Ayurveda: The Doshas Part 2 – Pitta Dosha

This is the second part of a series I am writing on the ayurvedic Doshas: a combination of natural elements that characterize our unique physical, emotional and mental constitutions.

Click here to read Part 1 – Vata Dosha. Identifying your own constitution helps you learn more about your tendency towards imbalance so that you can develop lifestyle practices to bring yourself back into a balanced state of health.

Pitta Dosha is a mixture of fire and water elements.  People who are dominantly of Pitta constitution exhibit some or all of the following characteristics:

– Muscular, average build

– Firey temperament: competitive, tendency towards anger and frustration

– Oily complexion that is sometimes reddish (red-tinged hair, rosy skin)

– Possession of a fast metabolism: the ability to digest food quickly, feeling ravenous if forced to skip a meal

– Aversion to heat

– Tendency towards inflammatory disorders

– Inspirational speaker, concerned with themes of justice and “sticking up for the little guy”

– Hard-working, ambitious, organized and achievement-oriented

Pitta types are firey in both personality and physical constitution.  They are often leaders in society, hard-workers and can be competitive.  They are very intelligent but have the tendency towards anger and frustration at others’ incompetence.  Pitta types rarely suffer from digestive complaints because of their strong, firey digestion (unless they abuse spicey foods or alcohol).  They mainly suffer from inflammatory complaints such as arthritis, acne or migraines.  Pittas have the tendency to overextend themselves.  They represent the constitution that is most susceptible  to conditions of the over-stressed (stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, etc).

Balancing Pitta involves cooling down.  As with Vata dosha, Pitta benefits from meditation and slow movement.  Creamy, cooling foods such as fruits and smoothies help Pitta people lower their revved up body temperature.  An exercise that is recommended for those who are feeling agitated and frustrated is to lie outside (preferably in decent weather) and gaze at the open sky.  Performing this routine for 30 minutes greatly reduces Pitta agitation and helps re-balance an otherwise firey, overly stressed constitution.

I firmly believe that most students at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine are of predominantly Pitta constitution! This Dosha is predominant in high-profile business people and politicians (think Jack Layton).  When balanced, Pitta people have the potential to become very successful leaders and make lasting changes to society.

Visit this blog tomorrow (Thursday) for Part 3 – Kapha Dosha.

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