Today (June 20th) is the summer solstice day – the official first day of summer! But here in Phoenix we are already into the brutal summer season with temps hitting almost 120 degrees …insanely hot!!! We live in the desert and high degree temps are a norm of life but hitting more than 115 degrees and on top of that being dry heat…to say it mildly…it is SCARY!
Thanks to the science of Ayurveda I start following a disciplined pitta pacifying lifestyle during this summer season. This makes me feel pretty confident to survive this brutal summer with Ayurvedic wisdom under my belt!
Ayurveda Pitta Dosha – Balance & Imbalance
Being a pitta dominant person myself, I know how the feelings can swing back and forth with this fire dosha – you feel you can win the world when the fire element is running at the optimum speed! and that feeling can go 180 degrees and you might feel like burning everyone around you when this dosha gets imbalanced…
Incorporating simple guidelines given by Ayurveda works like mathematics to balance the fire and water element of pitta dosha. Pitta dosha governs all the digestive enzymes of the body which is called as agni in Sanskrit. So, it is very crucial to keep this dosha in balance during the hot summer months.
Signs & Symptoms of Increased Pitta Dosha
In order to keep this pitta dosha in balance we need to learn what are the signs that triggers the imbalance. Here is the commonly observed list according to Ayurveda – courtesy of Banyan Botanicals.
Now, that we know what are the symptoms of imbalanced pitta dosha we need to focus on how to bring this to balance.
How To Balance Pitta Dosha
As mentioned earlier in this post, Ayurvedic recommendations given to correct the imbalance of pitta element in the body and mind works like mathematics – it cannot fail! Eating daily fresh organic produce with predominant taste of bitter+sweet+astringent works like magic on pitta dosha.
The reason Ayurveda stresses us to eat more of the foods with bitter+sweet+astringent in summer is because these three tastes help to cool the body from inside out…it’s not about foods “feeling cool” on the tongue, when we eat but foods that have the energetics built in by nature to be cooling when the food gets into the stomach!
What I am sharing here is pretty high level but I do dive deep into the food energetics, taste, digestion and post-digestion in my Ayurveda workshops to help understand the “why” to the logical brain and that’s when the shift happens to follow the healthy Ayurveda lifestyle!
Here are couple of random photos that I clicked in my kitchen from the grocery shopping. This will give you a fair idea on what kind of leafy greens, sweet fruits, cooling herbs, grains, flours, I eat during this hot summer. Eating fresh organic pitta balancing produce keeps me balanced, calm and contented!
Pitta Pacifying Veggies, Fruits, Legumes
In the picture below, I bring in the bitter taste with leafy greens like – kale, amaranth, mint, cilantro, and veggies like – okra, gourd, cucumbers. I bring in the sweet taste by eating fully ripe sweet tasting fruits like – fresh figs, lychees (favorite fruit of my Guru Paramahansa Yogananda), berries and for hydration I rely on fresh coconut water which is also called as Mother Nature’s gatorade in Ayurveda!
The picture below, tells you what kind of grains I use during summer months to include astringent taste in my diet – green mung beans, yellow mung beans, black chick peas, finger millet flour, sorghum flour, for snacks I sometimes eat flattened rice.
I would strongly encourage you to try including these kinds of foods in your diet for this summer and you, yourself will notice the difference it makes to your energy, focus, and overall state of being! The key is to eat fresh seasonal organic produce that don’t overheat the digestive agni in summer.
Here is another picture giving you an idea of what foods basically constitute the bitter+sweet+astringent foods
It’s through practicing an Ayurvedic lifestyle, eventually one will learn to understand what kind of foods the body constitution (dosha) can easily digest and what kind of foods makes one dull and lethargic. This definitely takes time, patience, and faith in the Ayurvedic wisdom.
What I am trying to say is, Ayurveda is not about just blindly following a specific diet but it’s more about bringing awareness to your mind+body connection. For example – watermelons come in summer season and it is also recommended as a pitta pacifying food per Ayurveda. But do you know watermelon in-spite of high water content and minerals it is heating to the pitta dosha! So, there is a definite way when to eat watermelons and when to avoid them in the summer – this comes with learning to know your body and mind signals they give us every day of our lives! I cover topics like this in my Ayurveda workshops.
If you are serious in embracing an Ayurvedic approach to your lifestyle, I would like to share with you the Ayurveda workshops I have been offering on-site and virtually on webinars. Please email me at JeevaLifestyle[at]gmail[dot]com to register or inquire for more details.
I also invite you to check out my JeevaLifestyle Facebook page where I regularly post quick pitta pacifying tips and foods that I include in my daily diet.
I hope you will incorporate some of the tips given here for this summer season. Stay cool, calm, and contented – HAPPY SUMMER!