Ayurveda, a “sister science” to yoga, teaches us how to reach optimal health by syncing our minds and bodies with the cycles of nature. This Ancient Indian Medicine has offered many holistic health benefits for people for thousands of years. Even in today’s busy modern world, we can still apply what it teaches us to improve our health.
Check out these Simple Ayurveda Tips for A Healthier You
Ayurveda is appealing to yogis because it shares the belief that true balance comes from syncing with nature. Its name is a Sanskrit word that means “the wisdom (or science) of life.” When you’re balanced, you feel your best. When you’re out of balance, you don’t. It’s that simple.
The key to Ayurvedic wellness and healing is realizing that health is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Someone’s habits, tendencies, where they live, and their heritage make up their constitution.
In Ayurveda, we call this constitution your dosha. By better understanding your dosha, you can add in or avoid certain foods or behaviors to optimize your health.
Read on to Find Balance and Embrace Your Inner Pitta Dosha Fire with These Cooling Ayurveda Tips:
First, Find Out Which Dosha You Have
There are 3 doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Everyone has a set of energies and elements that make up everything from your cells to your moods. The five elements (earth, water, fire, space, and air) combine in various ways to form “doshas.”
Determining your fundamental dosha balance requires assessing your most natural state of physical and emotional tendencies. If you’re new to this, you can learn your dosha by taking a quiz like this one.
Even if you’re a superfood-eating, yoga-practicing, stress-free superstar, there may be a few “healthy” practices you have that you can improve based on your dosha.
What Does it Mean if You Have a Pitta Constitution?
Do the words burned-out, hot-headed, fired up, irritable, or rash sound familiar to you? These words also reflect imbalances that are caused by excess heat in the body. Ayurveda calls this heat “Pitta.”
Pitta energy oversees digestion, metabolism, temperature maintenance, sensory perception, and comprehension.
Other words to describe this constitution might be sharp, hot, light, liquid, and mobile. Think: transformation. Fire transforms anything it touches, and thus, Pitta is in play any time the body converts or processes something (which is a pretty important job).
When you feel balanced, you’re a very productive, get-it-done type of person. Pittas can be well organized with the capacity to work ‘til they drop. They’re also very energized and enthusiastic about what they put their minds too. People with this dosha are considered “Type A personalities” or workaholics because they are so go, go, go!
Pittas have medium body frames, are well-proportioned, and prone toward muscularity. They also have a strong appetite and don’t like hot, humid climates, as they tend to get overheated fast.
Pitta energy oversees digestion, metabolism, temperature maintenance, sensory perception, and comprehension. This means that these areas of the body can be extra affected when experiencing an imbalance.
Signs Your Pitta Energy is Elevated
Things like environmental toxins, wrong foods, and stress can cause us to get thrown off balance. Imbalances are what causes all sorts of disease and “not feeling well.”
When you’re experiencing excess Pitta energy, you may find that you’re easily agitated by stress. You feel irritable, impatient, or overly competitive. All this means is that you need some soothing, calming self-care.
Too much Pitta or “fire” in your body can manifest itself physically as well. You may notice digestive problems like heartburn, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and diarrhea. Other signs of imbalance may be burning eyes, perspiration, feeling sluggish, and skin problems.
Because of Pitta’s strong appetite and need for regular meals, you might notice symptoms of low blood sugar. Pittas can have a hard time turning off their brains before bed, resulting in poor sleep or insomnia.
By learning more about Ayurveda, you’ll see that there are many ways to naturally shift yourself back into a balanced, calm state.
The best way to “pacify” your extra Pitta energy is by eating foods that have the opposite properties of hot, spicy, and steamy Pitta. Foods that are sweet, bitter, cooling, and astringent will be your best bet.
You’ll feel more balanced by avoiding foods that are pungent (spicy), sour, very salty, hot, light, and dry.
Salads and raw vegetables like sprouts and cucumbers are especially cooling. Dark, leafy greens are bitter and cooling, while sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash are sweet and full of calming, grounding nutrients.
Fresh fruit like berries, peaches, coconuts (and coconut oil) are great options. Add in sweet-tasting spices (cardamom and fennel), and healthy proteins as well.
You’ll feel more balanced by avoiding foods that are pungent (spicy), sour, very salty, hot, light, and dry. Coffee, red meat, salsa, hot sauce, and other spicy foods (especially in summer) can make elevated Pitta worse.
Sip cool water with cucumber, fresh lime or coconut water to stay hydrated, especially in warmer climates. Herbal teas such as hibiscus, dandelion, chicory, and peppermint will cool and soothe as well. Remember to think “opposite” of hot and spicy.
Feeling congested? Try This Ayurvedic Approach to Relieve Allergies Year-Round
Another way to combat this fiery energy that may come and go for Pittas is calming and relaxing physical exercise. You’ll notice a difference when you switch from high-intensity CrossFit to calming and relaxing pilates or yoga. Walking, stretching, and swimming will help you to calm your body and clear your mind too.
Keep your relationships peaceful while phasing out those that increase your “fire” or burn your valuable energy. Someone who is regularly getting you “heated up” is not going to help you to stay balanced.
Avoid excessive activity during midday heat (around noon) as it can be extra draining (so maybe avoid a lunch hour run outside or hot yoga). Schedule your workouts in the morning or evening when both the temperature of your body and the air outside is cooler.
You’ll also feel your best when you don’t skip meals, especially lunch! All doshas have improved digestion with a big, mindful lunch before 2 pm and a lighter dinner before 7pm. Consider how you can continue to carve out time each day to rest, rather than push yourself to your limits.
Embrace Your Beautiful Inner Fire as a Pitta Dosha
You don’t have to be a fired-up hot head just because you’re feeling off-balance as a Pitta. Embrace your intense energy and put it towards positive relationships and projects. Pittas get shit done!
Your transformative Pitta energy is necessary in all areas of life. By applying these suggestions, you can refocus your energy on what matters to you most by keeping yourself calm, cool, and collected.
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.