscle tone, strong digestion and many of them are great leaders. All seen as pretty positive attributes, right? In today’s fast paced, “always be achieving” world many of the signs of Pitta imbalance may be actually prized or rewarded! It’s good reminder to be on the lookout for these especially during summer and especially if you have a dominance of Pitta energy. If this is you, maybe you don’t have to do every single challenging pose or variation-to-the-ultimate-edge the yoga instructor suggests…or sacrifice your weekend to work overtime again! I know first hand that it can be easy to confuse ‘working hard’ with the fire element overbearing on you! Maybe it’s time to give yourself a break and cut yourself some slack! Just because there is more daylight there’s no need to overextend yourself or push yourself even more.
Signs of high Pitta in the body: acid reflux, skin rashes, heartburn, diahhrea
* Signs of high Pitta in the mind: irritability, unchecked ego, competitiveness, anger, sarcasm
Below are my top ways to keep your cool and stay balanced this summer:
1. Fresh, whole, raw foods
Keep Pitta fire in check with more fresh, whole, raw foods - particularly juicy fruits and vegetables. Salads and all leafy greens are great. Fennel is awesome and can be cooling to the digestive system. Think ‘cooling’with fruits and vegetables too - like cucumbers, mint and seasonal berries. It’s also good to stay away from too much coffee, alcohol or oily/greasy, salty, spicy and fried foods. Be mindful of onions, garlic, peppers and meat as well.
2. Try Abhyanga with Coconut oil
Abhyanga is a rejuvenating, balancing, anti-aging ritual that can help keep the skin moist and the body and mind in balance. Use cooling coconut oil to minimize Pitta overdrive during the hot summer season. It couldn’t be easier! Start at your head and massage a little coconut oil into your scalp. Next, go all the way down your body and limbs, using long, back and forth movements on your arms and legs and circular movements around each of your joints.
3. Avoid certain hours for exercise
When at all possible, don’t exercise between the hours of 10am and 2pm. This time of the day is when the sun it hitting it’s peak, directly overhead and it is Pitta time. Best to plan outdoor activity for early morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day. If you have a yoga practice, you can also try a Yin or restorative class or candlelight meditation instead of the hot vinyasa flow. Even wearing lighter colored clothes, like white or light gray, greens and blues can be balancing.
These are just a few of my easy, stress-free favorites for keeping Pitta in check and your body and mind balanced this summer. Summertime…let the livin’ be easy (yes Pittas, cut yourself some slack and relax!).