Friday, June 28, 2019

Stay Cool and Balanced this Summer

by Catalina Rahaianu

Summer - Pitta Dosha tips

Summer is here! It’s the Pitta dosha season. Pitta is associated with heat and its effects are especially felt during the hot Pitta season from July to October.

In the summer we have the advantage of the healing and nurturing natural elements being at their peak. It is truly the most favorable season to get strong and prepare the body for the fall and winter seasons to come.

Along with all the benefits of the summer we also have the disadvantage of the extreme high temperatures, high humidity, possible sun strokes and dehydration. The key is to plan how to draw all the healing capacity of the summer.

What is Pitta?

Pitta is one of the three doshas or basic factors that govern all activities of the mind and body. It rules metabolism, particularly digestion, and oversees all processes of transformation in the body.
  • When the first heat waves of summer roll around, most of us start to experience the effects of excess Pitta.
  • Signs of excess Pitta include heartburn, excessive body heat and sweating, skin rashes, acne, excess stomach acidity, peptic ulcers, irritability and/or anger. As you can see, these are very different complaints, but they are all related to the same factor — Pitta.
  • There are three powerful approaches for balancing Pitta: diet, daily routines and herbal formulas.
  • Follow some of these simple health tips and you'll be well on your way to enjoying a wonderful, cool summer.

Body and Mind Care

Maintenance is the secret.
  • The ayurvedic massage, abhyanga, if done regularly, intensively removes excess heat through sweat, urine and bowel movements from the body, corrects impaired doshas, and leaves you feeling fresh, full of energy and sharp through the day.
  • This hair oiling helps release excess heat accumulated during the day, as it works in calming down the mind. This hair oiling also nourishes the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth.
  • Abhyanga works as a temperature regulator for the body. In the summer it cools the body off, in the winter will reignite its internal heat. It serves as a balancing medium for all 4 seasons.
  • The base oils, essential oils and herbs used in the summer will differ from the ones used in other seasons and will be adapted to each individual state of mind and body.
  • The massage can be done everyday at home or in clinic by a professional. To ensure the proper self care protocol, make sure you check in with an ayurvedic massage specialist before starting the self treatments.

The Cooling Lifestyle

Emphasize activities that have a cooling influence, both emotionally and environmentally. Try to take the time to enjoy the outdoors. Leisure activities also reduce Pitta by mellowing intense, fiery emotions and increasing our happiness and contentment.
  • A walk in the moonlight is especially soothing to a Pitta-aggravated mind and to the emotions.
  • Avoid overexposure to the sun, especially during the hottest part of the day from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Being by the water, swimming, dipping your feet in the rivers, those are activities that are very effective at soothing Pitta dosha. Whether you are a Pitta type or not, really pay attention to excess heat during this time.
  • When working, give yourself plenty of time to meet your deadlines, and avoid over-scheduling and working long hours as much as possible.
  • Keep your bedroom well ventilated and cool to improve sleep quality.

The Cooling Diet

What is the first thing we reach for on a hot summer day — a cold drink? We instinctively know that cool drinks and cool foods help reduce heat or Pitta. However, if a drink is too cold, it will extinguish the digestive fire (agni) and spoil digestion, so avoid iced beverages especially during meals.
  • Many foods have excellent cooling properties: sweet fruits like melons, cherries, or grapes; vegetables like asparagus, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower or zucchini; coconut milk, ghee, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup. Avoid honey and molasses (those are heating).
  • Cooled buttermilk (fresh, homemade preferably) with mint, cilantro, salt and a little ground roasted cumin. Avoid spicy hot foods. Take more sweet, astringent and bitter foods
  • The main principle is that you should favor foods that taste predominantly sweet, bitter and astringent.
  • Minimize your intake of hot and spicy foods, and foods with salty or sour tastes, such as yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, sour oranges, grapefruit or pineapple. You also want to minimize the intake of vegetables with heating properties such as tomatoes, hot peppers, radishes, beets, onions, garlic and spinach.
  • Be mindful of alcohol consumption as it will aggravate Pitta dosha.
  • Water is your best friend. Keep hydrated. Add cucumber and mint to your water for a yummy and refreshing taste.
Catalina is an Advance Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner, specializing in Ayurvedic massage, Marma therapy and Body Energetic treatments. If you haven’t tried an Ayurvedic massage yet, now is the perfect time to reset your system and treat yourself.  To learn more, contact Catalina at 905-940-2727 or send her an e-mail at catalina@naturopathicfoundations.ca  


To book your appointment, please call the clinic at 905-940-2727