As the summer solstice marks the official beginning of the summer season, the energy shift brings our attention to the intentional care and keeping of body, mind and spirit in order to avoid “Pitta imbalances.” Ayurveda teaches that we are all unique in our dosha (constitution) makeup and that we all have unique percentages of the three: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. In each season, the change of weather patterns and temperatures, seasonal foods/diet, daylight hours, and general seasonal habits we might adopt, may be offsetting to the consistent daily practices necessary to support our unique makeup. Pitta imbalances tend to come in the summertime and to be sparked by heat, dehydration, spicy foods, … common to the summer season. Therefore we should look to the ways we can fend off any Pitta imbalance tendencies. Our yogic and Ayurvedic practices are the ideal ways to learn more about ourselves, and to create daily and weekly supportive practices. See pp. 13 – 24 of our book, Essential Yoga Practice to take a dosha quiz and understand more on each dosha. In self-study we note our “reactions,” so as to be more mindful to practicing with intelligence in all aspects while creating new habits of self-care. Since pitta energy is hot, fiery, intense, sharp, penetrating, it makes sense that we balance Pitta dosha with calming, soothing and pacifying foods, environments, actions and energy.
In looking to our yoga asana practice, we want to be more slow and methodical in choosing asana sequences. In addition, connecting to the energy of the earth by practicing outdoors, inspired by the vibrancy of colors and fruitful energy of the season, is a healthy way to get grounded. Remember to stay well hydrated, protect yourself from damaging sun rays and irritating bugs, practice during cooler hours and try to be consistent in the time of your practice. Use essential oils/aromatherapy known for their ability to calm and soothe certain emotions that tend to be related to pitta dosha: cardamom, cedarwood, frankincense, geranium, helichrysum, roman chamomile, spearmint, thyme, wild orange, ylang ylang, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, peppermint, vetiver, rosemary, wintergreen, and spikenard. In the coming weeks we will share more on all of these points from the perspective of Ayurveda.
Last summer we created and shared our own unique “Pitta Blend” of aromatherapy (See our June 2017 blog post on Pitta Season at www.essentialyogapractice.com), using a 10 ml roller bottle and the following recipe of essential oils added in this order:
· 12 d Lavender
· 6 d Peppermint
· 8 d Hawaiian Sandalwood
· 6 d Spikenard
· 2 d Indian Sandalwood
Fill the rest of the bottle with Fractionated Coconut Oil, roll on pulse points to enjoy this Pitta balancing aromatherapy, and/or topically around the liver (under the ribcage from the front or back body) to help counter feelings of irritability common in summertime heat. We would love to hear about your aromatherapy and yoga asana practices in the summertime!
Want to learn more as you grow your own practice? Sign up for our 2 week online course, Essential Yoga Practice Sangha, starting July 30, a perfect way to start learning about the art of pairing yoga with essential oils if you are new to either. If you are a yoga teacher and member of Yoga Alliance, an additional section of the Sangha can qualify you for all 10 of your online CE hours. Click HERE for more information and to get registered.