Feeling irritated, anxious or critical? Feeling uncomfortable and hot, even when the A/C is full blast? That's a common issue about this time of year and it's exacerbated by living in Texas. When I didn't know better, I was part of the problem. I would choose constant activity instead of rest which caused me to become overheated and irritable. I was doing things that didn't need to be done, because I thought I "should".
Summer is Pitta season and the bright, hot, sunny days of summer aggravate Pitta. To manage Pitta, the secret is to stay cool. I know you may be laughing right now at the seeming impossibility of that - it's August! It's not enough to keep your body cool - more importantly - it's an effort to keep your mental and emotional energy cool. . The good news, with a little bit of effort, it can be managed! And you will immediately find relief.
Pitta is one of three Doshas in the Ayurvedic System. Ayurveda is a sister science to Yoga based on our mind body connection and living according to the seasons.
Our Detox & Yoga Retreats specifically address how to stay balanced during the different seasons.
Now that our world is in a constant state of turmoil we are already in a heightened state of anxiety, by balancing our Pitta we can alleviate at least some of the stress and anxiety.
Awareness is the key to finding balance. Once you're aware, you can find mental, physical and emotional healing.
My favorite thing about Ayurveda is it's a lifestyle. It can be as simple or as complicated as you desire, I prefer the simple approach.
Signs Your Pitta is Out of Balance
Do the following describe your mental and emotional state?
- Frustration, anger, irritability, sarcasm
- Judgment, impatience, criticism, intolerance
- Excessive perfectionist tendencies
Are you experiencing the following physical symptoms?
- Rash, acne, cold sores
- Achiness or discomfort in body or joints
- Acid reflux, gastric or peptic ulcers, heartburn
- Loose stools
- Uncomfortable feeling of heat in the body
- Difficulty falling asleep
Wellness Habits to Keep You Cool
- Exercise moderately - a less intense yoga practice, walk, swim or bike - but avoid exercising outside during the hottest part of the day.
- Balance your physical activity, with quiet time in meditation or soak up the soothing sights, sounds and smells of nature
- Self-massage several days a week with 1/2 cup sunflower or coconut oil before bathing. Add a drop of Mint Essential Oil for even more cooling.
- Surround yourself with soothing music, smells, scenes and company.
- Blue, green, silver and gray are particularly calming.
- Sandalwood, rose, jasmine, mint, lavender, fennel and chamomile promote a sense of well being.
- Laugh! Enjoy activities and friends to bring out your playful side.
- Journal - Observe your emotions and try to reduce judgment and criticism of yourself and others.
- Limit time on social media and news sites.
- Let go - find surrender rather than control.
Eating to Stay Cool
Incorporate the following into your Summer meals:
- Use Dairy in moderation to balance heat of Pitta. Limit yogurt, sour cream and cheese.
- Cooling foods, both energetically and in temperature,
- Fruits include watermelon, avocados, blueberries, grapes and limes.
- Vegetables include zucchini, cucumbers, asparagus, and jicama.
- Some of our favorite summer cooling recipes: Watermelon Jicama Feta Salad, Guacamole, Asparagus Tomato Salad - Get the recipes.
- Use cooling herbs and spices like coriander, cilantro, fennel and cardamom.
- Oils are so important, choose high-quality olive, sunflower and coconut oils or clarified butter (ghee).
- Do not skip meals and do not wait until you are famished to eat.
- Eat in a peaceful environment. Limit distractions TV, Social Media, Etc. while eating. Sit and relax for ten minutes after eating and before moving on to another activity.
- Indulge in occasional glass of white wine or light beer.
- Sip room temperature or cool water, never ice cold, to keep your digestive system functioning efficiently.
Avoid or limit the following:
- Foods that are pungent, sour and salty.
- Warming foods, both energetically and in temperature.
- Chili and cayenne peppers.
- Highly processed foods (like canned or frozen foods, fast food and pastries).
- Caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants.
- Red meat.
- Deep fried foods.
Here's a full list of cooling foods and what foods to avoid.
- Am I aggravating my Pitta imbalance by running around to social obligations and errands non-stop? In the heat of the day?
- Am I engaging with friends or family that make me crazy?
- Am I vigorously exercise during the hottest part of the day?
- Am I eating hot and heating foods instead of cooling foods?
- Am I constantly on my phone checking news and social media?
You hold the solution to what ails you. You can choose to continue to live on the path you're on, OR you can dial everything down.
Let go of social obligations right now especially with people who irritate you. Let Amazon do your errands for you. Enjoy a soothing Yin class. Spend time in nature, early mornings or after dark. Enjoy alone time in the cool comfort of your home. Enjoy a meal of spring mix with blueberries, walnuts, a little bit of chicken and a splash of oil and vinegar. AND, a glass of white wine, for even more cooling.
Every path is a choice. Are you choosing the path of least resistance or are you fighting an uphill battle this summer?