The days have grown long and the temperature is creeping into the high 80s and low 90s. Its summer! Ayurveda sees summer as the season of pitta, characterized by the elements of fire and water.
As pitta rises in the atmosphere we may notice pitta emotions or symptoms. We may grow irritable in the heat of the day or find ourselves becoming inpatient in traffic. Some of us experience skin irritation, rashes, or blemishes from the heat affecting our body systems. Others thrive in the warm humid climate.
For those of us noticing the influence of pitta on our mental, physical, or emotional condition, we can be proactive by pacifying excess pitta to reducing its effects.
One of the most important things for every constitutional type in the summer season is keep cool. This means staying out of the midday sun. Working out in the cool of the morning or evening. Wearing light linen or cotton clothing in cool tones like blues and grays. Enjoying cool (not cold) showers to keep our bodies cooled off and energized in the high heat of the day.
Keeping cool also applies to our emotional and mental health. It’s easy to become hot headed or short tempered on long hot days.
Try adding checkpoints to your day. During this time you can take a moment to evaluate your emotional temperature and take a break with 5 deep breaths.
We can also listen to sweet and calming music, enjoying light hearted books or podcasts, and spending time with our favorite people.
As external heat rises our bodies counteract that heat by dimming down our own internal fire. This means that our digestive fire isn’t as strong as it is in the winter.
Protect your digestive fire by steering clear of ice cold drinks and too many frozen treats. Enjoy light meals that are well spiced (cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric) but not overly spicy (sriracha, hot peppers, etc.) This is the time for cooling foods like cilantro, lime, coconut, fresh fish, cucumber, and quinoa. Get creative and create bright dishes that compliment the summer season.
One of my favorite summer recipes is a cilantro pineapple smoothie. It’s bright, refreshing, and due to spirulina and other cooling ingredients, it can cool your internal body temperature to help you get through those long hot summer days.