The sourness of Summer Love

Valentines Day is hot. I mean in Australia it's probably going to be a scorcher. Traditionally, some legends refer to St Valentine as being the patron of Spring, as bulbs start to appear pending the new season, pending new begininngs. But around these parts, the chocolates will melt and it's too hot to touch each other. Keep to your side of the bed please.

We have hit our stride in the Summer season. It has arrived and I can feel the heavy water energy has finally dispersed from Spring. Circulation is flowing and there are moments of being testy, feeling frustrated. My personal gauge is the off ramp at the local roundabout. C'mon people, let's go!

And the heat between lovers? Well , depending on your make up, it could finally invigorate Kapha to get going in the bedroom, calm Vata down enough to show some passion and connectivity from being in the clouds, and the passion of Pitta? Well it can be wild times ahead or tempers flaring (I'm right!). Here's how to prevent Summer from souring the passion between you two.

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Pitta represents the heat in the body, digestive enzymes, the breaking down of logic, the breaking down of food into chyle, the ability to see, usually with precision, straight (being the operative word). to. the. point. Summer is here and Pitta needs something to chew on and if the water element has been burnt out from too much fire stuff going on, they will chew at you, dear lover friend, because it's something to do. Without water, those words come out like a fireball you can't stop. And it hurts.

The sour, salty and pungent tastes are the ones to limit.  The pungent taste is fairly known - eat a Thai hot curry and welcome to sulphorous grafitti landscape the next morning. Salty has the water and fire element which increases digestion and leaves the water post digestive effect. Sour is not so known. We know lemons are sour although of all the common sour tastes this is the more benign in effect. Avoid sour fruit. Just because it's fruit doesn't mean it's a get out of jail free pass. The increase in popularity of Kombucha and sour dough bread does not come without it's consequences, for the Pitta individual. The traditional Indian way of eating has a small amount of pickle on the side to stimulate the digestion, to be able to have a lot of rice, which is sweet (earth and water).

Which brings me to the healing taste which is prediminantly sweet (earth and water), with a small amount of bitter (air and ether) and astringent (air and earth). For those that don't eat whole grains you are missing out on a taste which can ground the nerves, cool the system, and nourish the water element in the body. In Ayurveda we consider the first tissue layer after digestion as rasa, or fluids. We need water to taste food, move prana, lubricate organs against the internal fires, provide lustre to the skin and protect it, allow the flow of breast milk and menstrual fluid and urination. Water creates a barrier for the enzymatic/hormonal actions to take place. In the brain, per Ayurveda, it protects from too much thinking. Don't burn yourself out. Be cool, man.

To cool Pitta on a moonlit summer evening, apply sandalwood oil to the body and go for walk dressed in white clothes with white flowers in your hair or a white flower garland around your neck. A wonderful drink is cool (not refrigerated) milk. First, boil the milk, then cool it down and add rock candy, rosewater, and a few blanched almonds chopped into small pieces. Drinking this milk at bedtime pacifies pitta, increases ojas, and induces sound sleep. It is wonderful to drink this under the moonlight near a beach or stream, while listening to beautiful flute music. Do not discuss serious topics in the evening. Instead, talk about something like the moon, the ocean or flowers, and tell romantic bedtime stories.
— Dr Vasant Lad "Textbook of Ayurveda" Vol III

The Pitta individual is such a great lover, so full of passion and heat to stimulate that chemical reaction. They are exciting. So this Valentines and this summer take the time to be playful and sweet. Adding that sweetness will make the adventure a sustainable one, adding playfulness will take the sharp edge off without the ups and downs of burning love.

Here's some ideas on how to get the best out of your hot lover -

  • Avoid the midday sun, keep the light subtle and filtered. Pitta folks are sensitive to bright light. Create your adventure early morning (they rise easily) or late afternoon, evening. Golden light is warming and soft without being brutal. Create a mood with light.
  • Do something clever. Pitta folks are thinkers and like the complicated to break down. So create a treasure hunt of sorts that makes them work a little but in a playful way.  Alice in Wonderland your way through the evening.
  • Have some interesting things to talk about, some quirky facts. Oooh they love facts of stuff. They like to think they are bright and brilliant so that's where they are shiniest, at their head. It's good for Pitta to check in with their heart but a little head-play before heading south is a good way in.
  • Make it a visual display. Pitta, of all the doshas, eats with their eyes. The act of sight is a Pitta function. So make it beautiful, visually, but not intensely so. They might want to watch fireworks but in essence this would literally set off the fireworks in their brain.
  • Be totally, sickengingly amorous. They think they are tough, those Pitta ones, but with some sugar, they melt. Ignore them, just cuddle them anyway, they will secretly like it. Call them honey and sweetbuns and stuff like that. Go on. Just moderate it with some clever (see point 2).
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Sandra Radja

Established in 2012 The She Oak aims to provide healing through diet and lifestyle counselling as well as educational programs. I believe in teaching others to not only know their inherent constitutions that will best serve them but also how to help themselves should they mis-align with their true nature. Ayurveda treats the individual not the disease.