Who Is a Pitta?

dart thrown to bullseyeIf you would have asked me a year ago what being a Pitta meant, I probably would have described the existence of the popular sandwich bread pocket, pita. Even though the two words are pronounced differently, I was still confused. It wasn’t until I took an online test to determine my balance in the doshas that I learned the meaning of Pitta.

Pitta is one of the three doshas, along with Vata and Kapha. Of the three doshas, Pittas are energetic, competitive, and precise.

In Ayurveda, it is believed that each individual is a composite of all three doshas. Perhaps you’re not very strong in an area or two, but never the less, you are still made up of all three. Additionally, each individual is unique. No two people have the exact same dosha combinations.

Your physical and personality traits help define you and provide guidance on what you should eat, what you should avoid, and how you can balance yourself. You can even predict how you will behave under certain kinds of stress.

Pitta

In her article “Ayruveda & Dosha Types for Beginners“, Nadya Andreeva says that Pitta is the “Energy that controls the body’s metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and your body’s temperature.” A balanced Pitta produces contentment and intelligence. Unfortunately, when Pitta is out of balance, it can cause ulcers and anger.

Traits

Those who are Pitta dominant physically tend to:

  • have a medium build.
  • be physically strong.
  • have fair or reddish skin.
  • often have freckles.
  • sunburn easily.
  • have a big appetite and get angry when they’re hungry.
  • sweat a lot.
  • become uncomfortable and tired in hot weather.
  • suffer from rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, insomnia, dry or burning eyes.

Pitta personalities tend to:

  • be passionate and romantic.
  • concentrate and focus with ease.
  • prefer order.
  • be assertive and self-confident.
  • like competition and challenges.
  • be good public speakers.
  • be effective managers and leaders.
  • become aggressive, demanding, irritated and angry when out of balance.

Elements

Fire and water are the elements associated with Pittas, who are known for their attention to detail and competitive nature. Unfortunately, because of their competitive nature, Pittas can become more focused on outcomes rather than experiences. The combination of these elements draw Pittas to heating and energizing postures.

To create balance, Pittas should seek cooling and relaxing poses. Cooling poses include forward bends, lateral bends, and inversions like Waterfall with the legs up the wall. To find relaxation, Pittas should focus of effortlessness as they move from one pose to the next. It is also recommended that they focus on their breath and release and relax on each exhale.

Health Tips for Pittas

In her article on MindBodyGreen, Nadya Andreeva advises:

“It’s important for Pittas to keep cool by avoiding overexposure to direct sunlight and fried and spicy foods. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, overworking, and overheating. When aggravated, [you become] susceptible to feeling negative emotions like hostility, hatred, intolerance, and jealousy. Choose fresh vegetables and fruits that are watery and sweet, especially cherries, mangoes, cucumbers, water melon, and avocado. Have lots of salads with dark greens such as arugula, dandelions, and kale. Avoid conflicts. Cultivate the virtues of honesty, morality, kindness, generosity, and self-control.”

Find Your Doshas

There are several different websites that offer free online tests. The more questions asked, the more likely it is that you will receive accurate results. You can take an online  test from the Chopra Center  and Holistic Online. The Ayruvedic Institute has a test that you fill out and grade yourself.

You will want to test yourself from time to time because we change throughout the years. A person who may previously associate with being cold may now constantly feel hot. By retesting and staying current with the guidelines for your constitution, you may help to prevent disease and, at the very least, encourage optimal health for yourself.

Resources

I really enjoy the Yoga Toolbox for Teachers and Students by Joseph and Lilian Le Page. It’s a three-ring binder that contains pictures and descriptions for many basic yoga poses. Each picture shows the activated chakras and the doshas that benefit from this pose. Here is a link to buy it form Amazon. If you order this book through this link, I earn a small commission.

What do you do to help keep yourself in balance? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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