Because pitta is not a dominant player in your constitution, your attention will be focused primarily on balancing the vata-qualities of the summer season. At the same time, you’ll want to honor the relief that summertime offers kapha. Relish the flexibility, flow, and creativity of the season and learn to navigate the delicate dance of creating balance.
Foods to Favor
You will be able to handle slightly more heat than other types in the summer. Focus on eating summer foods that are good for both vata and kapha: apricots, berries, cherries, peaches, soaked prunes or raisins, asparagus, cilantro, green beans, leeks, okra, rutabaga, cooked spinach, amaranth, basmati rice, seitan, miso, mung beans, tur dal, soft cheeses, cottage cheese, and goat’s milk.1 Also consider using a moderate amount of spice to stoke your digestive fire – fresh ginger, cardamom, coriander, cumin, and turmeric are good choices.
Acceptable Seasonal Indulgences
You can afford to eat some of the more heating vegetables like beets, cooked carrots, and cooked onion, in moderation. This is also a good time of year to indulge your sweet tooth, in moderation. The light, hot nature of summer may make an occasional ice cream or pudding more tolerable than it would be at other times of year. Just be careful not to disturb the digestive fire with too much cold or frozen food.
Foods to Minimize
Do your best minimize foods that aggravate both of your primary doshas, like watermelon, pasta, and soy beans.1 Develop a careful awareness around your eating habits and learn to notice the effect that various foods have on you. Be on the lookout for signs of excess dryness (gas, bloating, constipation, dry skin) and excess heaviness (lethargy, low energy after meals, brain fog).
Your challenge during the summer months is to allow kapha to be active enough, without wearing down vata. You may be able to tolerate a bit more heat than some, but don’t overdo it. For yoga, you could try an active, early morning practice with some flows, standing poses, balancing poses, chest openers, back bends, restorative poses, and a long shavasana at the close of your practice. Ultimately, the summer gives you an opportunity to strike a balance between kapha’s need for activity and vata’s strong tendency to overexert.
1 Lad, Vasant. Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing. The Ayurvedic Press, 2006. 232-238.