Are you experiencing feelings of jealousy or an impulse to gossip today? Perhaps you've been particularly reactive toward your loved ones or at work. These are signs of a Pitta imbalance, or Vikruti, in your mind, body, and spirit. Lately, many of my clients have complained to me about feelings of excess stress in their social and work lives. Today, I want to address these issues and discuss the effects of Pitta imbalance.
Ayurveda 101: Understanding Pitta and Ayurvedic Principles
If you've been following my blog and my work, you know about my investment in the science of Ayurveda. For those who are new to the magic of Ayurveda, welcome! I'll give you a little crash course, but I encourage you to learn more about the benefits and wisdom. These principles aren’t just trending now like Tik Tok or Twitter; they stand the test of time.
Ayurveda is an evidence-based science that originates in India and dates back 3,500 years.
According to Ayurvedic thought, there are five elements within us and the world around us: space, air, fire, water, and earth. When they are out of balance in our mind, body, or spirit, we experience dis-ease, and ultimately, full-blown illness.
Understanding Pitta Dosha: The Fire Within
Pitta, one of the three Ayurvedic doshas, is comprised of fire and water. Summer and early fall are the Pitta seasons, and this dosha is also most present in the most fiery time of our life, late teens to our 50s. For women, we an be as specific as menarche to menopause. Pitta qualities permeate the 10am to 2pm and 10pm to 2am timeframes. This is why we may gain a second wind of energy if we are still awake after 10pm.
The qualities, or Ayurvedic gunas, of Pitta are hot, sharp, oily, light, mobile, liquid, and foul-smelling. If you feel an imbalance of the Pitta dosha, you may experience an excess of those qualities in your physiological and psychological states. For example, your skin could be extra oily, or your mind can race with excess mobility. Pitta is the most hot-blooded of the doshas.
Recognizing the Signs of Pitta Imbalance
Imbalance of Pitta can take form in physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Get to know the signs:
Red skin or irritated rosacea
Burning, bloodshot eyes
Indigestion, heartburn, or acid reflux
Loose stools or diarrhea
Painful menstrual cramps
Mental and Emotional Symptoms
Feeling anger, irritation, frustration, impatience, or agitation
Being judgmental, competitive, or overly critical
Engaging in gossip
A tendency to overwork or stretch schedule thin with plans
How to Address Pitta Imbalance
Addressing imbalance within any of the doshas starts with incorporating small but meaningful changes into our daily routines. If you've been feeling off or any of the above symptoms resonate with you, these easy and accessible tips will bring you back into balance.
Put The Fire Out
Massage your body with cooling coconut oil
Bathe your feet in cold water (or take a cold shower if you're feeling up to it!)
Walk barefoot in grass (if weather permits)
Calm the mind and body by practicing restorative yoga
Go for a swim
Try a calming breathing exercise (if you don't know any, check out this link for alternate nostril breathing)
Volunteer - performing acts of generosity helps us cool the fire in our minds and brings us more in touch with the empathy in our hearts
Favor nourishing, cooling foods like cucumber, corn, coconut water, and watermelon
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, fried foods
De-Clutter Your Schedule
Pittas have a tendency to pack their work and social schedules. If you are experiencing excess stress and anxiety, take a look at your coping mechanisms. Are you filling your schedule to the brink in order to distract yourself from those feelings? It may feel a little bit uncomfortable at first, but carving out time for you to rest will ease physical, mental, or emotional symptoms of Pitta imbalance.
Bring Yourself Back Into Balance
I don't want to discourage you from engaging in some of the positive qualities of Pitta. Sometimes a little fire in our bellies is exactly what we need to get that project done or learn a new skill. But when exacerbated, that fire burns, so to speak. When you're feeling overwhelmed, I invite you to take a deep breath and cool those flames.
If you are interested in learning more about these techniques and want to book your first Ayurvedic Health Consultation session, use the code NEWYOUNOVEMBER between now and November 30th, 2020 for $30 off. There's no better time to seize the day! And if you're curious to learn more about how Ayurveda can improve your health, schedule your free breakthrough session and we can create a personalized plan for wellness together.