Longer days, hot temperatures, and prickly personalities. Pitta season is officially in effect. Pronounced pit-tuh (same sound as the word “it,” and totally not pronounced like pita bread!), this time of year is all about finding ways to keep our cool, literally and figuratively.
When working with Ayurvedic principles, opposites help keep us balanced. In the case of the summertime heat, we’re more likely to remain balanced when we keep our foods, drinks, and movements on the cooler side. This isn’t the best time of year to be going for a run in the middle of the day, for example, nor is it a good idea to eat lots of spicy foods.
Last week I shared my video sit-down with Dr. Ram Tamang, my personal Ayurvedic doctor extraordinaire. If you missed it, click here so you can have a better understanding of Pitta season and how it impacts our bodies.
Today’s post is all about choosing appropriate movements that will keep you active and also keep your cool.
Here are a few ideas for you to navigate the summertime with peace and happiness:
*Spend some time in nature. Think green (like strolling underneath trees) and/or splashing in some water rather than hiking in the desert. For a Pitta-reducing morning routine, kick off your shoes and walk barefoot in the dew-covered grass.
*Meditate regularly. Try to avoid doing heat-building breathing techniques during this time, or at the very least add in some cooling ones to counteract the heat.
*Do cooling breathing techniques like Sitali and Sitkhari. These can be performed anytime you need to cool down, whether it’s while you’re outside in the sun or inside after a heated argument.
*Avoid heat-building activities during the hottest part of the day. When possible, do the sweaty stuff before 10a or after 5p so you can limit the chance of becoming a human firecracker.
*Go for a swim. While the ocean is salty and thus technically Pitta-enhancing, it’s still better than nothing. Just getting yourself wet in nature is an overall wonderful thing to do in the summertime.
*Take softer exercise classes. Things like Yin, Gentle Stretch, and Restorative Yoga classes are all fantastic ways to bring the heat down. If you need to build heat in your movement practice, try to take a morning or evening class.
*Listen to mellow music or sounds of nature. Throw in your headphones and find some amazing options on platforms like Spotify and YouTube.
*Avoid heated discussions when you’re already feeling prickly. Sometimes this can’t be avoided. But in the times when you know an intense convo is going to happen, set yourself up by avoiding heat-producing activities, foods, and beverages in the hours leading up to the discussion. Your future self will be grateful you took these steps to remain cool as a cucumber.
Next week we’ll be exploring food and spices that you likely have in your kitchen that can help with excess Pitta. In the meantime, share below what you’re doing to stay cool and mellow during this time of year.