Ayurveda, the study of the science of life, is an ancient healing practice with origins come from India. A more practical, accessible way to think about Ayurveda and living according to its philosophy is to approach it as living in harmony with the rhythms of nature. Its approach to balanced health is that of treating each person according to their unique psychological, emotional and physical condition.
Ayurveda emphasizes in its teachings that focus should be on practical, everyday tools that hone our abilities to “pick up on” signals from our environment. What we are surrounded with or what we choose to surround ourselves with, continuously informs us as to what is supportive and non-supportive. I am always encouraging people to go beyond just the elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth. There is actually so much more to this ancient science. It truly is a way of life and is everywhere in our lives and can be applied to so much in your life beyond diet and the five elements.
THE DOSHAS The Doshas: Biological Humors
Vata + Pitta + Kapha
Our entire planet and all that exists within it are made up of five elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements combined make up the Ayurvedic Doshas- vata, pitta and kapha- biological humors that are constantly out of balance. The goal of Ayurveda and yoga is to create balance and harmony within the body, mind, and senses.
VATA: Space+Air (MOVINGdry, light, hard, rough, cold), Fall and Winter
PITTA: Water+Fire (SPREADING hot, sharp, penetrating, oily), Summer
KAPHA: Water+Earth (STRENGTH heavy, cold, wet, hard, smooth), Spring
Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is between June (beginning with the Summer Solstice) and September (Fall Equinox). Pitta season is characterized by being hot, often very humid, sticky and sweaty. For some, this is a welcomed relief from the cold and dark of winter. Some body types enjoy the heat and humidity while others may be absolutely miserable. Those with an aversion to the cold who are predominantly vata dosha often love the warmth that summer brings. Those with a particularly strong pitta dosha tend to loathe the heat and humidity of summer.
For those of you with high pitta who are particularly ornery with the combo of high heat, humidity, excessive sweating and maybe more prone to breaking out, I’m offering up some food tips on how to keep pitta in check during the summer months.
A key concept in Ayurveda is like increases like. In other words, the more of something you put into your body, the more it will increase that corresponding dosha, thus brining it out of balance. In regards to pitta dosha, one does not want to bring more heat or fire into the body when pitta season is happening or when pitta is running high in the body. You want to cool pitta down.