I strongly dislike summer. My optimal operating temperature is somewhere around 55 degrees. Anything above 70 is too hot. Considering it is 95+ degrees and sunny every single day in July in Salt Lake City and we can’t get our house below 84 degrees with the AC running non-stop, I fantasize about snow and escaping to the Arctic.
The Whole Foods checker should not have asked how my day was a few weeks ago as I entered into a diatribe about the heat. “You must be Pitta!” she says. Huh? No thank you. I was buying falafel and cucumber sauce, I did not need pitas since I had tortillas at home the needed to get used up… “No, Aruveda type she says. I’m vata, I thrive in the heat.”
I’ve heard of Aruveda and doshas from half-listening in yoga classes, but I had no idea that there were three types of doshas or biological energies that govern are physical and mental processes. These energies are derived from the elements – there is Kapha of Earth and Water, Pitta composed of Fire and Water, and Vata of Space and Air. Everyone has a dominant dosha although most people have tendencies of all.
When I got home, I took a dosha quiz on the Internets mostly asking about skin tone and hair and how often you snack and how quickly you eat. And well the results came back a blazing PITTA with some hints of Vata.
I’ve really enjoyed the suggestions out there for dealing with your Pitta-ness during the summer months such as massaging butter on your eyelids, not letting the sun hit the top of your head (since Pitta resides there), and sleeping on your right side so you breathe more through your moon nostril (which is the left one, apparently the right one is the sun).
All joking and skepticism aside, this dosha stuff was pretty neat. I always thought if I just tried harder I could get used to the heat. Maybe if just went to more hot yoga classes and ran more in the middle of the day, my body would learn to love the heat. Turns out this might just be who I am.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent the first half of my life fighting what is naturally me and now it is all about surrendering to it… Perhaps I wouldn’t be so angry and energy depleted all summer if just embraced my heat suckage and tried some of the strategies for keeping my Pitta content.
The last week I’ve been setting my alarm even earlier (4:15 instead of 5:15 OMG) to start my runs in the dark so I can finish before getting too overheated, napping during the hottest part of the day (when work allows it, on my right side of course), eating lots of cooling fresh fruit and veggies, drinking more water, experimenting with cooling essential oils (I totally used to make fun of these people until I got a Young Living Essential Oils kits as a wedding gift) and escaped to somewhere cooler over the weekends. As it turns out I already feel so much better!