10 Ayurvedic tips to balance pitta in summer.

Long summer evenings, picnics at the beach. A dip in the ocean. Just a few of our favourite things about this time of year. It’s funny how we crave the warmer months, yet every summer we act surprised when the weather gets hot! Sadly, the intense heat of our early summer this year is going to become more common in the future. But it is this intense heat of summer that can tip your balance and aggravate your Pitta Dosha. In Ayurveda Pitta is the dominant dosha of summer.

We all deal with the heat in different ways

I’m a person who deals quite well with the hot, humid weather. I remember living in Cambodia, a tropical country, I had a lovely relationship with the heat. It didn’t impact my energy. Nor did I have any issues sleeping.  But it was very different for some of my friends, they really struggled.

The reason why I deal with the heat much better than others, is because I have what is known in Ayurveda as a strong Vata constitution.

Mahima on the other hand has more Pitta in her constitution and these days she is on fire! The heat affects her in many ways. She needs too cool down before going to bed at night by taking a cold shower. She would admit this herself; that she can get irritable, frustrated, and impatient!

However, it is very normal, to feel this way when you have a Pitta imbalance. It can happen very quickly particularly when the intense heat of summer comes so quickly as it has this year.

I’m sure that many of you identify with Mahima!

This morning for example, we were doing our morning yoga practice (Sadhana). I was practising quite strong dynamic asanas and really enjoying the practice.

Next to me was Mahima, she was practising more gentle asanas. Practices that help to  balance her Pitta dosha and stay grounded. She wasn’t enjoying as much as me, I think I was triggering her when she wasn’t able to see any perspiration on my body!

A little bit about Ayurveda

Ayurveda is built up around the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether (space). There are three main doshas that form a combination of each element. Vata is governed by air and ether, Pitta by Fire and Water and Kapha dosha is governed by Earth and Water.

We are all born with all three doshas, yet it is the dominance of one or two doshas that defines all aspects of who we are.

At the end of Autumn Vata is the predominant dosha, at the end of Spring Kapha, and in the hottest months of summer it is Pitta.

Summer Yoga asana practice

Pitta is the dosha that controls your metabolism and can cause you to overheat especially during the summer months.

If during the heat of summer, you find you are more irritable, frustrated and impatience. Physically feeling more discomfort through overheating, hot flashes, sunburn or experiencing skin irritations, acne, and in extreme cases, diarrhea. There’s good chance your Pitta is a little out of balance.⁠ ⁠

The aim during the summer months is to keep Pitta balanced by staying cool, grounding yourenergy, and incorporating more relaxation into your daily life. ⁠Generally slowing things down…

Keeping Your Pitta Dosha Balanced

Here are 10 tips that can help you to calm down the Pitta dosha, to make the summer more enjoyable…

Eating for the season
1.Eating for the season,

it’s very important to adjust your diet according to the season. You may find you do this instinctively. Mahima and I eating much lighter, seasonal foods in summer. We are super lucky to already be enjoying lovely green salads that our veggie garden is supplying us.

2.Cooler foods don’t necessary mean cold food

More that they have a cooling energy. At this time of year, you want to be eating foods that cool your body and calm your mind.

Pitta dosha governs the digestive system with its element “fire”, so eating more seasonal vegetables will help keep your pitta dosha balanced.

Ayurveda advises to eat bitter, astringent flavours, leafy green vegetables, root vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cauliflower, cooling cucumbers, watermelons and summer berries. In other words eating what the season is offering to us.

These foods contain high amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, which are beneficial to your health.

3. Avoid foods that will aggravate Pitta

The last thing you want to do is worsen your Pitta! Try to avoid foods that are overly salty, fried, processed, and spicy. Minimise using ingredients like chilli, garlic and onion.

That doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up! Fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and basil are wonderfully cooling and also provide anti-inflammatory qualities.  Used dried Cumin, cilantro, turmeric and fennel seeds in your cooking.

4. Stay Hydrated

The need to stay hydrated increases significantly during the summer months as the heat drains more moisture from your body. Drinking lots of water and avoid or significantly reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. Don’t be afraid to add a pinch of salt into a glass of water to help you keep hydrated.

Coconut water is incredibly cooling and a beautiful refreshing and hydrating drink, try adding mint!

5. Yoga Nidra

This is a magical tool to deeply relax your body on all levels, physically, mentally & emotionally. Yoga Nidra will rejuvenate your energy! It really supports me, during the peak hot temperatures of the day when my energy levels have dropped. Yoga Nidra really picks me up. If you would like to give it a go, you can access a recording by following this link.

6. Slow down your yoga asana practice

With gentle movements and restorative practices. Incorporate practices to cool down your body rather than heating it up with a more intense, dynamic asana. This will increase the heat in your body and your mind! I highly recommend to avoid the practice during the times of more intense hot, the best time it’s very early in the morning, just before sunset, or in the evening.

7. Pranayama (breathwork)

The ancient techniques of yoga, offers us a practice for each moment. Cooling breathwork practices like Sheetali (cooling breath) or Seetkari (hissing breath) pranayama are very effective to cool the body and mind.

8. Cool down your body!

Take a cool or even cold shower before bedtime, it is the best antidotes to an overheated body and mind.

9. Washing the feet before bed

In cool water and then massaging them with coconut oil. This is cooling and calming for the skin, particularly if your skin has been exposed to too much sun during the day. It will help to cool down you sunburn.

10. Sleeping habits,

It is a good idea to go to bed a little later during the intense summer months when a lot of the sun heat has dispersed

Ayurveda suggests you sleep on your right side, it encourages you to breath more through the left nostril that corresponds with the Ida Nadi energy channel that relates to the moon (lunar) aspects this helps to cools down the mind.

We hope you have found these tips useful. The important thing is to establish a summer routine where you eat foods according to the season and remain hydrated. These small changes will help to maintain balance during the heat of summer.⁠