This month at home has been full. Full of outdoor play, full of continued adjustments to a new schedule and routine, and full of letting go… of the past, of the future. As a yogini, and as a mother, I am consistently working to keep myself focused on the present moment, all that we are blessed with, all the beauty, all the gratitude for this life. Where we have endings we have new beginnings, where we have new beginnings we have growth, and where we have growth we have possibility. Here’s a look at what we have been up to this past month, though really it’s been so much more. I’m continuing on in this internal state for the time being, so my posts may be less frequent than I had hoped, but as always I will return eventually. 🙂
It’s the end of summer, and it’s hot. Steamy hot. The kind of hot where no one really wants to be wearing clothes, but we do for common decency. The kind of hot where either you are inside in front of a fan or ac, or you are outside, in water, wether it be lake, pool, or hose. We have entered the land of peak Pitta my friends.
Pitta is one of the Ayurvedic doshas. It is the dosha which represents water and fire. These elements may seem contradictory. But not on one of these late summer days. Fire and water when mixed together create…steam. And boy is it steamy.
These steamy days are typically pretty uncomfortable for most people. But if you have got Pitta in your personal constitution, these days can be down right unbearable. I’m a Pitta gal, and I can feel my fire rising with the hot sun, and burning through me like a wave of lava, unless I keep it in check. So here are 5 ways I like to do that on a hot, steamy day.
1. Eat not just cold, but cooling foods. Think sweet (like fresh fruit), bitter (like leafy greens) or astringent (like lemon). These tastes help to balance Pitta. The tastes that increase Pitta are salty , sour and pungent (spicy). I like to start the day with a fresh Peach Berry Smoothie. Cold soups and salads are great, and coconut water is hydrating and refreshing. Even a small serving of ice cream in the mid-day heat is an appropriate indulgence for cooling Pitta.
2. Peppermint is your new best friend. A Peppermint essential oil, or iced peppermint tea, is an easy remedy for hot, sticky, sweltering heat. Be sure to mix your essential oil with a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba, before you rub it on your skin. You may feel a cooling, tingly sensation. Breathe deep, relax, chill out.
3. Know when Pitta peaks. The hours between 10:00 – 2:00 are Pitta peak hours, both am and pm. Doing things that cause Pitta to spike, like being out in the hot sun, exercising, over thinking, or over working, are generally not a good idea at these times of day. So put away your lap top and take a siesta! (My babe knew how to cool his Pitta and took an epic 2 1/2 hour nap from 11-1:30 today.) Follow the example of babies, and animals, they know how to do it right.
4. Eat ice cream. Oh wait, did I already say this? That’s ok, I’ll say it again because as the queen of trying to eat clean I don’t say it often. Go ahead, eat ice cream. Do it while sitting, relaxing, in the company of good people, so that it is thoroughly enjoyable. Like E’s first experience here with his grandpa.
5. Drop EVERYTHING and PLAY! One of the main characteristics of Pitta people is that they work hard. They are focused, and driven, and they know how to get stuff done. But they often literally burn out. This afternoon I was going about getting things done, making plans to teach another class, take on another project, when the sky turned grey and the wind picked up. I hung up my cell phone as the first big drops started to fall. I scooped up E and we went outside. Rain, glorious rain. PLAY in it. DANCE in it. SPLASH in it. Watch toy boats float down the rivers on your road. Touch the sandy mud. Explore puddles. That’s what we did, and it couldn’t have been more refreshing. Play is medicine. Especially for Pitta.