The Pitta Body Type Requires Various Strategies to Stay Cool in Hot Weather
In Ayurveda, we address all ailments and imbalances in accordance with the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each one of us is a gentle mix of all the three doshas; however, we each possess a primary dosha that stands taller than the rest.
The doshas naturally ebb and flow throughout the year, in and out of balance. It is entirely natural. As we approach summer, the elevated temperatures throw a wrench in the Pitta Dosha’s stability.
If you are wondering whether or not your Pitta Dosha is experiencing aggravation, ask yourself the following questions below:
- Do you run warm?
- Do you experience rashes, acne, flushing, etc?
- Do you feel more hot-tempered when you physical temperature rises?
- Do you stress about being on-time?
- Do you find yourself struggling to fall asleep because you are making ‘to-do lists’ in your head?
- Do you experience heartburn?
- Do you feel a bit more critical or judgemental than usual?
- Do you experience loose elimination, especially after heated workouts/exercise?
- Do people describe you as very passionate?
Did you say yes to a handful of the questions above? If so, welcome to the Pitta body type club! Lucky for us, there are numerous ways to balance the Pitta dosha – many of which are remarkably simple.
4 Ways to Balance the Pitta Body Type During Warmer Weather
If your constitution is primarily Pitta, you probably gravitate towards spicy foods. Although the body craves ethnic spices and flavors, it’s not ideal for the pitta body type. I know right now you’re screaming, “NO!” But I promise, feeling better will help you miss your beloved spicy food less.
Pitta dosha is known for its strong digestion, namely through sufficient bile and enzymatic release. Adding heat to the fire can often aggravate your GI tract and cause discomfort (i.e. heartburn).
Reduce the Tabasco, Sriracha, chili flakes, and yes, even wasabi. Instead, introduce cooling foods to support excess heat in the body.
PRO TIP: Add cucumber, mint, and lemons to your water in the summertime. Not only does it taste remarkably refreshing but lemons reduce acidity in the gut and aid in heat reduction.
2. Sooth the Skin
Many high Pitta’s experience excessive heat in the body, which can manifest through the skin. Do you feel that you hold heat or oil in the face or in other areas of the skin? Do you feel once you get sweaty and heated, it’s difficult to cool down?
If so, refresh and gently cleanse the skin will make a world of difference.
You want to focus on face masks, scrubs, and oils that will not retain heat on the skin. Here is a simple guide to Pitta skin care:
Oils: Coconut, safflower, sunflower
Be cognizant of ‘cleansing’ face masks that contain heating herbs. We want to avoid Pitta irritation, especially on our sensitive facial tissue.
3. Promote Liver and Blood Cleansing
Say this out loud, “Bitter is better for the liver.” Say it again! This is now your mantra fellow Pitta body type friends.
Our liver and kidneys greatly benefit from gentle cleansing. In this day in age, we put these treasured organs through the wringer and do not allow enough time to restore these tissues. We need to embrace bitter foods to calm down our GI tracts. Luckily, there are so many delicious options to choose from.
Draw a focus on bitter herbs and food, such as:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Bitter Melon
- Dandelion Root Tea
- Burdock Root (herb)
- Dark Chocolate
4. Lighten the Mind
In this day and age, we operate almost entirely from our sympathetic nervous system, aka our ‘fight or flight” response. We trigger this response when we experience stressors.
When we experience these stressors, our body stimulates the Adrenals to release energy enhancing hormones (Cortisol + Adrenaline) to give us the strength and energy needed at the moment.
The problem here is our “fight or flight” response is triggered far too frequently and at greater and greater intensity. With high Pitta individuals, we experience this sensation often.
How can we offset these inflammatory stressors?
A daily 5-minute pranayama practice has been shown to lower blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) and heart rate through stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system “relaxation response.”
PRO TIP: For just three minutes every day, try some simple breathwork. Inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 6 seconds.
Give these adjustments a shot this warm weather season and witness what physical and emotional effects you experience. Have a fantastic summer!