Get this self care checklist just in time for summer! Learn how to align your workouts, food, and overall routine for this hot Pitta season through the lens of Ayurveda.
This post is by Martha G. Blessing, a Healing Mentor, Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Clinical Ayurveda Specialist, Energy Medicine Practitioner, and Intuitive. She is the author of Healed & Unlimited: The Secret to Breaking Free from Chronic Dis-ease and Igniting Personal Power.
Her grounded wisdom, highly skilled capacity to hold space, and her razor-sharp aptitude for seeing her clients’ deepest gifts—alongside their most critical stumbling blocks—make her a highly sought-after mentor. Her approach uniquely combines a signature 5-Step Formula that has a proven high success rate.
Martha is the host of “THE Place To Be Free Podcast” launching January 2021. In her free time, you’ll find Martha cooking up creative recipes for family and friends—traveling, kayaking, hiking, and anything that gets her outdoors. She lives in Amherst, NY. Learn more about Martha at her website here.
In Ayurveda, summer is Pitta season–the season of heat and expansion. We tend to pack our days full of outdoor activities from sunrise to sunset. That’s the element of expansion. And if we’re not careful, well, that heat element can raise havoc within our bodies.
For many of us who have been hibernating indoors during the cold winter months, we feel like we have to take advantage of every single opportunity before the winds of fall and winter blow in once again.
We’re living on high-energy and soaking up every drop of sunshine, which is great for boosting our mood and Vitamin D levels–but with it can come some imbalances if we get too much of a good thing.
Pitta Ayurveda: Finding Balance in Summer
The two elements that are predominant for Pitta types are fire and water. Too much of either quality in our body or mind can throw us out of balance and lead to chronic pain or illness.
Too much fire leads to:
- In the body: can correlate to inflammation in our tissues. It’s also the culprit, most often, for digestive disorders such as GERD, reflux, and ulcers, as well as hormone imbalances.
- In the mind: can correlate to one being aggressive, overbearing, and prone to outbursts of anger. When in balance, the fire element in the mind makes us great managers and directors in business, or creative entrepreneurs. It makes us efficient at getting things done, staying focused, and following through.
Pitta types are:
- Determined, competitive, ambitious, and highly intelligent, with good insight and keen discrimination.
- They like to be in control and at the center of attention, likened to a ‘Type A’ personality.
- With a moderate athletic physique, Pitta types gain weight evenly or on the bottom half.
- They have soft, lustrous, warm skin and get hot easily.
- They have a strong metabolism, good appetite, and digestion.
- The ‘qualities’ or characteristics of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, fleshy, spreading and liquid.
- The tastes associated with Pitta are salty, sour and pungent.
To create balance we rely on the principle of “Like attracts Like”. This means we will do well to choose more of the qualities or characteristics in food and lifestyle choices that have the opposite effect–such as rough, dull, cold, heavy, static, hard, dry, bitter, astringent, and sweet. These help to maintain balance or bring excess Pitta back into equilibrium.
Here’s my summer checklist for staying in balance during the summer months.
Self Care Checklist for Summer
1) Eat Foods That Are Cooling and Moisturizing
Melons are sweet with high water content to keep the body from overheating. Load up on the melons! Think about eating foods that are grown in tropical climates: like bananas, mangos, coconuts, avocados, pineapples–to cool the body and keep the digestive tract from getting inflamed.
If you’re a smoothie fan, summer is the time to swap coconut water for nut milks. Fill up the blender with fruits and greens. Less nuts and seeds which are heating and oily.
Keep acid producing beverages, like coffee and alcohol to a minimum. Summer is a good time to lean towards vegetarian based meals. Heavy meat based meals like beef, pork, and BBQ are all heat producing and better saved for cooler months.
Now is the time to think green. Lots and lots of green veggies and salads. Spinach, Kale, chard, arugula are all cooling and help thin and cleanse the blood. When I was a kid, my mom always used to say, “Don’t get your blood in a bubble.” And she was right. It must be why I started eating greens at a young age. They help cool our blood and body temperature. And they keep heat from accumulating in our liver. Greens bring in the qualities of bitter and astringent.
2) Change Up Your Exercise Routines
Summer is not the time for hot yoga and intense training in the midday sun. Try out a calming hatha yoga class or a gentle pilates or barre routine.
If you’re a runner, consider swapping that routine for cycling. The breeze while riding will help keep you cool. Cycling will not deplete the body’s fluid supply like running does.
Swimming, of course, is the ideal, full-body workout for summer. It tones arms and legs, strengthens your core, and takes advantage of cooling our body temperature and providing relaxation and stress relief.
Remember, no matter what sport or exercise you choose, to stay well hydrated throughout, with lots of fresh water and alkaline promoting beverages.
3) Take Advantage of Mother Nature’s Plant Therapy
Certified therapeutic grade essential oils are my go-to relief if summer gets the best of me. (Editor's note: here at R+R, we love Plant Therapy–their oils are 100% pure, free from any additives, adulterants, or dilutions. Their essential oils come in varieties like synergies, singles, organic, and pre-diluted roll-ons, and their facility is USDA Certified Organic. Plus you can get 10% off your order of $50 or more sitewide with the coupon code ROOT10!)
I always have a bottle of peppermint oil in my purse. It cools sunburned skin. It helps regulate our body temperature, if we are out in the sun too long and get overheated. It instantly helps upset stomachs that have had too much to each at an outdoor food fest. A few drops of peppermint or spearmint in your water bottle helps keep you calm, cool and collected, no matter what the day has in store.
And, there’s no need to slather on a bunch of toxic bug sprays when you’re spending an evening outdoors. No worrying about bug bites and itchy mosquito bites. My natural bug repellent is simple and healthy–a few drops of Citronella essential oil in a small misting bottle and I’m good to go.
You can purchase small purse size spray bottles online. Make each member of your family their own personal size bottle. Just add a few drops of citronella essential oil and you're good to go. I like to mix mine with peppermint and citronella. Spray your whole body, clothes and head. The bugs can’t stand the smell or taste.
I always have a bottle of Lavender oil in my purse too. For nicks, cuts, scraps, headaches, it’s my go-to first aid in a bottle. I use it to calm everything from blisters from new running shoes to minor mishaps with kids. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic, and antiviral.
Just make sure you are using certified therapeutic-grade essential oils. Many brands are just fragrance oils, and those do not have the same properties or benefits.
No matter what summer has in store for you this year–remember to incorporate the properties of cold, heavy, static, bitter, astringent, and sweet into your meals, exercise, and self-care routines to help you maintain balance or bring excess Pitta back into equilibrium.
Thank you, Martha, for sharing your wisdom with us! Get Martha's free Alternative Health Guide: 12 Life Altering Tips when you subscribe to her Well-being For Every Body newsletter here.
Get her free Alternative Health Guide: 12 Life Altering Tips when you subscribe to her Well-being For Every Body newsletter here.