Guest post graciously contributed by Sarah Guglielmi, AHC.
As the summer heat rises, I’m reminded of all the Ayurvedic tips and tricks to cool things down. One of the most effective is what I affectionately call “The Pitta Pause”. Get that overdriven, overdoing mind to take a moment, and STOP. Refuel the tanks, downshift the intensity, and allow yourself a chance to experience the “joy” that summer so naturally brings.
Pitta is the dosha dominant in the fire element. If you have some predominance of pitta in your ayurvedic constitution you’re likely to move like fire, talk like fire, and shine like fire. You like to achieve goals, and are stellar at making things happen. People describe you as a “go getter” and you may find yourself passionately overcommitted to multiple goals much of the time. Your mind is sharp, intense, and your thinking button is usually turned ON – envisioning, planning, figuring, solving, REPEAT!
As we move through the seasons, the elements most dominant in nature, will become elevated in us. During the summer months (here in Buffalo, NY) we are closer to the sun, yielding an increase in the fire element. How you experience this seasonal boost in “fire” depends on your praktriti and vikriti, however, many people are familiar with symptoms of overheating, overdrive, fatigue, and irritability in the summertime. Ayurveda associates these symptoms with an excess of pitta dosha in the body, and in particular the hot, sharp, and mobile qualities of fire.
“The Pitta Pause” acts to stop the movement of the fire – to take a moment, or more like 5-10 minutes and stop thinking, doing, and driving forward. Bring yourself to the present.
Here are 3 ways to practice the “Pitta Pause” this summer:
To begin, Set Your Smartphone Timer to 8 Minutes, and press “pause” in one of these ways:
LEGS ON A CHAIR: Lay down on your back, and place your lower legs on a chair (if this is not appropriate for you, lay on a couch or sit in a chair). Close your eyes. The eyes are one of the homes of pitta in the body. Rest and breathe for 8 minutes with no other stimulation…I dare you!
GAZE at 3 OBJECTS: Move away from your computer. Take a walk outside or to your break room. Sit or stand still, and find 3 objects of interest or beauty. Allow your gaze and mind to fully connect with the object. Observe the color, shape, size, and it’s location in space. Feel the mind move into the present moment.
SIT AND SIP: Sit and sip a cooling pitta pacifying drink. Move away from your computer. Sit still for 8 minutes as you sip a glass of water with some fresh squeezed lime, or a coconut water.
Press pause once mid-morning and once mid-afternoon! Keep that fire steady and you’ll be MORE EFFICIENT, MORE PRODUCTIVE, and DRIVING FORWARD with MORE EASE!