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How to Balance Pitta Dosha with Diet, Lifestyle & Yoga Practice
Are you predominantly Pitta or experiencing Pitta imbalances?
If you don’t know your Dosha (mind-body type), the first step is to take my Dosha quiz and then come back to this blog 😊
The Pitta Dosha
Pitta is comprised of Fire & Water elements. Pitta means ‘the power of digestion’ or ‘cooking’ and it’s the energy that controls transformation. Therefore Pitta is responsible for metabolism, digestion and nutrient assimilation.
Pitta also rules digestion on a mental and spiritual level and is responsible for digesting impressions, emotions and ideas.
The quality of Pitta are hot, light, penetrating & oily.
Signs & Symptoms of Pitta Imbalance
- Strong intolerance to heat, hot flushes and inflammation
- Loose or frequent bowel movements (diarrhea), acid indigestion,
- Excessive and strong acidic smell to the urine and sweat
- Skin irritations, rashes, acne, hives, psoriasis, dermatitis
- Heartburn, acid reflux, mouth ulcers, cold sores
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Irritation or a short temper
- Prone to judgement to others or themselves
- Overly competitive behaviour, jealousy
- Perfectionist tendencies
How to Balance Pitta with Diet
The major needs for Pitta types are anti-acid and pacifying foods. It is important for Pitta to keep cool by avoiding fried, spicy foods and stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, tobacco and chocolates.
Choose fresh vegetables and fruits that are watery & sweet, especially cherries, mangoes, cucumbers, watermelon, courgettes (zucchini), and avocado.
You can also have salads with dark greens such as arugula (rocket), dandelions, and kale.
Mint, coriander and fennel are also great herbs to add to your food or make tea with, as these herbs have cooling effect on your body and can cool heated Pitta down.
Also use cooling oil such as coconut oil to cook your food.
Pacifying Tastes (Rasa) for Pitta
Add sweet, bitter and astringent tastes in your food and avoid sour, salty and pungent.
Examples of food that have a sweet taste are sugar, honey, rice, milk, cream, butter, bread and grains.
Examples of food that have a bitter taste are green leafy vegetables, endives, chicory, lemon peel, turmeric and fenugreek.
Astringent foods are anything that make dry sensation in the mouth – so for example, dry beans, lentils, apples, pears, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and potato.
Spices to Balance Pitta
Add cinnamon, coriander, cardamon, fennel, turmeric and ginger to your food.
How to Balance Pitta with Lifestyle
It’s important for Pitta types to keep cool by avoiding overexposure to direct sunlight, overworking, and overheating.
It’s also important for Pitta types to wind down and not work late (although they have a tendency to work hard and forget to stop). It is advisable to switch off electronic devices after dinner and take a walk in nature to calm their mind.
Pitta types tend to be materially successful with their high-achieving nature, but they tend to feel something still lacking in their lives and have difficulty exploring alternative lifestyles. Pitta types should include exposure to a wide variety of people and concepts on a regular basis for a balanced lifestyle.
Similar to Vata, exercise intensity should be moderate. Avoid strenuous and frantic activities such as dynamic styles of Yoga and opt for more meditative and slower paced yoga, Tai chi, walking, and swimming. Avoid competitive exercises or sports and opt for co-operative or team sports.
How to Balance Pitta with Yoga
Pitta types are usually drawn to vigorous and energizing postures, such as dynamic Vinyasa Yoga and hot Yoga.
They tend to become too involved in precise or competitive aspects of physical Yoga practice instead of experiencing the benefits and joy of movement. Therefore they are best cultivating balance through cooling, nurturing and joyful practice.
Recommended Yoga Poses for Pitta
- Release excess heat: forward bends and inversions such as shoulderstand
- Liver and bile cleansing: side bends & seated spinal twists
- Release tension from the mid-abdomen, small intestine and liver: gentle backbends
- Calming: spinal twists
Example Yoga Poses for Pitta
- Standing Forward Bend: cooling
- Moon Pose: liver and bile cleansing
- Locust Pose: release tension from the mid-abdomen
- Shoulderstand: cooling