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Intro to Ayurvedic Doshas: Pitta

June 12, 2014

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Welcome back to our series on Ayurvedic Doshas! Last week we covered what doshas are and their significance to Ayurvedic medicine. Now we’ll begin to dive a bit deeper into each dosha, starting with Pitta. This will help you understand how to recognize when your dosha is out of balance and what you can do to bring it back to center. (If you don’t yet know your dosha, take this short test from Ayurveda expert Deepak Chopra.) 

If your dominant dosha is Pitta, then you have a very fiery nature. In Ayurvedic terms, the Pitta dosha is described as hot, light, intense, sharp and acidic. We’ll touch more on these qualities and how they relate to a balanced Pitta dosha soon. It’s possible to either have physical Pitta characteristics, which means your body is Pitta dominated, or emotional Pitta characteristics, which means you have a Pitta mind. In some cases, a person can have both a Pitta mind and body.

If your mind is predominately Pitta, it’s likely that you possess the following characteristics: you are very intelligent and have a strong ability to concentrate. You are very organized and focused. Many Pittas are assertive, know exactly what they want, and have entrepreneurial tendencies. A person with a Pitta mind is also very passionate and romantic and has a strong sex drive.

When your Pitta dosha is out of balance, it’s easy to tell.  Pittas tend to become very irritated and angry when severely stressed. They can also get pushy, demanding or even aggressive. Other people may find them to be stubborn or too opinionated. 

Since Pitta has such a fiery presence, it’s important to incorporate calming practices into your daily routine to restore balance to the mind. Practicing yoga or meditation is an excellent choice, although it can be a struggle to get the Pitta mind to relax. Finding the right career is also important for the Pitta since they put so much concentration and effort into their work. If it is rewarding work, they are much less likely to become irritated and stressed.

A person with a Pitta-dominated body often has very fair skin and tends to burn easily. Hair is fine, straight, and typically tends to grey early. They have a low heat tolerance, and prefer cooler weather. They usually have a medium build, with strong muscle definition. Internally, Pittas have a very strong digestive system and strong appetite.

When the Pitta body is not balanced, they often suffer from indigestion, bloating or other digestive problems. They might also have skin problems like acne or rashes and tend to get overheated very easily. To remedy this imbalance, Pittas should gravitate toward cooling foods like salads or raw vegetables. They should also avoid spicy or acidic foods. Intense exercises that induce heavy perspiration like running should be avoided.

If both your mind and body are Pitta dominant, then it’s important to look for all of the signs of imbalance listed above. As you start thinking about bringing yourself back into balance, keep in mind that it’s not necessary to completely eliminate things that could create imbalance as long as you are supplementing them with balancing activities. For example, if you’re an avid runner, try to incorporate a weekly yoga routine as well. 

If you’re predominantly a Pitta dosha, whether in mind, body, or both, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below! If you’re not a Pitta stay tuned the next couple of weeks as we explore Vata and Kapha!