Great Tips to Balance Pitta in the Summer

July 03, 2019

Great Tips to Balance Pitta in the Summer

Summer is the time for many things- travel, playing outside, barbecues, social gatherings, and festivals of course. But that's not all- as temperatures rise, so do our tempers, and studies have shown up to 16% increases in crime during heatwaves. Yikes! Why does this happen? According to Ayurveda, it’s because summer marks the time of increased pitta, especially the fire element. From drinking more alcohol to staying in the sun all day barbecuing, many typical summer activities can really mess you up and imbalance you! Fear not, we still want you to have fun, so here are some simple tips and tricks to help keep you cool mentally and physically all summer long.

 

  • Limit sun exposure- while this is fairly obvious, it’s also good to have a reminder! The sun is HOT, and hot is a quality of Pitta dosha. Stay inside during peak sun hours or keep covered with long sleeves and a hat.
  • Add cooling foods or herbs to your water- This is such a wonderful and simple tool for balancing pitta and vāta doshas, especially when you use cucumber, which has soothing, Kapha qualities. Some great additions to water include mint, cucumber, lime, spearmint, watermelon, melon in general, and berries. Avoid using lemon as this is heating and serves to increase pitta rather than balance it.
  • Reduce or eliminate red meat- Summer is barbecue season, and the irony of this is that large chunks of red meat are notoriously hard to digest. Red meat is also very tamasic and increases dullness of the mind. Eat a beyond burger instead while wishing you were an early investor. Favor lighter meats like chicken and fish, or go vegetarian!
  • Eat lunch later in the day- Your digestive capacity actually decreases in the summer because your central fire gets pushed outwards to allow you to sweat. Ever noticed how extreme heat kills your appetite? This is why. Eat your biggest meals when it is a little cooler outside, which is also the time when your central fire has moved back to the core, allowing you to digest your food.
  • Oil up regularly using sunflower or coconut oil- This will help to balance both pitta and vāta doshas. Sunflower is great for those who tend to run dry, and coconut for those who are a little oilier.
  • Drink beer- Yes, drink beer instead of having red wine or liquor. Beer has bitter flavor which serves to balance pitta. See? I told you we wouldn’t take all your fun away J
  • Wear cooler colors- White is the most balancing and sattvic color and is the coolest color you can wear when it’s hot out. Blues and greens are also great choices. Avoid excess red or black as these only serve to heat you up more.
  • Practice shītalī and sheetkari pranayamas. Never heard of them? Now you have something fun to research!

 

There you have it! Enjoy your summer and remember to have fun and savor the gifts of nature. 



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