My recent blog on balancing Vata noted that most people in our fast paced world have Vata imbalances, according to the science of Ayurveda. Keeping the movement and flow of energy balanced in our lives was the focus.
This week’s blog will focus on balancing Pitta - the combination of fire and water as expressed in the mind and body.
My general constitution, according to Ayurveda, since the time of my conception, is predominantly expressed as Pitta. Vata (air/movement) and Kapha (structure/earth) are expressed in me to a lesser degree. I tend to have Vata and Pitta imbalances.
Pitta qualities are sharp, penetrating, hot, liquid, fleshy smelling, mobile, and oily. Pitta is the energetic quality of transformation and digestion - not only digestion of food, but also digestion of information, sounds, sights such as movies, television, daily incidents, nature and anything else that can be ingested through the sense organs.
Like increases Like is a fundamental principle of Ayurveda, and anything with qualities of hot, liquid, mobile, sharp, oily and penetrating will increase pitta. Strong triggers of pitta are the summer season (especially if you live in areas that are particularly hot) - I’m currently in the beautiful, hot and humid Bahamas.
As I'm in an ashram, the following triggers are easy for me to avoid, such as eating spicy, sour, or salty foods; eating extremely hot foods or processed foods; caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants; red meat; and alcohol more than the occasional beer or wine. These may not be as easy for you to avoid in our western culture.
Stress, anger, competition, jealousy and feeling misunderstood are also triggers. Pitta can be a driving force—often to the point of doing too much and pushing too hard. In the extreme, Pitta is the quintessential workaholic who burns the candles at both ends!
Luckily I’m not as often extreme since I’ve been at the ashram, but I definitely still have my pitta provoked reactions. The recent heat and humidity, plus the stresses of self imposed work deadlines and perfectionism have provoked my pitta and unfortunately imbalances yield mental stress, pain and often physical struggle.
The heat associated with Pitta creates fluidity, irritability, and dilation of blood vessels. These are some typical symptoms of imbalances in Pitta:
Ayurveda’s approach to bringing balance is simple. Pitta-pacifying suggestions will have a positive impact that will cause a ripple effect throughout your body and mind.
TIPS FOR BALANCING PITTA:
Cooling, soothing, and moderation. Pitta sometimes wants to do it all, and do it perfectly. That is not the goal in this case.
Dr Claudia Welch and Banyan Botanicals have developed this fun and easy online tool for us to determine quite accurately our constitution and current imbalances. Of course being brutally honest in taking the quiz is important.
Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz. Take the quiz and Banyan sends personalized recommendations!
Our lives change quite regularly, so it’s a good idea to take the Imbalances test every month or so. There are also other good articles on Pitta on the Banyan website if you would like to learn more.
Loving Life and Living Love,