Keep Your Pitta in Check This Summer with 10 Cooling and Calming Tips
The pitta dosha is primarily comprised of the Fire element, and summer, when heat predominates, is the pitta season. What does that mean to you? Pitta represents the Fire principle in the body. If you tend to run warm, you may be pitta in nature, and summer can be a bit overheating for you. Too much pitta can create havoc on your system, causing everything from anger and frustration to heartburn, skin irritations and insomnia. Here are a few tips on how to keep your pitta in check, and here is a link for a great Pitta balancing formula from Banyan Botanicals.
1. Plan your outdoor activities for before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. The Pitta time of day is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is at its highest. If you are exercising in the mid-day heat, for example, you will aggravate your Pitta, bringing more unwanted heat into your mind and body. Instead, try exercising in the morning or late afternoon, the cooler parts of the day.If you must be outside during the hottest part of the day, be sure to protect yourself with a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing.
2. Avoid hot and spicy foods. Instead favor cooling foods such as sweet juicy fruit, cucumbers and leafy greens. (Yay- even ice cream is ok an occasion during the summer!) Instead of indulging in heating red wine, enjoy a cold beer instead.
3. Wear cooling colors such as blue, green and white. Colors even hold energy, and the lighter colors are cooling and calming in nature. Not only can you wear these colors, but you can seasonally decorate or accent your home with the cooler colors.
4. Spritz yourself with cooling and sweet aromatherapies such as rose and sandalwood, jasmine, mint and lavender, to name a few. Aromas work on a subtle level to keep you emotionally balanced, and rose is one of the top fragrances to keep you emotionally balanced. Make sure to utilize essential oils instead of artificial fragrances.
5. Get enough rest instead of burning the candle at both ends. With more summer light, we tend to push ourselves, which completely imbalances Pitta (and Vata). I was recently in Alaska, where this was very evident, as it never gets dark out during the summer, and people can be found hiking or fishing at midnight! Be sure to get enough sleep, striving to hit the sack as close to 10 p.m. as possible, and sleep seven to eight hours.
6. Give Sitali breathing a try to cool the body and soothe aggravated pitta. Get in a relaxed, comfortable position. Curl your tongue out of your mouth and breath in through it, exhale through your nose. Do this for a few minutes. Can’t curl your tongue? Then open your mouth, bring your teeth together, and inhale through them, exhaling again through your nose.
7. Drink herbal teas and try herbal formulas that balance pitta. Try brewing your own tea from fresh mint, licorice, fennel hibiscus and rose petals, or you can get pre-made balancing tea.
8. Listen to relaxing music, whether reggae, acoustic or classical –whatever calms you.
9. Try a cooling a calming yoga practice. Instead of doing a Power yoga class, try a restorative class, or move slower, emphasizing stay cool and calm. You may also want to try a Chi Gong class, which I would describe as a cross between tai chi and yoga. While it may seem counterintuitive for the striving Pitta types – it is actually extremely balancing and beneficial. Remember balance is everything in life!
10. Keep your cool – Pitta season tends to bring out the hothead in many warm blooded folks. Count to ten before you react, and utilize the above tips to keep balanced, both physically and emotionally.