As the temperature begins to spike this summer, you may notice that your emotions can often mirror the sticky situation outside. Perhaps you find yourself getting agitated, critical and impatient during the dog days of summer. Summer is governed by pitta dosha (fire + water) which has the qualities of hot, dry and light. In Ayurveda, we like to balance with opposites. To help cool your jets (and your pitta dosha), look to activities and foods that are heavy, cool, and moist.
Below is a list to aid in extinguishing any mental or physical meltdowns that take place over the sweltering summer months.
- Get out and reconnect with nature — take a calming walk in the shady woods or by a gentle stream.
- Spend some time under the night sky gazing at the stars.
- Keep some space in your schedule so that you can have room to air out emotionally- give yourself permission to have a lazy day to decompress.
- Bring any excess heat out of your head by indulging in a cooling foot bath.
- Steer clear of violent and aggressive movies and television shows — this will only work to further aggravate pitta.
- Keep good company — avoid critical argumentative people and spend time with people that make you feel buoyant and light.
- Avoid the sun during the hotter times of the day and wear loosely woven fabrics (preferably light colors, pastels to help cool the mental pitta).
- Sip on cucumber mint water or coconut water.
- Eat with the season as nature provides the antidote to whatever ails you — dine on slices of watermelon and cantaloupe, have a light salad with some fresh herbs. If it is growing in your garden, chances are it will pacify pitta. Vegetables are extremely purifying and great for the summer. According to Dr. John Douillard, “the cellulose in veggies scrub the gut and remove toxic bile and cholesterol. Vegetables also deliver antioxidants that cleanse the blood.” By cleansing the blood, this will in turn keep pitta in check and the emotions steady and calm.
- Avoid overly spicy and salty food as these tastes increase heat in the body.
- Practice chandra bhedana, the moon piercing breath, to help evoke the more lunar, feminine, cooling side of the brain. To do this, gently place the right thumb over the right nostril. Take a deep inhalation through the left nostril, at the top of the inhale, seal off the left nostril with the right ring finger and exhale through the right nostril. Continue in this manner, inhale through the left nostril, exhale through the right, inhale left, and exhale right. Repeat for 8 minutes daily.
By implementing even a few of these tips one is bound to see an improvement in their fiery emotions. Keep calm and munch those green beans. Happy Summer!
Writer Lauren Sauer is a graduate from the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and a certified 500 hour Kripalu Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher. As an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, she is passionate about educating others to become their own health advocate, to live with the rhythms of nature and to simply slow down and breathe. She currently resides in the beautiful Berkshires as the intern with the Kripalu School of Ayurveda.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or to sell any product.