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Balancing Pitta

Balancing Pitta

by Vijaya Stern vijaya stern
Live Healthy | Alternative Medicine | | Tips | | Ayurveda |

The Energy of Digestion and Metabolism
Ayurveda, India's system of traditional medicine and 'science of life', deals elaborately with measures of healthful living. It stresses a balance of three elemental energies: Vāyu vāta (air & space), pitta (fire & water) and kapha (water & earth). These three Doshas  are important because when they exist in equal amounts, the body will be healthy and when they are out of balance, the body will be unhealthy in various ways. One ayurvedic theory states that each person possesses a unique combination of Doshas  that define their temperament and characteristics. Discover your primary and secondary doshas and learn how you can enhance your overall health by bringing all three energies into balance.


Elements Fire & Water. 
Qualities Light, hot, slightly oily & unstable.
Body Characteristics: Moderate, reasonably steady weight with a medium frame & good musculature.
Personality: Focused, energetic & intense.
Physical Challenges: Prone to loose stools, heartburn, weakness in liver & skin rashes.
Emotional Challenges: Anger, resentment and jealously. Can sometimes become cynical. Becomes more focused under stress.
Balanced by: Cool, heavy, stable & slightly dry qualities.
Balancing Tastes: Imbalancing Tastes: Bitter, Astringent, Sweet Pungent, Salt, Sour. 
Organs and main sites: Heart, liver, spleen, brain, blood, eyes, skin, small intestine, lower portion of the stomach.
Gifts: Clearly perceptive and dynamic, Pittas make excellent teachers, leaders & guides.
Time of Day:  10-2 AM or PM   
Season: Late Spring - Summer.
Life Cycle:16-55 years old. 



• Moderation
• Coolness
• Attention to leisure
• Exposure to natural beauty
• Balance of rest and activity
• Decreased stimulants.


• Excess
• Extreme heat
• Spicy and Salty Foods
• Cold Drinks
• Work, work, work 
• Exercise during midday

The key to balancing Pitta is moderation, making sure that you do not push yourself too hard. Of all the body types, Pitta is gifted with the most innate drive, aggression, and energy. Pittas are people who attack life head-on and relish challenges, the more difficult the better. But this inner drive is often the source of their undoing. Pitta gives you a fiery energy; if you abuse it, it will burn you up. The workaholics of the world are generally out-of-balance Pittas, especially if their emotional undertone is angry and compulsive.

Pitta types have to consciously pull themselves back when they see certain danger signs, the most obvious being loss of sweetness in their emotions and loss of moderation in their appetites. Because of their visual predominance, there is a built-in love of beauty.

If you show signs of Pitta imbalance, these pointers will help you reshape your daily routine to make it more congenial to Pitta dosha:

• Take time to wind down from activity – alternating rest and activity is the basic rhythm of life. Because they have so much capacity for activity, Pittas tend to ignore the other side of the cycle. You need to find an island of calm at the end of your workday. Eat a quiet dinner, turn off your telephone in the evening and resolutely avoid the temptation to bring your work home. For all of us, the island of calm is really inside ourselves. Out-of-balance Pittas frequently lose sight of this. Going to bed by 10 pm is suggested and awakening ½ hour before sunrise is considered ideal.

Meditation is very useful for regaining inner calm and equilibrium. It also allows you to remember that rest is the source of dynamic activity. The secret of great runners is not after all in their stride; it lies in the power they gather inside themselves on the starting block, before they take the first step. When Pittas discover that the greatest personal power is achieved without aggression, they take a huge step toward finding out who they really are.

• Coolness in any form helps to counteract overactive Pitta. Keep your bedroom just below 70 degrees when you sleep and don’t linger in a hot bath too long; too much moist heat can make you feel dizzy or nauseated when Pitta is out of balance. If you feel overheated at any time, put a cool compress on your forehead and the back of your neck instead of drinking cold drinks. (Iced drinks, which put out the digestive fire, are frowned upon in Ayurveda.) Cool sweet beverages that are not too sour are also good. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids in hot weather or if you feel sick. Pittas tend to perspire more and loose a lot of water under these conditions. 

• Eat a Pitta-pacifying diet. It’s important not to overeat, which Pittas tend to do if they push their excellent digestion too hard. At the same time, you don’t want to feel uncomfortably hungry – Pittas suffer if they have to skip meals. Rather than going to extremes, eat moderate meals at regular hours, three times a day. If you digestion is rocky, boiled organic raw milk flavored with maple syrup and cardamom will help bring Pitta back into balance. If you always find yourself with a roaring appetite and excessive thirst, you need to moderate your digestion, which a Pitta-pacifying diet will help you do.

• Avoid artificial stimulants, all of which raise Pitta. Alcohol in any form is like throwing kerosene on the Pitta fire (even fermented yeast bread is not considered good for balancing Pitta). You do not need to stoke your digestive furnace with the empty calories in alcohol. The drawback of caffeine is that it puts an edge on your energy, while you need to smooth your edges.

• Be attentive to taking in only pure food, water, and air, since Pitta is especially sensitive to impurities of any kind. Food additives, even if judged harmless on the large scale, can create metabolic imbalances, however small, that interfere with your goal of achieving perfect balance.

• Avoid strenuous physical exertion or overheating yourself outdoors. Pittas are easily fatigued by heat. Their pale skins, being intolerant of too much sun, will usually tell them when to go inside. Ayurveda recommends taking it very easy in the summer. Morning and late afternoon are better times for you to be outside than high noon. A morning yoga practice according to your dosha is recommended.

• Enjoy nature’s beauty as often as possible. Traditionally, Ayurveda recommends that Pitta types look at a sunset, watch the full moon, and walk on the beach or by water. These are all appreciated by the Pitta dosha. In general, Pitta people find a beautiful setting very conductive to winding down; it occupies their attention, as sitting on the porch never could.

• Avoid reading books or watching shows that are violent, shocking or controversial – all three influences strongly aggravate Pitta. Set aside some time every day for leisure that is uplifting, humorous, and entertaining – such influences will soften Pitta’s edge. These activities also divert your tendency to become overly wrapped up in your strongly goals. Pittas already know how to be serious; they need the tonic of laughter more than any other type. In many ways, it is the best medicine for aggravated Pitta that nature has devised.


Read about VataKapha 

Resources :
Dr. Vasant Lad. Ayurvedic Studies Course Albuquerque, NM. 1990-1991