By Maureen Shortt
Ayurveda describes how we live within, as well as embody, the energies of nature: space, air, fire, water, and earth. Each has qualities that we can perceive relative to the other energies. For instance, we know that air is light relative to the heaviness of earth. We know that water is cool relative to the heat of fire.
The seasons also have energies relative to one another. We can perceive the humidity and heat of the summer months relative to the dryness and cold of winter. Moving toward the summer months, pitta season, you will find it helpful to apply Ayurvedic principles. They enable you to maintain your best health and to stay open to your knowing of your own Divinity.
One Ayurvedic principle is that “like increases like” which means that the heat and moisture of summer outside increase the heat and moisture inside your body and mind. This excess of pitta energy can show up as skin conditions, fevers, allergies, inflammation, reflux, loose stools, frustration, anger or pressure.
To avoid these problems as you move into and through summer, make simple lifestyle choices to support healthy Pitta. Pitta-friendly veggies include asparagus, green beans, cucumbers, summer squashes, avocadoes and fennel. Continue eating lots of cooked greens. For raw greens, and add oil; think salad dressing. For fruits in summer, indulge in cooling melons as well as seasonal sweet fruits such as peaches, apricots, berries, apples, coconuts, dates and figs.
Balanced summer grains include amaranth, oats, quinoa and wheat. Combine them with mung beans and split mung as well as the small beans like lentils. For dairy, stick with soft cheeses like cottage cheese or goat cheese. Keep your yogurt to a minimum as the sour taste aggravates pitta. Cilantro, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cardamom will keep your digestive fire going without over-stimulating it.
Within the rest of your summer lifestyle, think cool and relaxed. The lifestyle word for pitta is “moderation.” Enjoy the coolness of shade. Walking by water, especially under a full moon, balances pitta beautifully. Wear cool colors like whites, blues and purples. Be easy on yourself. Don’t over commit. Do give yourself plenty of time for long Shavasanas. This way you will welcome the lightness and Consciousness-expansiveness of pitta season.