We are all a mixture of all 3 doshas and all 5 elements. The balance of these changes as we go through life, whilst one is generally more ‘dominant’ it does not always mean that this will be the case. It may be helpful to complete a dosha questionnaire every now and again to see what your balance is. Please connect with me to receive a free questionnaire.
The elements associated with Pitta are fire and water. Pitta means ‘that which transforms.’ This is largely referring to transforming food into energy with digestion. The qualities of Pitta are quick, hot, bright, sharp and intelligent.. The heat of Pitta gives heat and vibrancy to the body.
The tastes associated with the fire element are spicy and salty. Therefore spicy salty foods can increase Pitta. Other foods which can increase Pitta include sugar, caffeine and alcohol. To decrease Pitta we need to eat more pungent, sweet and cooling foods.
When in balance Pitta is organised, intelligent, productive and energised. The body is strong and athletic and the mind is focused.
In excess Pitta can physically create too much ‘heat’ in the body, commonly with symptoms of inflammation such as ulcers (in the mouth or digestive tract), skin rashes and hot flushing, cold sores, indigestion and other heat related conditions. The seat of Pitta is said to be the solar plexus, stomach, small intestine, liver and gall bladder. The inflammation will eventually spread around the whole body creating disease. Psychologically an excess of Pitta will create anger, frustration and impatience. All of this excess fire can eventually led to physical and psychological burnout, fatigue and complete exhaustion.
When we don’t have enough Pitta we can feel unmotivated and lacking in focus, lacking a sense of purpose or direction in life. To increase Pitta we DO NOT start drinking excess alcohol or caffeine! We can gently increase with a good daily structured routine, realistic goal setting and enjoying warming but not firey spices such as cinnamon, cumin and coriander.
To reduce or avoid excess Pitta we need to avoid the foods which increase this dosha. We still need the salty spicy flavour in our food because otherwise we will crave this and over indulge, but we can find this in warming rather than heating spices (as above) and balance this out with sweet and green leafy vegetables.
We can also practice Pitta dispersing breathing such as sitali and also moon breath. Movement can be structured and logical, with effort but not overly pushing to satisfy the Pitta need for physical exertion but without overdoing things.
The season for Pitta (in northern europe) is largely summer, when the climate is at its warmest. During this time we are more prone to inflammation and excess heat in the body and we generally become more vibrant in our energy, so it is important to keep cool and to eat lots of foods (see above) which help to avoid Pitta building up and becoming too dominant in the body and mind.
The time of day for Pitta is 10am – 2pm and 10pm -2am. It is recommeded to eat your main meal of the day between 10am – 2pm as this is when our digestion (pitta is the energy of tranformation linked with the digestion remember) is at its strongest. It is also recommended to go to bed by 10pm (during Kapha time). PItta from 10pm involves the liver and digestive system working to assimilate food and also emotional experiences from the day. If we are not resting at this time then the body will not do this, and so everything remains undigested. This then creates excess heat in the body which leads to disease. It is so important to rest from 10pm at the latest because of this.
Consider your Pitta! What do you notice about the qualities or patterns described in your body or mind or fluctuations at the different seasons or times of day?