by Mrs Suneeta Lakshmi Lies

Summer solstice was officially June 21 which marked the brightest and longest day of the year. The weather is heating up and the summery clothing is coming out as this is the season when Pitta Dosha, (the bodily process and bio-energetic force composed of predominately fire and water elements), is increasing internally in our bodies and our external environments.

When Pitta dosha is balanced positive qualities such as radiating confidence; being courageous; having a sharp intellect, precision and good concentration; a glowing, lustrous complexion; shiny hair; a strong appetite and metabolism; and being loving and contented are all enjoyed.

When Pitta dosha is imbalanced it can debilitate and impair the body’s proper functioning of digestion, metabolism and transformation thus leading to a variety of complaints such as hyperacidity (or acid reflux); inflammation; skin disorders like rashes and acne; anger, less patience, tolerance, and irritability; and sometimes interrupted sleep problems.

Here are some helpful tips to keep cool, balance digestion and stay energised during the rising temperatures:

  • Avoid or reduce hot temperature food and drinks, very spicy foods made with hot chilli peppers; red meats; foods with sour, pungent, and salty tastes which all increase Pitta Dosha. Instead, opt for a Pitta Pacifying Diet favouring cooling foods with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes:

Mainly freshly cooked vegetarian dishes are ideal when travelling as they are easily digestible (ripe and seasonal fruits (such as sweet grapes, soaked raisins, cous cous, steamed basmati rice, barley and yellow mung beans).

Well-cooked and seasonal vegetables (such as cucumber, asparagus, artichoke, zucchini, and chicory).

  • During the warm days, one should drink approximately two and a half litres, 6-8 glasses, of cool and pure water to stay hydrated. Pure or organic coconut water is also very refreshing and hydrating. For afternoon tea you can have a cup of our soothing Pitta Tea cooled down to room temperature. It is best to avoid alcohol and caffeine – instead, opt for a substitute such as chicory or Raja’s cup.

  • Try digital detoxing – staying off devices and screens as much as possible to balance the subdosha, Alochaka Pitta, which is responsible for eye health.

  • Practice Transcendental Meditation for 20 minutes twice a day – on the bus, train, plane, in your hotel room or on the beach to help balance moods, reduce anger and irritability in the heat, and destress. Simple breathing techniques (pranayama) can also be very helpful in calming and cooling. Ideally, learn pranayama from your Transcendental Meditation teacher.

  • Avoid running, sunbathing and rigorous activities at the hottest times of the day which aggravate Pitta Dosha. Gentle moonlight walks looking up at the stars or in beautiful, natural surroundings, and swimming in the early morning and late afternoon will cool and balance Pitta.

“Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures.

Let the noon find thee by other lakes,

and the night overtakes thee everywhere at home.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Travelling may elevate our soul and provide the thrills of adventure; however, it is very important to keep Vata Dosha stable as it is the first Dosha to go out of balance. Vata is composed of air and ether/space elements and is responsible for all mind-body processes and movement such as blood flow, breathing, waste elimination and thinking.

When Vata is out of balance during travelling, disorders and symptoms can arise such as depleted energy, fatigue, tiredness; anxiety, forgetfulness and worry; being “scatterbrained or spaced out”; feeling cold in one’s body; sleep problems; digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, excess gas; and poor circulation.

To prevent or alleviate any Vata imbalances which may arise I recommend the following 7 tips:

  • Try to keep regularity in your routine by arising before 6 AM to maximise your day, avoid lethargy, maintain mental clarity and energy levels during the day, and try to go to bed by 11 PM.
  • Sip warm cinnamon or our Vata herbal tea whilst travelling and at room temperature during the day as it calms the mind, and also has a comforting effect on the body and digestive system.
  • Favour warm, oily and heavy quality foods with sweet tastes and avoid too many cold, dry and raw foods. Use Maharishi AyurVeda Vata Seasoning if you are cooking your meals to balance Vata dosha. It is best not to skip meals or eat whilst on the move or in distracting noisy surroundings.
  • Use energising citrus, lemongrass aroma oils, or our invigorating Vata soap to start the day.
  • To balance Vata dosha in cold air-conditioned areas, it is best to keep your extremities warm as your body will be shocked going from a hot outdoor temperature into a colder indoor environment.
  • Strengthen your immunity and keep your heart and mind balanced whilst travelling or adjusting to a foreign environment by taking Maharishi AyurVeda Amrit Ambrosia (MA5) tablets.
  • If you are having trouble falling asleep, or need a deeper, more refreshing sleep take 1 to 2 Blissful Sleep (MA1684) tablets with warm water or milk at bedtime. This will balance both Vata and Pitta Doshas.

When Vata is balanced you can enjoy mental clarity; feeling enthusiastic and vibrant; being imaginative; having flexibility, quick reflexes and responses on your journey.