Sunday started inside as the rains fell heavy at times. The sun to burst forth by lunch time. We gathered once again around the kitchen island. We shared in the process of making medicated ghee and kitchari.
This week end was the first of three. We covered the basics and the doshas (the three types of constitutions). We concentrated on Pitta and how to keep the fire of summer balanced. Though we have all three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) one usually dominates. Each dosha has its own characteristics. Pitta is the principle of heat, digestion and all that transforms the body. It is represented by the acid secretion from the stomach, bile from the liver, the pancreas and inflammation. Pitta sweat is sour causing body odor. Pitta people have an athletic build, bright, colorful eyes and rosy cheeks. They often loose their hair early or go prematurely gray. The sense they are associated with is vision and they are often nearsighted or sensitive to light. If out of balance they tend towards ulcers, acid reflux, inflammation or sharp pain, migraines and high blood pressure.
To keep in balance people with a high Pitta dosha should keep cool avoiding heat, steam and high humidity. They should spend as much time outdoors as possible. The fresh air does them well. They should try and get to sleep before 10 PM. They should concentrate on eating foods that emphasize, bitter, astringent and sweet tastes. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great. Milk. cottage cheese and soft cheeses are cooling. Sour dairy aggravates the fire therefore yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream and hard cheeses should be limited. Heating foods, caffeine, red meat and pungent spices tend to aggravate Pitta.
The key idea is that like increases like so if you are over heated eat cooling foods. I am considered Pitta Kapha. Pitta is my dominate dosha and summer tends to throw me for a loop. A hot personality combined with the heat of the summer is a problematic mix. Taking in these basic principles has made this summer one of the best in a long time.
I dress to be cool and comfortable. I have surrounded my self with cooling colors - we just painted my kitchen blue this spring. I eat seasonally taking in all the fruits and vegetables of the season into my diet. I have reduced the caffeine and increased nourishing teas. I practice yoga and get regular massages. And I have become more aware of the things in my life that cause me to go out of balance and take steps to reduce them.
My poem for fire
Flames lick the sky
of my life
the passions that drive
Burning me up
expanding what was
The contents of the cauldron
from the heat of the flames
and smoldering coals
Becoming something more