There are many things Ayurveda can recommend to help cool us down and bring our Pitta (and other Doshas) back into balance. In part one I specifically looked at tips to do with food. In this post I’d like to look at Dinacharya , or our daily routines.
Pitta Reducing Tips
In addition to eating a Pitta pacifying diet (for more on this see Part One), there are many small changes we can make in how we go about our day that will go a long way to bringing our Pitta back into balance. So let’s cool down:
Hydrate: I mentioned this in Part One, but I have to start with it again here- it’s that important! We all know how important it is to stay hydrated in the summer, but did you know that what you drink makes a difference? Ice cold beverage you may be tempting on a hot day, but cool or room temperature water is actually better at getting you hydrated. Try it infused with lime, cucumber and/or mint for an added cooling boost. Teas made with peppermint, licorice, fennel or rose are also great cooling options.
Choose cooling exercise: It is pretty common sense that doing a vigorous workout in the heat of the day will get you overheated pretty fast in the heart of the summer, some much better alternatives include swimming (or other water sports), or taking a walk or doing gentle yoga in the evening after the day has cooled off.
Take a cool shower or bath: Water puts out fire, right? well the analogy holds true here: water , especially cool water, will help sooth aggravated Pitta.
Chill out: Stress aggravates Pitta, so overworking, frequent time crunches, long commutes and our general go-go-go overscheduled lifestyles can all be even more Pitta aggravating in the heat of summer. Taking time to relax, to enjoy life, take your vacation, do fun activities, and even learning how to say no instead of taking too much on is essential. Finding that balance between work and play, effort and ease, in daily life goes a long way.
Pranayama: Practice cooling breathing techniques such as Shitali (cooling breath) and left-nostril breathing will both calm the hot quality of Pitta
Skin care: Using cooling oils such as Coconut and Neem in your skincare routine works well to balance Pitta. Try coconut oil in your everyday routines (like abhyanga or self massage), and either on inflamed skin.
Spritz: As much as we might like to, we can’t spend our whole summer in the water…But here’s a handy alternative for those in between times: Rosewater. Rose is considered cooling for mind, body and emotions, making it the perfect antidote to overheating. It can be used topically, orally and even inhaled to relax the spirit. You can even keep some chilled rose water on hand in a spray bottle (with an atomiser) to mist on your skin.
Disclaimer: Each individual is unique and therefore may have more unique needs than can be covered in a general summary. This article is meant as a general guide only. For custom Ayurvedic recommendations, a consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner is recommended.
Stephanie Kincade is available at The Floatation Centre on Tuesdays and Fridays. To book your Yoga or Ayruveda consultation, please call 902.453.5628 or book online at www.thefloatationcentre.ca