The summer heat is enjoyable when we are healthy and balanced, but with this season comes the potential of Pitta imbalance. If we have a Pitta constitution or aren’t living a lifestyle conducive to the change of seasons, we risk our Pitta running high, leading to a less pleasurable summer experience. Through the wisdom of Ayurveda, we have the power to keep our minds and bodies balanced all year long. Follow this guide to understand the Pitta Dosha better and keep your heat at bay this season for a healthy and happy summer.
Pitta is governed by the elements of fire and water and is responsible for the body’s metabolism and digestion. Pitta also plays a vital role in maintaining body heat and temperature. All of the doshas in Ayurveda have different Gunas or qualities unique to that specific Dosha. Pitta’s Gunas are hot, sharp, light, pungent, liquid, and mobile. Doshas become imbalanced by the change of seasons and form engaging in activities, lifestyle choices, and eating foods that have the same qualities. We must understand the signs of imbalanced Pitta so that we can adjust our lifestyle choices to create more harmony and balance in the body.
Signs of Imbalanced Pitta
Imbalanced Pitta results from too much heat in the body, which can accumulate much easier in the summer season. Some Pitta imbalance symptoms can include acid reflux, red skin or rosacea, loose stools, painful menstrual cramps, inflammation, excessive anger or irritation, and burning eyes. These symptoms can make it challenging to enjoy the sunshine, but fortunately, you can find relief easily and naturally with the proper knowledge and lifestyle changes.
How to Balance Pitta
In Ayurveda, Doshas are balanced by implementing more of the opposite qualities of that Dosha in your daily choices. This can include movement, lifestyle, food, herbs, and spices. Prioritizing cool, heavy, slow, dry, grounding, stabilizing, and dense qualities can help balance excess Pitta and leave you feeling calm, cool, and collected.
Pitta is a very masculine and on-the-move Dosha. Those with a Pitta constitution tend to prefer high-intensity and fast-paced workouts. To balance Pitta, ensure that you prioritize slow, cooling, and mindful exercises. Slow yoga, pilates, and long walks are great for balancing excess Pitta.
Another great way to balance Pitta is to create space in your schedule. Try taking on less and leaving more time to rest and relax. Downtime can feel difficult to a Pitta dominant personality, but it is imperative to keep your mind and body healthy and balanced. Meditation and cooling pranayama like Sheetali and Nadi Shodhana are also great ways to calm excess Pitta.
Food plays a massive part in keeping Doshas balanced. The food we eat has different qualities that affect our bodies in different ways. During the summer, it is essential that we focus on eating food that is cooling and drying to balance the hot and light qualities of Pitta. Some Pitta balancing foods include; cilantro, mint, cucumber, coconut, watermelon, celery, and kale. Some foods to avoid include; strawberries, mango, lemons, peppers, onion, and garlic.
If shifting your lifestyle and the food you eat isn’t quite doing the trick, herbs are an excellent way to restore balance in the body and soothe excess Pitta. This summer, some herbs to incorporate into your rotation include Brahmi, Amalaki, coriander, and fennel. These herbs can be consumed in tea or taken as a daily supplement to keep Pitta balanced.
Pitta Pacifying Meal Ideas
Learning to make delicious Pitta pacifying meals can make your summer that much more enjoyable. Here are some easy meal ideas that taste amazing and will keep you feeling great all summer long.
Watermelon Cucumber Slushie
- 1 cup watermelon
- ¼ medium-sized cucumber
- Three mint leaves
- 1 cup coconut water
- ½ cup ice
1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender. Blend for around thirty seconds.
2. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Summer Squash Salad
- One roasted summer squash chopped
- 1 cup dandelion greens chopped
- One pear, chopped into squares
- 1 cup spinach
- ½ cup artichoke hearts
- A handful of pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
1. Combine squash, dandelion greens, pear, spinach, and artichokes in a large bowl and mix evenly.
2. Top with olive oil and pumpkin seeds. Serve fresh and enjoy.
Ayurveda provides the opportunity for us to honor seasonal changes and how they can affect our bodies. Learning to shift our lifestyle choices throughout the year to observe the change in seasons can help us achieve new levels of health and well-being. Refer to these Ayurvedic tips and tricks to keep your Pitta balanced this season to enjoy your summer in a balanced state.
Cool off and find calm this summer with pitta-pacifying practices to nourish mind, body, and spirit in Summer Renewal, a four-part Ayurveda series with Dr. Sheila Patel, available now in the Chopra App under For You.