Stay Cool This Summer: 4 Ayurvedic Tips to Balance Pitta

By: 
Melina Meza

Summer is nature’s time to ripen and mature, create and destroy, metabolize and transform food into calories, and turn heat into action. In Ayurvedic terms, Summer is the season of Pitta.

Include some of these basic Pitta-reducing steps in your summer routine to help you stay cool and be cool in all that you do.

1. Eat More Foods with Sweet, Bitter and Astringent Tastes.

  • Sweets will help calm your nervous system and nourish your tissues. Examples include grains, nuts, milk, dates, and most fruits.

  • Bitter foods will help cleanse the liver and tone your organs. Examples include lettuces, spinach, dandelion, and aloe vera.

  • Astringent foods will help you absorb water and tighten your tissues. Examples include asparagus, legumes, green teas, and pomegranates.

2. Hydrate!

Be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to replenish moisture lost in the heat of the day as well as to help flush out toxins in the body. Here are a few ways to drink more water and stay hydrated:

  • Herbal tea: Add 1 tsp. fennel, cumin, cardamom, and coriander seeds in equal parts to 3 cups hot water, plus a handful of mint leaves, and organic sugar to taste.

  • Flavored water: Add a few slices of cucumber or a squeeze of lime to your water.

  • Coconut water: so simple and delicious, and thankfully now readily available.

3. Protect and Nourish Your Skin.

At least once a week, treat yourself to a fruit or vegetable mask.

  • Simple facial mask: Cucumbers, avocados, or papayas lend themselves well to homemade masks. Simply mash one of these ingredients and apply to face for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

  • More complex facial formula: Mix together 1/2 of a mashed banana, ½ cup yogurt, and 1 tbsp honey. Apply to face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

  • Simple hydrating mask: Apply local organic honey to your face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

4. Communicate with Care.

To prepare for the pitta season, when heat can push one’s tendencies toward anger and frustration, consider a few new tools and resources to diffuse anger.

  • Meditation: Start your day with a loving kindness meditation.

  • Learn about Non-Violent Communication to help you learn how to name feelings and needs.

  • Take a few deep breaths before responding to stressful situations.
     

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Reprinted with permission from melinameza.com

 

Melina MezaMelina Meza has been sharing her knowledge of Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda, and whole foods nutrition with yogis around the world for over 20 years. Melina pioneered Seasonal Vinyasa, an innovative multi-disciplined approach to well-being, and is the author of the Art of Sequencing books including her latest, Asana Modifications.

Since 1997, Melina has been teaching yoga at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in Seattle, Washington, where she also is Co-Director of their 200 and 500-Hour Teachers’ Training Program.

Currently residing in Oakland California, Melina facilitates year-round yoga and Ayurveda workshops and retreats for new and experienced practitioners. From her very first class in 1993, she have never stopped exploring the physical, mental, and spiritual practices passed down from the ancient sages. Yoga has been the “launching pad” that has rocketed her into a life journey of cultivating the disciplines necessary to gain insight and wisdom integral to being healthy, compassionate, and radiant, as well as how to share those gifts with others.