Qualities: sharp, hot, oily, intense, penetrating, pungent, light, spreading and liquid
Elements: Fire and Water
Governs: Digestion, Transformation and Digestion
Life Phase: Puberty to Menopause, Mother, Middle Age
Lunar Phase: Waxing Moon to Full Moon
Daily Cycle: 10am – 2pm and 10pm – 2 am
Pitta represents the energy of transformation and is therefore closely aligned with the fire element. But in human beings, pitta is largely liquid, which is why water is its secondary element. Pitta is neither mobile nor stable, but spreads—much as the warmth of a fire permeates its surroundings, or as water flows in the direction directed by the terrain.
Pitta is closely related to intelligence, understanding, and the digestion of foods, thoughts, emotions, and experiences; it governs nutrition and metabolism, body temperature, and the light of understanding. Pitta creates luster, confidence, clear vision and strong will.
PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Pittas are usually of medium size and their musculature is naturally lean but athletic. Their weight probably tends to remain fairly steady.
Their skin and scalp are relatively fair, slightly oily, reddish in color, and may be especially sensitive or reactive. Pittas hair is soft and fine, might be prone to early graying or balding, and may include reddish hues. (this is also to be considered within the context of ethnicity)
Their face is generally heart-shaped, and they may have sharp facial features like a pointed nose and a tapered chin. Pittas eyes are probably medium in size, light in color, and can be sensitive to bright light, while their gaze is piercing.
They have excellent digestion, which sometimes leads them to believe they can eat anything. Learning to slow down while eating and enjoying their food is important as pitta often views eating as an "unproductive activity" and tends to rush while eating which aggravates digestion.
When it comes to sleep, pittas requires 6-8 hours on average and typically are good sleepers. Staying up late comes easy for our pitta friends as they like to be productive in the evenings. However, "night owls" have a harder time turning off their minds if they retire after 10pm. Best to hit the sack before 10pm and enjoy an easeful evening wind down beforehand.
When in balance, pittas have a powerful intellect and a strong ability to concentrate. Their sharp mind is characteristically inquisitive, penetrating, quick, and highly capable of mastery. When they’re in balance, they are good decision makers, teachers, and speakers. They have lots of energy for things they are passionate about. With moderate stamina but intense will, they are able to "push" themselves when necessary. They are precise, sharp-witted, direct, and often outspoken.
Balanced Pittas have a lustrous complexion, perfect digestion, abundant energy, and a strong appetite.
When out of balance, Pittas sharp mind causes fiery, reactionary emotions such as frustration, anger, jealously, and criticism towards themselves and others, making them short-tempered and argumentative.
One of pittas challenges is "pushing" too hard and trying to convince themselves and others that they have far more reserves of strength and stamina than than they actually do which can easily lead to burn out and other health issues.
Imbalanced pitta is often at the root of inflammatory disorders, which can affect organs and tissues throughout the body ie: skin rashes, heartburn, indigestion, ulcers, burning sensations and excessive body heat.
PITTA IN THE SUMMER
Summer is hot, bright and colorful. During the summer months, the intensity of pitta creates more pitta within you.
Summer is a time when many people are "fired up", motivated and excited to be busy, travel, let loose and enjoy the season a little. However by the end of the season burn out, exhaustion, and irritability is quite common. This is a clear sign of pitta imbalance due to excessive heat. Summer is definitely a time to be more mindful of balancing pitta.
A FEW TIPS FOR BALANCING PITTA
1. Eat earlier and lighter. Our digestive fire, is low in the summer, so our appetite is weaker than it is in cooler seasons. In fact, it’s lowest during the hottest part of the day. Try to eat lunch around noon and a light dinner when the sun begins to set or before 6pm most nights.
2. Stay hydrated. Drink 4 to 6 cups of water daily, along with cooling beverages like fresh coconut water and watermelon juice. Check out my recipes for more yummy Summer Beverage Recipes
3. Avoid hot, spicy, and salty foods during the summer months. They’ll increase the pitta dosha. Caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and sugar are also inflammatory so need to be minimized or eliminated.
4. Eat sweet, bitter, and astringent foods instead. These tastes are pitta-pacifying. The best summer foods are made with milk, yogurt, ghee, cucumber, apples, pears, melon, watermelon, fresh cilantro, asparagus, artichoke, broccoli, and basmati rice. Make fresh fruits and vegetable salads, a large part of your diet. Eating seasonally will usually be the best guide to follow. In the market, let your eyes guide you towards the bright and robust colors. Use olive, coconut and sunflower oils mostly. If you eat animal product- stick closely to fish, shrimp and poultry. Use spices such as fresh basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, mint and lime.
5. The Sun and the Moon. Take in sunlight in moderation as it is essential to our health and well-being, and so is moonlight.
Here are some tips for maximizing your benefits:
-Avoid direct exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
-If you have to spend time outdoors during the heat of the day, wear loose, comfortable clothing made of cotton or silk so your skin can breathe. Wear colors that reflect the sunlight, such as white, blue, green, or gray. Shade your head with a wide-brimmed hat and protect your eyes with proper UV glasses.
-Avoid working out in the heat. Water sports like swimming, scuba diving, and water polo are ideal for the summer. But save your exercise for the early morning or late evening.
-Soothe a sunburn by rubbing your skin with aloe vera gel or coconut oil.
-Bask in the moonlight. In the evening, go for a walk on the beach or in the cool green grass.