Dosha in Ayurveda simply means energies which are formed by a combination of the elements. These energies fundamentally construct and govern the workings of our body, minds and our surrounding environments including the core make up of other sentient beings. As humans, we have all three doshas present in our bodies. What makes each of us unique however, is every individuals ratio or unique combination of the doshas. Some of us are dominated strongly by one dosha alone, for example are either Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Others share an equality between two doshas and others have a balance of all three in equal proportions. Our doshic make up is constructed from a mixture of our parents genetics, our mothers pregnancy and health, our family history, time of conception, extrinsic environmental exposure and karmic factors also. If you are to look around within your family for example, you can see that everyone is unique in their own way, even when you share the same genetics. I know even within my immediate family, our body frames, weight, hair colour and structure, skin, metabolisms and health susceptibilities all vary to some degree. Ayurveda, being the incredibly intelligent science that it is, acknowledges our dosha individuality as the key foundation for lifestyle, well being and healing strategies.
LET'S TALK ABOUT PITTA
The Pitta dosha is constructed of the fire and water elements. The Pitta dosha is responsible for digestion, metabolism, and energy production. If you are a person with a predominance of Pitta, you are likely to be passionate, fiery, intense and goal orientated. Your body is usually moderate weight and height, with good flexibility, muscle strength and athletic ability. A Pitta person has a lustrous complexion, perfect digestion, abundant energy and good routines established.
The Pitta dosha is aggravated by excessive amounts of the pungent/chilli, sour and salty tastes. Excessive alcohol and caffeine significantly increases and aggravates Pitta. In addition, irregular daily routine i.e. shift work, and excess exposure to hot environments (including the sun) will disturb Pitta. When experiencing a Pitta imbalance, you may have a desire for cooling foods, a cool environment and cool clothing. You might experience excess salivation, excess thirst and hunger, burning sensations in the body, and general excessive body heat and/or sweat. With excess Pitta, you may experience skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, cellulitis, fungal or bacterial infections. You may suffer from hyper acidity, heartburn, ulcers, IBS, bleeding conditions, menstrual or hormonal imbalances, or eye conditions such as conjunctivitis. In addition, Pitta is connected to any form of inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis or an acute injury like a sprain.
Pitta dominated individuals have a strong intellect (often in the gifted/talented areas of learning) and have an exceptional ability to concentrate. Thus, making Pitta types excellent academics, scientist, leaders, entrepreneurs and pioneers. Good decision-making, rational processes with the ability to lead and teach are all qualities of Pitta dominance. When out of balance, you might find the Pitta person to become outspoken, bossy and domineering. Pitta imbalance also leads to becoming judgemental, jealous and angry. The excess heat in the mind can cause a Pitta person to be in constant conflict within their relationships, struggle to be understood and find it hard to see another's point of view.
GENERAL GUIDELINES TO BALANCE PITTA
Balance work, rest and play: A Pitta person will tend to overwork and struggle to place importance on rest and recovery. This must be made a priority, if only for a few moments a day.
Do not leave the Pitta appetite unaddressed - Pitta's define the word "hangry" and will become very agitated digestively and within the mind too, if not eating regularly enough (every 2-3 hours is ideal).
Spend regular time in nature. The natural environment cools and softens the Pitta character and is the ideal space for healing and restoration of the Pitta elements in the body.
Pitta types need more sweet, bitter and astringent tastes added into the diet and have foods that are cool, moist, and even raw.
Pitta's need to laugh and lighten up (regularly!) This will ensure not to take themselves and their purpose, too seriously.
Pitta dominated individuals should favour clothes that are dominant in blues, greens, and silver to help cool and soothe.
Aromatherapy such as sandalwood, rose, jasmine, mint, lavender, fennel, and chamomile are all great for pacifying Pitta.
As always, never hesitate to be in touch if you would like to find out some more information about your natural constitution and the doshas.
With love and light,
Image: "Fire and Water" by Kurt Arrigo