Updated: Jan 3
Pitta dosha is not confused with the yummy Greek Pita bread, but I am sure you knew that. The Pitta dosha has a lot to do with "the power of digestion or cooking." It's associated with the element fire. Characteristics and keywords to describe the Pitta Dosha are: sharp, brilliant, bright, shining, lustrous, glowing and beaming. The pitta element is responsible for vision, hunger, thirst, digestion, and heat and softness regulation. The pitta element shows up in people's complexion, and people with a balanced pitta dosha are cheerful, intellectual, and display plenty of sexual vigour.
It is directly liked to Agni, the fire of digestion. We described Vata as dry air, so Pitta is often found in the form of oily and acidic secretions. All forms of digestion and transformation are related to Pitta, that is also those on a mental and spiritual level. Positive traits are intelligence, courage and vitality. Without the right amount of Pitta, we lack motivation for our goals. The physical location of Pitta is the small intestine and stomach, the sweat and sebaceous gland, and the blood and lymph among tissues. The sense organs for Pitta are the eyes, and the motor organs are the feet.
If Pitta is too much, it gets accumulated in the small intestine as acidic residues and results in inflammation or infection.
As explained in the previous blogs on doshas, we distinguish between a balanced Pitta and a vitiated Pitta (either too much or not enough).
Sattvic Pitta: A sattvic Pitta type is intelligent and has a warm personality with a sunny disponibility. Also, Pitta in balance leads the person to be disciplined, perceptive, able to discriminate with ease, and consider others' point. A balanced Pitta Person is friendly, courageous, and compassionate. Pitta dosha people are natural leaders with strong willpower for growth and personal development.
Rajasic Pitta: A rajasic Pitta aims to achieve success, regardless of others, that is, they may step over you to get what they want. They always promote themselves and their agenda (not stopping until they have achieved their goals. They are power orientated, and their positioning or status is crucial to them. They are highly critical, controlling, prone to anger and often intolerant. They can be, at times reckless and also be rather vain.
Tamasic Pitta: There tends to be destructive, violent, display hatred, resentment, hostility in life, and Tamasic Pitta has no respect for law and order and other people. It is said that psychopaths in the criminal world have the pitta dosha in tamas.
Tamasic Pittas are Intolerant to heat, usually have hot faces, a lustrous complexion, a tendency to moles, freckles and pimples. Also, they suffer from excessive hunger and thirst, eat frequently, develop wrinkles, grey hair, and even loose hair at an early age!
So when Pitta becomes vitiated, they become intolerant and lack endurance.
Foods that are alkaline, salty, and sharp increase pitta, as does staying too long in the sun. Pitta also increases at noon, midnight and in the autumn. When we get angry, the Pitta dosha increases in us. People with an imbalance in Pitta suffer from excessive perspiration, burning sensations, fainting feelings, abnormal thirst, pale eyes and skin, and have dark yellow urine.
Other signs of a vitiated Pitta are body smell, herpes, jaundice, feelings of dissatisfaction, loss of contentment.
It is cured by sweet, bitter, astringent and cold measures, massages, fasting, cold baths, or drinking cold water. If Pitta is vitiated, it is recommended to avoid oily and heavy diets and eat fruit and fresh vegetables for a while.
A Pitta dosha dominated person is usually medium to average built, neither too tall nor too short, too heavy or too thin, has good musculature and an oily quality that supports joints and good circulation. Pittas want to achieve and can quickly become aggressive; they are very good at the technical side of asanas. Still, they might lose the spiritual side of yoga quickly by focussing too much on technical performance. They should practice cooling asanas and pranayamas and be careful not to turn practice into a workout that generates additional heat. If they do a strong practice, a good cool down at the end is necessary.
For example, practising a shoulder stand or plough to reverse the navel's heat (solar energy) to the palate (lunar energy). They can also release tension that accumulates quickly around the mid-abdomen, small intestine and liver through practising boat pose, bow, cobra, fish or spinal twists. Headstands, strong backbends create more Pitta, therefore only to be practised when followed by Shoulderstand and Plough. Forward bends are in general good. The keywords for the practice are to be cooling, calm and creating a content atmosphere.
Keywords: Cooling, relaxing, surrendering, forgiving, gentle, diffusive
Pranayama: cooling, lunar breathing (left nostril in the evening)
Shitali Inhalation (tongue: fold like a long tube, press your lips around and then suck with the inhalation air in, hold as long as comfortable and exhale through the nostrils), good in the summer counters thirst and builds the plasma, good for bold high pressure and hyperacidity
Sitkari (same but produce as you inhale a sound like "see", don't' hold breath, clears heat from the head, and cools the emotions)
Five pranas: Vyana expanding energy and releasing heat
Meditation should not be too focused or critical, but necessary to release tension and aggression, let go of their willful controlling approach, they must learn how to expand their mind, feeling cool and calm)
Do not do any strenuous exercises before meditation, pranayama cooling, emphasise lunar breathing, and release internal heat before meditating!
Mountain, forest, lake, ocean, rain clouds, deep blue sky, moon, stars, white, dark blue, emerald green
Affirmations increasing forgiveness, compassion, love, surrendering anger.
Prayers of peace and happiness for all
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