At this time of year, and according to Ayurvedic medicine, we look to balance the Pitta characteristics in us.
Pitta is one of three doshas or energies in Ayurveda believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. They are derived from the five elements and are also known as mind-body types. They express indigenous amalgams of physical, mental and emotional characteristics.
Pitta is the fiery element, appropriate to balance in Summer. It is characterized by heat, moisture, liquidity, sharpness and sourness. Pitta is the energy principle which uses bile to direct digestion and enhance metabolism and is largely characterized by body heat and redness. It controls our metabolism, how we digest foods, and how we process our sensory perceptions.
For a cooling effect on the body and psyche:
- Wear fragrance made of sandal.
- Wear cooling hues like blues, greens and whites.
- Walk in the evening or early morning, preferably in bare feet on the earth as much as possible.
- Take cool or tepid baths with aromatherapy.
- The air is dry so keep your skin well oiled/moisturized. Use coconut oil, black sesame oil, shea butter, your choice.
- Put rose petal spread (made of rose petals and organic sugarcane) on your toast or bread.
- Use Pitta balancing aromatherapy.
- Make yourself a Sweet Lassi* often (recipe, right).
- Meditate every day for about a half hour to encourage your mind-body-spirit connection.
*Pronounced "LAH-see," this classic Indian beverage is fresh yogurt blended with room temperature water. Yogurt by itself can often clog the digestive and elimination systems, but once it is mixed with water to become a lassi, it aids digestion because the yogurt's molecular structure has been changed so that it is now more easily assimilated.
Sweet Lassi Recipe
1 part fresh cold yogurt (preferably homemade)
3 parts water (at room temperature)
a pinch each of cardamom, sugar, and organic rose water
Blend for about a minute and drink after lunch at room temperature or slightly chilled.