Optimistic I know to start thinking about hot balmy summer days, but if the recent weather has anything to by then surely there is a strong chance we will be blessed with more sunshine to come?
Ayurveda believes that our essential health and well-being is influenced by the biological nature that we are born with. Our birth nature "Vata, Pitta or Kapha" relates to the five elements, air, space, fire, water and earth and depending on the proportions we are assigned with these are affected differently by the seasons, diet, lifestyle, life experiences, age and much more. In Ayurvedic terms summer is the season when the Pitta dosha dominates. The primary element for the pitta dosha is fire (this is tempered too with a little bit of water to keep it under control). So it stands to reason that when the temperature rises so does the pitta heat. For anyone whose biological predisposition is towards pitta then summer can be an aggravating factor to the dosha. When balanced the pitta dosha allows for creativity, inspiration, happy playfulness, entrepreneurial ventures, focus, perception and dynamic charisma. We are able to absorb and digest fully through our eyes, the pitta sense organ and see life and the world with renewed and joyous wonder. If unsettled then we find we can be irritable, contentious, jealous, angry, lack compassion, reckless, stuck and aggressive. Frustrations rise! Any imbalance may manifest in ailments such as skin rashes, excessive sweating and digestive issues such as acidity and burning sensations in the throat and stomach. We definitely start to feel the need to cool down. There are fortunately Ayurvedic lifestyle choices that we can make to keep pitta content that don't just involve ice cream .....
IN A NUTSHELL
Balance rest and activity. Be careful not to create unnecessary time pressures on yourself.
Do not skip meals. Favour sweet, bitter and astringent tastes. Keep food neither too light, nor too heavy and avoid too many hot spices such as chillis and hot peppers. Eat fruits such as melons, pomegranates, grapes and cherries and include plenty of green vegetables in your diet eg celery, cucumber, courgettes, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans. Avoid red meat.
Include cooling aloe vera juice and coconut water in your diet. Emphasise foods and drinks that are refreshing, cooling and liquid. Avoid coffee and alcohol. Drink lemon water on waking and peppermint tea during the day.
Keep cool.. Avoid excessive heat and stimulation. Swim
Regularly spend time in nature. Keep plants by your desk at work and in your home. Spend time by water meditating, walking or just gazing at the night sky in the evenings.
Perform a daily massage using cool oils such as coconut or olive oil. Try a foot massage “padabhyanga” as a grounding settling Ayurvedic treatment for pitta.
Enjoy soft calming music such as flutes or sounds of running water
Favour cool and sweet aromas. Eg sandalwood, jasmine, rose, lavender, mint, fennel and chamomile
Take non-competitive exercise. enjoying team sports for pleasure rather than for the win! Slow down your yoga flow practice. Focus on the transitions rather than the goal.
Spend time cultivating friendships, practice a “maitri” loving kindness meditation practice.
Trust your feelings and express yourself.
Laugh a lot, every day and have fun, spending time with those who bring out the best in you.