Early autumn is a transitional stage, as we move from the height of summer’s ‘ heat’ in the UK to cooler weather. In Ayurveda, the change from summer to fall is known as Ritu Sandhi, the gap between seasons. This gap can present a delicate time for digestion, because the weather fluctuates—along with the doshas and digestive capacity.
In this article, we’ll focus on the subdoshas of Pitta. “Pitta dosha itself is all about transformation, heat, and energy,” explains Dinesh Gyawali, PhD, a classically trained Ayurvedic Vaidya (Ayurvedic expert) and Assistant Professor at Maharishi University of Management. “Pitta represents all forms of metabolic activities that generate energy. It’s primarily composed of agni (fire) and jala (water) elements. Pitta represents that ever-changing and evolutionary quality of our physiology which may seem static at times but is going through transformation each and every second.”
It's the most wonderful time of the year, a magical time of travel, special events, barbecues and holiday gifts. So why do so many people feel stressed when the holidays roll around? The mental pressure of spending too much money, making too many decisions, and having too much to do causes Prana Vata to go out of balance. Prana Vata is the subdosha of Vata that is concerned with mental functioning. Aggravated Prana Vata can cause excessive worry, anxiety and insomnia — thus making it difficult to remain calm and make healthy decisions. It becomes a snowball effect, with the person becoming more and more stressed and enjoying the holidays less and less.
Summer was always Maggie’s favorite time, but with two preschool children, temper tantrums were the order of the day during the hot season. There would be times when Maggie was sure the number of daily tantrums moved in perfect synchrony with the thermometer reading outside. Finally, Maggie discovered if she took her kids swimming once a day, peace was dramatically restored. She made it through the entire summer without a single incidence. Swimming is one of the activities that is very effective at soothing Pitta dosha...
Are you thriving or surviving? "I used to really push myself with 7 day weeks and no real downtime. It wasn't long before the crunch came. I started to experience extreme fatigue, panic attacks, low blood sugar, feeling empty, tearful and depressed. All coping mechanisms gone, I returned to NZ and had to exit the plane in a wheelchair. Learning how to balance my life, body and mind and having fun again have been very important lessons for me. Learning to respect my body's needs helps me to stay well." Louise, 38 years of age. When you read the story of what brought Louise to seek help, did you relate to the story in some way for yourself? Would you say Louise was thriving or surviving?
Has the increased heat at nights caused you to sleep more fitfully? Some people have noticed changes in digestion with occasional heartburn or hyperacidity in the stomach. Others have commented on their skin becoming more parched, or have an increase of acne or skin rashes. What effect has the extreme heat had on you? A heat wave can also effect your mind and emotions causing an increase of fiery or controlling tendencies.
Aromatherapy, in the form of floral and herbal extracts and incense, has always been an integral aspect of ayurvedic healing. From sandalwood incense to enhance the benefits of meditation to water infused with holy basil for purifying the environment, aromas have been a pleasant way to infuse the human psycho-physiology with the healing wisdom of plants. Although single-aroma incense and floral waters are not uncommon in Ayurveda, it is more typical to see blends or combinations of several different aromas.