The heat is on! Are you ready for summer?
Here in Australia the weather has finally turned to summer and we all know it’s just the beginning of feeling the fire element and all its force every day for a few months.
Some of us may embrace this time of year, taking every chance we can to run to the beach and soak up the rays, while others of us feel flustered and overheated just thinking about the temperature gage increasing.
What is your reaction to the heat and this time of year? Does it make you feel good or not? Your answer should give you some insight into your constitution (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) and what you need to keep balanced and cool.
Summer is the Pitta time of year, so if you have a Pitta dominance you’ll want to pay extra attention to keeping yourself from overheating.
We see the doshas not just in our body, but also in the seasons. The Vata dosha, comprised of ether and air, dominates Autumn and early Winter. Kapha, composed of water and earth elements, shows up most in late Winter and Spring. While Pitta, comprised of fire and water, dominates in Summer.
The qualities (gunas) of Pitta include oily, sharp, hot, light, moving, liquid and acidic.
Remember the simple Ayurvedic law we talked about in the last blog: like increases like, while opposites create balance. As we take a closer look at the Pitta constitution, keep that principle in mind and start to notice where these qualities are in excess and your internal flame may be turned up too high or where you lack these qualities and the fire may need a little stoking.
Pitta is most closely related to fire, but also contains the water element which gives it a liquid nature. It is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body and functions through substances such as organic acids, hormones, enzymes and bile. We see Pitta most in the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes and sweat.
Pitta governs all processes related to conversion and transformation–in the body as well as in the mind. Psychologically, Pitta manifests as joy, courage and willpower when balanced. When out of balance and overheated it shows up as anger, jealousy and impatience.
Pitta individuals tend to have medium builds and strong bodies with little problem losing or gaining weight. They often have bright and penetrating eyes and can tend toward delicate or oily skin prone to acne.
Due to a strong internal fire the Pitta person also has a strong metabolism and appetite (and becomes irritable when skipping meals so feed the Pittas around you lest you feel their wrath!). For this same reason these people may have problems with lose stool, heartburn, liver disorders and inflammation.
The Pitta within us all provides the radiant light of the intellect.
When we’re connected to and living our passions (no matter what our dominant constitution), our eyes light up and we radiate joy, courage and purpose.
Take a moment and think of something that brings you joy and makes your eyes sparkle. How can you bring that into your life every day?
Making joy a practice can be one of the greatest ways to stoke your internal fire. Just dedicating a portion of your day to feeling joyful can burn up the blockages within, opening the mind to new possibilities and sharpening the intellect.
We must also know how to calm the flames so we don’t get burned.
Summer recommendations to tame Pitta for all doshas:
Eat more cooling foods with high water content.
Wear light, breathable clothing.
Take cool baths and showers.
Avoid overly spicy food.
Drink more water.
Avoid exposure to the sun between noon and 3pm.
Take a short nap during the day.
Favor cooling exercises like swimming.
Take walks under the moonlight.
Use cooling body oils (coconut)