Summer is in full swing around these parts, and it has been HOT!! Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, has tips for balancing the fire element, pitta, that is within us. When our pitta is aggravated, we may notice that we are easy to anger, less patient, have skin rashes, heartburn, and even headaches. There are many things to incorporate into our daily lives that can help to keep us cool, if you wanted in depth, personal to you information on balancing your dosha, I would highly reccomend seeking advice from Manjiri Nadkarni, our local Ayurvedic Physician, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and BASE Allergy Specialist. I have had a few consults for myself with her, and her insight and suggestions were incredible, and even better, easy to incorporate.
Below is just a very short list of some of the things that I have been doing to keep my pitta balanced lately.
1) Adjust your practice/exercise regime - During these hot days, I have cultivated a slower, more gentle practice, and I also choose to practice earlier in the day, before the temperatures really climb. Even though I still like to incorporate challenging poses, I warm up a bit slower, allow for more rest poses as I practice, and take a longer savasana.
2) Eat seasonally. There are foods that aggravate our doshas, and foods that balance. Spicy, fried, or acidic foods can aggravate pitta. To cool the fire, we can incorporate foods like leafy greens, cucumbers, celery, sweet potatoes, zucchini, cherries, sweet melon, ripe pineapple, and coconut.
3) Self massage with cooling oils. Abhyanga, self massage, is best practiced with coconut or olive oils in the summer months here. Oils like sesame and almond oil tend to be more warming.
4) Cooling scents. In the studio we have been using a simple oil blend of mint and lime. We use it in our diffusers, apply it after practice (diluted in coconut oil), and in our homemade mat cleaner.
What are some of the ways that you like to beat the heat? Feel free to share with us below!