Pitta Dosha • Fire & Water

Image by Guilherme Stecanella

Image by Guilherme Stecanella

Persons desirous of long life, which is the means for achieving dharma (purpose), artha (wealth), and sukha (happiness), should repose utmost faith in the teachings of Ayurveda: thus said Atreya and the other great sages.
— Ashtanga Hrdayam

Pitta dosha is the biological combination of fire and water in nature and within our bodies. Pitta literally translates to ‘that which cooks’ and therefore is the action of transformation in nature. There is no greater example of alchemy, the act of transforming or transmuting one quality to another, than fire. It is thanks to this fire that we are radiant and intelligent beings.

The Qualities of Pitta

We can experience and observe Pitta dosha through its qualities of: oily, share, hot, light, spreading, liquid, acidic. These qualities conjure the natural pictures of molten lava, forest fires, the sun itself. In our bodies this is our digestion, our tempers, our life blood. Pitta is our inner radiance and our ability to ‘share the light’ that we all contain within ourselves.

The Locations of Pitta

Time of Day: 10:00am - 2:00pm and 10:00pm - 2:00am. As the sun peaks at noon so does your digestion- try eating your largest meal of the day at midday to take advantage of the increased fire element.

Time of Year: Summer

In the Body: The seat of Pitta is the Small Intestine yet this dosha also governs over eyesight, blood, liver, stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver, and our sweat. Pitta regulates our inner temperatures and any transformative processes such as digestion of food and emotions and all the way down to the micro activity of cell division. More subtly, Pitta governs the intellect and our ability to learn and absorb new information.

The Appearance of Pitta

Observe yourself and those around you to see how Pitta expresses itself through our physical features:

  • Thin and pointed nose, often has ‘sharp’ bone features like high cheekbones

  • Yellowish teeth that are prone to decay

  • Red to dark pink lips that are medium fullness and equal from top and bottom lip

  • Dark red to dark pink tongue

  • Medium bone structure, athletic build

  • Maintains weight easily

  • Oily skin that is prone to freckles, moles, and acne

  • Fine textured hair that is light in color and grays early

  • Bright and penetrating eyes

Pitta in Balance

Pitta in balance is a fearless leader- whether leading a team or taking on entrepreneurial endeavors a Pitta is driven to succeed. These types tend enjoy humor as a diffuser (sometimes from their own anger) and are naturally witty and great storytellers. Pittas have an insatiable desire to learn more and continue growing throughout their life. They appreciate working smarter and not harder and prefer taking the most efficient routes as possible.

Ways to encourage balance:

  • Eat a Pitta pacifying diet. One that reduces the tastes of pungent (spicey), salty and sour

  • Get in touch with your emotions through talk therapy, somatic work, and journaling

  • Color therapy through cooling colors such as greens, blues, and white or gemstones like pearl and moonstone

  • Essential oils that are sweet and cool like sandalwood, rose, and peppermint

  • Avoid artificial stimulants

  • Eat in a peaceful atmosphere

  • Keep competition in moderation

  • Compassion Meditations

  • Do things without the goal of achieving anything

  • Take life, exercise, and endeavors at a slower pace

Pitta out of balance

Out of balance Pitta types are overheated in life. They can become too focused, too fixated, too driven to a point of bulldozing others and burning themselves out. This can lead to anger, resentment, and unresolved frustration that builds in the body and mind as their independent nature often forgets that they can ask for help. Out of balance Pittas will develop heartburn, stomach ulcers, rashes, and adrenal fatigue when they don’t take the time to cool down.

Ways to create an imbalance:

  • Excessive exposure to aggressive or loud sensory input

  • Suppressing emotions

  • Becoming rigid in schedule, relationships, rules

  • Eating while agitated

  • Eating a Pitta aggravating diet (see pacifying qualities above)

  • Coffee, Caffeine, Alcohol, Drugs

  • Over-working & over-scheduling

  • Engaging in too much competition

  • Being overheated physically

  • Not slowing down in the summer months

Pitta is ruled by fire and water and so that creates a spreading affect throughout the mind and body. Like creating a fire with the focused heat of the sun through a magnifying glass and then allowing that fire to spread is much like Pitta dosha’s nature. Turning intense focus into relaxation, playing just as hard as you work, and reminding yourself that transformation happens even when you aren’t controlling it is key to finding balance in life.

Mantra of Pitta

I am a wayshower for others through my radiant inner light

I remember that my true nature is to be of encouragement, to express joyfulness, and to teach others what I know

When I am balanced I am unstoppable