Pitta is the dosha, or biological humor or constitution, composed of Fire & Water. With this elemental composition Pitta has the qualities of hot, sharp and penetrating, light, oily, liquid, spreading, and fleshy smelling. According to the teachings of Ayurveda, “Like increases Like”, and “Opposites balance”. To balance pitta dosha we use the practices of yoga to cultivate the following qualities:
What You need to know to Balance Pitta Dosha
To balance pitta dosha we want to keep the following qualities/ideas at the forefront of everything we offer:
To balance Pitta dosha using posture practice (asana), we would keep the following ideas in mind:
- Cooling, non-competitive, relaxing
- Work with the eyes closed to encourage inward focus.
- Practice in creative ways that encourage intuitive reflection instead of comparison or competition.
- Avoid creating too much heat or friction – especially in the mind.
- Incorporate moon salutations, lots of twists, straight legged poses (especially when standing), and forward bends that stretch the inner and outer legs where the pitta energy lines are found.
- Medium length cooling savasana – 7 to 12 mins.
To balance Pitta dosha using breath work (pranayama), we would keep the following ideas in mind:
- Emphasize relaxing during exhalation.
- Focus on rooting the breath at the navel, which is the seat of pitta dosha.
- Smooth, slow, rhythmic breath – even inhalations and exhalations – for better aeration which helps move the excess heat out of the body.
- Shitali or Shitakari (cooling breaths) are considered good to release heat in the body, skin, emotions and mind.
- Sighing or cleansing breaths can be helpful to cool the body and mind.
To balance Pitta dosha using meditation (dhyana), we would keep the following ideas in mind:
- If imagery is part of your meditation practice, bring in cooling, watery, and relaxing
- Metta meditation (loving kindness) is helpful to transform anger, resentment or hatred.
Dr. Scott Blossom describes the pitta post-practice afterglow as follows:
“Pittas should come away from practice feeling cool, content, and calm with the mid-abdomen relaxed. Their minds should be clear and relaxed, and their emotions at rest. Their tendency towards competitiveness and irritation should also be subdued.”
Enjoy the cool calm freshness of pitta balancing practices!