The Season of Pitta

Kripalu School of Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, India’s system of traditional medicine, each season has its own group of qualities, and each quality has its antidote. Ayurvedic technology is based on being in relationship to yourself and the environment through the lens of these qualities. The changing of the seasons gives us an ongoing opportunity to be in relationship to our environment and to cultivate awareness of how our body reacts to the elements around us.

The summer season is ruled by the pitta dosha. Composed of the elements fire and water, pitta is oily, hot, light, spreading, and liquid: Think humidity. This time of year can express in the body as agitation, low digestive fire, sour stomach, and skin irritations. Here are some simple tips to remedy the effects of the pitta season.

  • Avoid heating foods such as coffee, alcohol, meats, and fried food. Favor fresh, local vegetables, cooked grains.
  • Drink cool (not iced) water with lemons, limes, and mint. Watermelon, cucumbers, and yogurt lassi with mint are also excellent heat busters.
  • Coconut water and oil are great cooling foods. You can drink coconut water and cook with the oil. If you practice self-massage, switch out the sesame oil for coconut oil.
  • A little black pepper or a dash of cayenne on your food helps with digestion without overheating.
  • Try a restorative or yin yoga practice, both great for cooling the system.
  • Go swimming! Swimming increases digestive strength without overheating.

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Erin Casperson, Lead Kripalu Faculty and Director of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, is passionate about sharing how the ancient practices of Ayurveda can be applied to modern-day living.

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