Get Cool with Ayurveda and Yoga

Summer is finally here!!

Well, at least for the Northern Hemisphere.

Here, in the Tropics of Cancer, the winter season began with thunderstorms, rains and extraordinary lush jungles blossoming.

Summer time means hot sunny days, more socializing (hopefully some dancing), day trips to the beach or mountain hikes, and of course juicy watermelons!

According to Ayurveda (the big sister of Yoga), Pitta Dosha rules the Summer.

Pitta Dosha roughly translates as “fire”. 

A subtle energy that controls our metabolism. 

Pitta Dosha is responsible for all the chemical and metabolic reactions in the human body, while also governing a sense of mental balance — helping us perceive and understand reality better.

Pitta is hot, spicy, sharp, sweaty and penetrating in its nature. 

Just like Summer 🙂

There are some lifestyle and food choices that can cause excess Pitta in our body and create dis-balance, such as: 

  • Exposure to too much Sun and heat
  • Intensive workouts
  • Dehydration
  • Too much spicy food 
  • Too much alcohol or caffeine
  • Stress and tension that causes too much emotional flare ups
  • Overworking and not resting enough

If you want to make sure your Pitta Dosha is balanced, some of the signs of excess Pitta in the body are:

  • Increased heat in the body and related discomfort
  • Increased sweating and body odor
  • Inflammation in the body that can lead to joint pain
  • Increased hunger and thirst
  • Heartburn, acid reflux, ulcers
  • Diarrhea, constipation or impaired digestion
  • Sore throat with infection
  • Headaches with burning pain in the head
  • Mental heat increase causes anger, irritation, and frustration

To reduce and control your Pitta Dosha, Ayurveda recommends implementing a range of measures including lifestyle modifications, herbal remedies, and dietary changes. 

Diet is the key answer to the question “how do I balance my Pitta?

Dietary tips to help reduce Pitta 

FOODS TO INCLUDE & DOsFOODS TO AVOID & DONTs
Bitter, astringent and sweet foods can pacify PittaHeavy and oily foods and hard to digest in order not overburden the already heated up digestive system
Apples (sweet), ripe grapes, milk, melon, plum, asparagus, leafy greens, cabbage, papaya, cucumber, cauliflower, and bell pepperBeef, chicken, salmon
Grains like oats, quinoa, rice, wheat, and pastaCorn, bananas, grapefruit, pineapple, tamarind, beets, eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, and turnips
Legumes, including lentils, split peas, soy beans, black beans, and white beansBrown rice
Almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, and sunflower seedsWalnut, cashews, salted butter
Turmeric, coriander, cumin, and fennel while cookingHoney, white sugar, sesame oil
Stay hydrated and drink a lot of waterSpicy food
Eat fruits and veggies an hour before the meal or after 

What about Yoga? 

Practicing Yoga Asanas and exercising increases the heat in the body, therefore during summer time it is advisable to practice Yoga asanas in a slower rhythm and focus more on the postures that are pacifying and cooling down the body. 

Practicing in the early morning or evenings when the weather is cool.

Along with Yoga Asanas, Pranayama or breathing exercises that involve inhaling from the mouth and exhaling from the nose can be helpful. 

Stay Cool and enjoy Watermelon sugar high!

Want to practice a cooling yoga sequence?

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