5 Ways to Balance Pitta Dosha
If you are new to Ayurveda and you have no idea what a pitta dosha is, check out my last post here for the introduction on the 3 different energies that comprise all of life. Everyone has all three energy types within them at varying ratios, often with one predominate dosha. Ultimate, holistic health of the mind body and spirit is achieved with balance, and balance will look differently for everyone. Below I will talk about how to balance the pitta dosha. This will be most helpful for individuals who are predominately pitta, or seem to be having an excess of anger, irritability, or heat in the body. If you’re not sure of your dosha ratio but are interested in finding out there are tons of free online dosha quizes you can take. Check out my favorite free online dosha quiz here.
Pitta (fire + water)
Physical qualities: medium/average in build and height and a tendency towards good digestion, good circulation, warm and oily skin, normal or loose stool. Pitta types have average energy and stamina. Pitta types are more vulnerable to heat because they already contain the element of fire within.
Psychological qualities: more prone to anger, willfulness, determination, and efficiency. Pitta types tend to be very good business people as they are assertive, goal-oriented, and can have strong opinions. Pitta types embody fire and water qualities so they are often passionate, achievers, but when off balance prone to anger and agitation.
Signs of Pitta Imbalance: Excess heat in the body, excess inflammation such as rashes, eczema, or acne and red or inflamed eyes, loose stool, anger, frustration, impatience, intolerance, feeling overly critical, feeling overly driven , competitive, or perfectionistic, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty winding down, materialism, or overspending on luxury items.
Basically, Pitta is the energy of change. Pitta energy is necessary for motivation, making major life changes, building businesses, and cultivating ambition in life. Pittas tend to be incredibly efficient and productive. They also have a tendency towards extremes which lead to extreme productivity and then burn out. Pittas, at their best are driven, smart, effective, efficient, high performers and high achievers. They are also typically very good at multitasking. When off balance, pittas are extra fiery which can appear as anger, frustration, intolerance, judgment, or competition. While vatas tend to ask “what did I do wrong”, pittas tend to ask “what did you do wrong”.
In Ayurveda it is said that whatever imbalance we have within us, we will crave that imbalance. Thus, pittas, when off balance will tend to crave competition, busy schedules, spicy or hot foods, and extremes. Pittas tend to go all out, so puling back and slowing down is necessary. Cooling foods and calming activities help to balance out the fire and heat of pitta. Pittas tend to be more type-A, so un-planning, creating unstructured free time into the daily schedule and decreasing their achievement-oriented mindset can be crucial. Pittas tend to focus more of their energy and awareness on the external such as achievements, appearances, and material items, so turning the awareness inwards can help to balance out the external focus. Pittas need to be reminded of the joy of just being, and the joy of just being themselves without having to prove their worth. Practicing compassion towards others may also be beneficial at calming the fiery nature of pitta.
How to Balance Pitta
Slow down and smell the roses. Take the time to just enjoy life without any specific goal in mind. Don’t “smell the roses” just so you can check that off your “to do” list. Actually try to practice mindful awareness of the good in life.
Practice grounding or calming practices. Again, slow down. Meditation, yin or restorative yoga, compassion, and mindfulness are all great practices for pitta. Think about calming that inner fire.
Maintain a moderate pace. Since pittas tend towards extremes, practicing moderation is key. Practice moderation with all things including diet, alcohol intake, exercise, and relationships.
Eat cooling foods. Pittas tend to have the strongest digestive fire so they are able to handle raw foods quite well. Incorporate raw fruits and vegetables into your diet as well as milder tastes. Think salads, fruits, lots of veggies, and grains.
Self Massage with a cooling oil. Coconut or olive oils are the most recommended for pitta since they contain properties which help to balance out the fiery properties of pitta. Self-massage is a great grounding practice, that is also about showing the self love (something pittas often need more of).
This is only a brief intro to the pitta dosha. There’s so much more to learn simply by reading online resources or books.