Ayurvedic tips to keep you cool this summer!

Updated: Mar 23

Seasonal Routine

Ayurveda works on the principle that like increases like and this also applies to the seasons.

Each season brings different qualities, it may be hot, dry, cold, wet or windy and each of these qualities either aggravate or pacify the Dosha.

summer season - sunflowers

As a Pitta constitution, it is important to know that hot, dry weather is the most aggravating and cool damp weather is pacifying. This generally means you will have to very strict with your Pitta pacifying foods and routine during the summer as this is the most likely time for Pitta related problems to develop or be aggravated further.

Organs and conditions aggravated by pitta dosha

When Pitta is out of balance areas that are often effected are;

  • Skin - heat rashes, sunburn, bleeding gums and other bleeding conditions

  • Eyes - bloodshot, photosensitivity

  • Liver and gall bladder

  • Loose hot possibly coloured stools

  • Fever, sweats, burning sensations and inflammation

  • Hormonal issues

  • Body and breath odour

  • Emotional outbursts - Irritation, anger, jealousy, critical, impatience, competitive behaviour

Note: Just because it is a Pitta aggravating season does not mean you will only get a Pitta related condition! This is determined by YOUR UNIQUE constitution! However, if you are prone to these type of conditions then a Pitta pacifying diet and lifestyle might be worth considering. This information is generic and a personalised, detailed consultation is always recommended.

How to balance Pitta

  • Avoid excess oils, fried foods, salt, alcohol, red meat and hot spices

  • Get plenty of fresh air and fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, coconut and whole grains

  • Keep cool physically and mentally

  • Apply an attitude of moderation in all things

  • Avoid situations of excessive heat, steam, or humidity

  • In hot climates or seasons take cool baths, stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day, wear loose light coloured cotton clothing (especially white and pastel shades like pale blue), take enough fluids, wear a hat

  • Be considerate and patient with others

  • Engage in quiet, cooling and leisurely activities like swimming, water activities, cycling and Thai Chi, avoid competitive activities

  • Have cool showers and always use cooler water on the head

  • Avoid situations of potential conflict and confrontation

  • Choose cooler times of day to take part in physical activities

  • Don't skip meals, eat when hungry.

  • Using spices and herbs daily in cooking is a great way to promote health, here some options for pacifying Pitta. Coriander, Ghee, Curry Leaf, Coconut, Fennel, Saffron, Fenugreek, Cardamom, Cloves, Turmeric.

  • Sweet, bitter and astringent tastes reduce Pitta. Pungent (hot/spicy), sour and salty tastes increase Pitta.

  • Pitta has the properties of hot, light, oily, smooth and mobile/quick. Therefore the best way to balance excess Pitta is to choose food and lifestyle activities that are cooling, heavy, drying, rough and slow.

  • Pitta is most active at midday between 10-2pm and at midnight 10-2am.

  • Pitta is aggravated during the summer months.

  • Pitta should generally avoid nuts and oils, coconut is fine. Dairy reduces Pitta. Pitta should avoid condiments (vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, chocolate, olives and salt)

Pitta balancing by pictures

Enjoy vine ripened sweet summer fruits, cooling coconut and hydrating coconut water. Coriander or cilantro is a wonderful cooling herb and ghee also pacifies Pitta. Swimming and cycling are cooling non competitive ways to exercise. Take time to stop and smell the roses, enjoy the fruits of your labour and develop mindful practice such as journalling. Floral scents help to soften hot angry emotions or irritation.

Essential oils that can help to balance Pitta;

  • Floral oils such as Rose, Jasmine, Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli

  • Mint and citrus oils like Spearmint, Peppermint, Orange, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime,

  • Spikenard, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Patchouli, and Fennel

Yoga Asana

Pitta is a constitution that can easily overheat, suffer from feelings of burning and exhaustion and very competitive in nature. In order to bring about balance and prevent aggravation of pitta dosha make sure you include some restorative postures and slow the practice down so it is cooling and relaxing.

It is important to note that the main sites of Pitta are the digestive system and endocrine system so poses targeting these areas are particularly good. Hot yoga should be avoided if pitta constitution, especially during summer.

moon salutation - Chandra Namaskar

Moon salutation (Chandra Namaskar) is a great sequence to cool, quieten and soothe. Ideally practiced in the evening as a salute to the moon, the practice will replenish vital energy and cool the mind. Pitta constitutions should work through the series at a moderate pace and repeat up to 16 times. You may follow with some other poses of your choice.

Pranayama (Breathing Exercise) to balance Pitta

Pitta imbalances are generally caused by excess heat in the body, this generally presents as inflammation on the skin or eyes, as well acidity, ulcers, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances and a hot temper. Here are a couple of cooling breathing techniques to balance excess Pitta;

Shitali or sheetali Pranayama (cooling breath)
  • Cooling Breath (Shitali or sheetali) – Cools the body’s core temperature, alleviates thirst and makes the mind more peaceful. This technique is also helpful with reducing blood pressure, acidity, ulcers and skin concerns as it purifies the blood. Try this now and feel how instantly it cools you down!

  1. Roll your tongue & take a nice deep inhale through the tube created by your rolled tongue.

  2. Now close mouth as normal & exhale through the nostrils.

  3. Repeat 8-10 times. Try Sheetkari if you can’t roll the tongue.

  • Bee Breath (Bhramari) – one of the best breathing exercises for releasing anger, frustration and agitation. Also is cooling, helps to reduce blood pressure and relives headaches.

Live Wisely, Abbie x

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This information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure. It is for informational/educational purposes only, and provides Ayurvedic insight about how you can best support your body through seasonal changes.

Always consult your health care professional.

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