Pitta Elements = Fire + Water
•Fire qualities: heating, intense, bright, rhythmic
•Water qualities: fluid, cooling, calming, graceful
Depending on where you live, you may think summer is never long enough (like in the Pacific Northwest), or that it’s always too long (like in the South). Regardless of your geographical location, I believe summer is the one and only season where Westerners live at the appropriate pace, one that is in sync with Nature. It is the one time of year where you are encouraged to take a break from school, go on vacations, swim, hike, play outdoor sports, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, hang out with friends, work less, and even take a nap in the middle of the day.
Summer is a Pitta season, and as such, fire and water elements will be more predominant, and most people will feel the heat, sweat more, and seek refuge in cool water to help regulate their internal furnace. Relaxing is one of the best ways to decrease Pitta’s hot, ambitious nature and prevent your elements from going out of balance in the first place. It’s best to take it easy, do less, and take frequent deep breaths in a hammock under the shade of your favorite tree. If you do this, you will learn firsthand what the “opposites decrease” sutra is all about.
Adapt your life to live with the seasons and you will soon realize Mother Nature varies her workload every few months. The generosity you experience in summer occurs because there was a dormant, resting period in the winter and a cleansing and rooting phase in the spring, both of which helped pave the way for a clear and efficient flow of prana into the summer fruits, vegetables, trees, and plants. Without the balance and partnership of the previous seasons, summer would lack her abundance.
In the Western culture, there is a tendency to try to be consistently productive all year round, without exception. On an intuitive level, most people know that taking downtime in the summer feels right because everybody needs and deserves a break. In the West, the work environment and ethics are aligned with the Pitta elements and create a world for enthusiastic people to strive for perfection and power, reflecting the “like increases like” sutra.
But when the Pitta elements are out of balance in your lifestyle or in your body, what you notice is often a feeling of being burned out, dried up, tired, and angry. You carry along companions like regret, especially if others around you are having fun. When it’s hot, bright, and perhaps dry or humid outside, it’s best not to take on too much responsibility or overplan your free time; rather, leave some time to be spontaneous and let yourself go with the flow.
Posted by: Melina Meza
Melina brings her expertise in Yoga and Ayurveda together July 13-15 for a Summer Seasonal Vinyasa Weekend at 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge. Learn how to allow the summer season to best enhance your health and wellbeing.