It’s summer! Take care of the fiery element in you!

Summer is the time when the fiery element in our body is most predominant. Ayurveda calls this element Pitta, which literally translates to ‘warmth’, in the sense of transformative energy. Pitta manages the biochemical processes of transformation. And, during summer, Pitta Dosha, in inherently driven by the solar energy, is most pronounced.

Pitta comprises of the elements fire and water. It fuels all our biochemical activities such as digestion, metabolism and assimilation. Pitta, responsible for enzymatic and endocrine activity, also controls the regulation of body temperature, pigmentation, vision, intelligence, vitality, etc.

According to Ayurveda, Pitta is hot, sharp, light, liquid, slightly oily and smelling slightly fleshy. When these attributes build up within the body due to wrong diet and lifestyle, Pitta accumulates and it results in the manifestation of various imbalances.

Since Pitta is hot, people with constitution dominated by Pitta would become more susceptible to heat related ailments during the summer season. If there is excessive Pitta in the body, a person would experience excessive body heat, heartburn, hyperacidity, peptic ulcers, acne, skin rashes, diarrhoea and early greying of the hair.

A person with Pitta nature cannot tolerate much heat, sunshine, or hard physical work. Due to its sharp qualities, Pitta can also cause emotional imbalances like aggression, irritability, anger, hatred, etc. Hence during summer, balancing Pitta is the main lifestyle task.

Regular yoga and meditation can help much in achieving this. A conscious effort to be calm mentally and physically should also be made. Here are some other suggestions for pacifying the Pitta during summer.

In the early morning, do some simple yoga asanas. Do some cooling pranayama like sheetali or shitkari after the asanas. Left-nostril breathing also will be beneficial. After that do total relaxation in shavasana. Regular meditation helps quieting the active Pitta mind and releasing anger. Massage your body gently using coconut oil before taking shower. Drink a tea of cumin, coriander, and fennel and rose to pacify the hot properties of Pitta, improve digestion and calm the mind.

Wear cotton clothes, if possible, white in colour. Eat foods that are cooling and calming, sweet, bitter, and astringent. Coconut, cucumber, watermelon, steamed greens, mung beans and basmati rice are excellent choices.

Sipping cool (not iced) water throughout the day keeps Pitta balanced. It is better to avoid spicy, salty, oily and sour foods. Activities like swimming, gardening and walking barefoot in the lawn in the early morning or evening all help pacify Pitta, thereby calming your mind and body.

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