Ayurveda on the Road: Pacifying Pitta
According to Ayurveda, summer is considered Pitta season. Wherever you choose to enjoy summer, because of the heat you want to pay attention to your Pitta dosha. Pitta, the dosha represented by fire and water, is responsible for digestion and transformation in the mind and body.
Pitta dosha has the qualities of being hot, bright, sharp, oily and liquid. According to Ayurveda, like increases like, so it’s important for Pitta-predominant folks to keep Pitta pacified (balanced) during the hot and bright summer months. When in balance, Pitta provides strong digestion, impressive organizational skills, and strong stamina. Out of balance, Pitta could be prone to occasional acid indigestion, excessive sweating, stubbornness, and impatience.
As you prepare for a summer or warm-weather excursion, it’s valuable to know what to do in order to keep Pitta dosha, the dosha of transformation, in balance. When Pitta is in balance, there is ease in the body and mind.
An Unexpected Turn Can Cause Pitta to Burn
The short fuse! We all know road trips and family vacations contain the element of surprise. Whether it’s a delayed flight or Interstate detours, the unexpected can increase Pitta. Pitta-predominant people tend to thrive in structured environments. When Pitta goes out of balance, we may feel out of our comfort zone, or feel like things are out of our control, resulting in frustration, controlling and/or impatient behavior.
Hot temperatures and sticky humidity, combined with long airport security lines or freeway traffic jams, can ignite Pitta’s short fuse. Before you know it, a nice vacation day, or your temper, can go up in smoke. Practicing a cooling regimen during summer, or a hot-weather trip, will help ensure many happy experiences to share in your postcards and scrapbooks.
Slow Down and Chill
Spontaneity can be fun. Pitta-predominant folks love to plan a vacation. Their organizational skills are amazing, and they tend to plan for every detail. They are the ones always prepared with road maps, GPS, and tour books. And while their “Always ready!” protocol comes in handy, a vacation is also a time to cut loose and enjoy spontaneity in the daily routine.
Don’t overbook! It’s important to not overbook the vacation “to do” list. Leave room in the travel and touring itinerary for plenty of rest and downtime. Pitta tends to go to extremes, so after making a list of sights to see, consider taking 1-2 items off the list. Also, be sure some of the activities include swimming, kayaking, or paddle-boarding. Spending time near or in water helps pacify Pitta.
Break away from the agenda for rest. While driving on the Interstate, consider a picnic break at shady roadside stops or an unexpected exit to an ice cream shop. Break away from the trip agenda to enjoy the freedom from timelines.
Ayurvedic Travel Survival Kit for Pitta Dosha
Pack these Ayurvedic essentials to avoid becoming stressed or aggravated on your vacation. Some simple and effective tips will keep Pitta pacified and the family at peace while on the road.
- Organic Pitta Tea – A delicious combination of fragrant Rose petals and refreshing spices that cool Pitta dosha, Organic Pitta Tea is the perfect answer when you’re feeling intense or frustrated.
- Blissful Heart Aroma Oil – Helps soothe the mind and emotions. This formula is especially made for those sad times when you’re feeling low or have just forgotten what happiness feels like. Contains essential oils of Geranium Rose, Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood, Peppermint, Lemon, and Thyme.
- Cooling Pitta Aroma Oil – Cool off with this blend of Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Lavender and other essential oils. Perfect when you’re feeling hot or when temperatures are soaring outside.
- Organic Premium Amla Berry – Potent Rasayana for overall rejuvenation. Amla is one of just a handful of Ayurvedic ingredients that contain five of the six Ayurvedic taste categories — all except salty. Amla helps balance all three of the basic operating principles of mind and body — Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
- Stress Free Emotions – Stress Free Emotions promotes self-confidence, positive thinking and feelings of fulfillment by balancing the subdosha of Pitta that governs emotional health (Sadhaka Pitta). Arjuna, Ashwagandha, Mica, Pearl and Holy Basil in this potent new formula promote coordination of mind and emotions.
- Organic Rose Water – The skin’s color and temperature are regulated by Bhrajaka Pitta, a subdosha of Pitta. High temperatures create excess body heat and sweating, aggravating Bhrajaka Pitta and causing the skin to become red and irritated. To soothe the skin, spritz the body throughout the day, especially during midday. A spray to the crown of the head, back of the neck, wrists, and bottom of the feet provides instant relief. The Organic Rose Water can also be sprayed on cotton balls to relieve the eyes. Driving in bright sun or swimming in a chlorinated pool irritates Alochaka Pitta, the function of Pitta governing the eyes. Put two sprays of the rose water on cotton balls and cover the eyes for a few minutes.
- Coconut water – Just like the car radiator needs coolant to run smoothly, Pitta needs to stay hydrated, especially in the hot summer months. Cooling coconut water maintains a balanced internal body temperature when outside temperatures soar.
- Cooling snacks – Due to Pitta’s strong digestion, it’s important to not get overly hungry. Pack organic oat-and-fruit cereal bars in your carry-on bag. Favor fresh, sweet juicy fruits like plums, blueberries, apricots and watermelon. According to Ayurveda, fruit is best digested alone — a solo delight — as combining it with other foods can interfere with digestion. Two of my favorite Pitta-pacifying road snacks are celery with almond butter, and hummus-and-cucumber sandwiches on sprouted wheat bread.
You can also try this great Pitta-pacifying recipe:
Homemade Cucumber Water Recipe. Mother Nature’s gardens — local organic farms, your own garden, community gardens and other fresh-produce outlets — are abundant with cucumbers this time of year. These light, juicy vegetables are great for Pitta because they have a cooling effect on digestion and keep the internal fire of Pitta in balance. Using a 24-ounce glass Mason jar, fill it with water and add 8 thin slices of fresh cucumber, one sprig of fresh mint, and three sprays of Organic Rose Water. I’ll refill the jar 1-2 more times with water, then either eat the cucumbers or place them over the eyes to cool Alochaka Pitta. Enjoy!
Remember the reason behind summer vacations and vacations in general — rest, rejuvenation and fun. Simple Ayurvedic self-care will cool and balance Pitta. When one is in balance, hot-weather living is easy. Reducing excess Pitta leaves more room for play.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.