Pitta Balancing Daily Routine
Understanding Pitta Dosha
The three doshas are the basic biological energies in all of us; they govern all our physical and mental processes. Each dosha is derived from a combination of two of the five elements in our universe (Pancha Mahabhutas) – Pitta is composed of fire and water. The characteristics of pitta include hotness and moistness, so qualities that are opposite to these can help to restore a pitta imbalance. While pitta pacifying foods and herbs can help to restore a pitta imbalance, lifestyle changes are essential for a permanent solution.
Dosha Balancing Routine
Modifying your daily schedule does not have to be an impossible task; all you need to do is start tweaking your everyday routine. As you get used to the changes, you will be able to add more pitta pacifying techniques to your lifestyle in order to balance your doshas and live a healthy stress free life.
Pitta is characterized by a fiery confidence, but when it is out of balance it can make you aggressive and pushy. Individuals with a predominance of pitta tend to be orderly and focused and so they will find it easier to get used to a routine. A regular morning routine will help to pacify pitta and prevent imbalances.
Ayurvedic practice of Oil Pulling or Swishing
- Don’t wake up too early: While most people have trouble waking up early, people with pitta imbalance tend to have the opposite problem – they can’t sleep through the night. Individuals with excess pitta often wake up between three and five o’clock in the morning and find it tough to go back to sleep. It’s important to have regular sleep timings to ensure that you sleep through the night and meet your sleep requirements. If you are able to go to bed by ten o’clock on a daily basis, then you can wake up at six o’clock; decide on what time to wake up according to when your day ends.
- Practice oil pulling: Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice that helps to improve oral health by balancing oral bacteria, strengthening the gums and loosening plaque from teeth. Oil pulling also helps to extract toxins (ama) from the body so that they can be easily expelled.
- Evacuate regularly: Pitta is associated with heat, so excess pitta can manifest as indigestion and diarrhea. Regular evacuation can help to curb this problem. It may take a few weeks for you to get used to a regular timing for bowel movements, but simply sitting on the toilet can help you have a bowel movement.
- Have a cool shower: A cool shower as soon as you wake up will help to cool your entire system and helps to balance the natural heat from pitta.
- Perform Pranayama: Yoga asanas and pranayama can help to calm your mind and focus your thoughts, which will make you more productive. Pitta time begins at ten o’clock and ends at two in the afternoon, so this is the best time to do creative tasks.
Once you are used to your daily routine, you can add a gentle dry-brush body scrub three times a week to your routine.
Pitta is characterized by body heat and it is the energy principle that directs digestion and enhances metabolism.
People engaged in an afternoon brainstorm session
- Drink water before lunch: Drink a tall glass of water approximately half an hour before your lunch. This will help to balance tikshna agni, as well as dilute excess acids.
- Drink herbal tea after your meal: A cup of freshly brewed herbal tea in the afternoon will help to pacify pitta – hibiscus, chamomile, and peppermint are some of the best herbs for balancing pitta.
- Spend time in calm contemplation: Take a short break from work as this will help you remain focused and alert.
- Engage in meetings: People with a pitta constitution communicate best in the afternoon, so engage in meetings and present ideas and proposals during this time.
Excess pitta is associated with anger and frustration, so take a break and if possible find a quiet corner where you can practice pranayama to reduce stress and eliminate irritability.
Woman cooling down post workout
- Assess your workday before you leave office: Before you leave for the day, asses your tasks for the day and the results – whether positive or negative. This time of reflection will help you retain the reins of your fire and allow you to make decisions with a calm frame of mind.
- Leave office on time: Pitta individuals tend to have excessive perfectionist tendencies and often stay back after regular work hours. However, overextending yourself on a daily basis will increase your stress levels and you will not get the time you need to de-stress at the end of your day.
- Indulge in a moderate intensity evening workout: Pitta types need moderate amounts of exercise, so add at least thirty minutes of moderate exercise to your evening routine. This will help to reduce your stress levels and will improve your quality of sleep.
- Have a cool down session: Don’t skip that cool down session after your workout. This will help you calm down and enter a more restful state.
The ideal time to have dinner is at approximately six o’clock in the evening. Obviously, this may not really be option for everyone, as many of us are still at work until well after seven. However, regular dinner timings will help you streamline your daily night routine.
Woman oil massaging her head
- Have an early dinner: Have your dinner by at least seven o’clock, so that you have a couple of hours following the meal to wind down before you go to sleep. This is especially important if you have high pitta as it improves digestion and reduces the risk of disturbed sleep.
- Talk to family or friends after dinner: Communication is very important to pitta type individuals, so spend half an hour to one hour talking to your loved ones after your dinner. This will reduce mental and emotional stress and helps you relax.
- Go for a walk: A stroll after dinner will improve digestion and prevent digestive disorders such as bloating, indigestion, and diarrhea.
- Have amla after your dinner: Drink amla juice or have the fruit after your dinner. Amla’s bitter taste helps to balance pitta and acts as a digestive aid. Amla is a citrus fruit so make sure that you brush your teeth after having it, otherwise it could erode your tooth enamel or irritate your throat.
- Massage your scalp: Use a pitta pacifying massage oil such as brahmi, guduchi, or manjistha with sunflower oil to massage your scalp before you go to bed. This will help to calm your mind and prevent you from overthinking once your head hits the pillow – a common problem for pitta individuals.
- Swap out your phone for a book: Go offline for at least an hour before dinner as scientific tests have found that the blue light from electronic devices interferes with sleep.
How to Recognize Pitta Imbalance
Pitta is linked to heat, so one of the most common symptoms of excess pitta is a feeling of heat within the body. Individuals with high pitta are also more likely to experience digestive problems like acid reflux, gastric ulcers, and frequent loose motions. If your pitta is imbalanced, you would be irritable, impatient, and frustrated. You may also experience skin rashes as well as joint inflammation. People with pitta imbalances are also more likely to have oily skin that is prone to acne breakouts.
The fast pace of modern life makes it difficult or even impossible to follow the ideal Ayurvedic daily routine (dinacharya). However, making even small changes to your routine will bring you closer to life’s natural rhythms and allow your internal body clock to adjust to the rhythms of nature. The important thing to remember when creating your daily routine to balance pitta is that you should start slow and only tweak your schedule once you are certain that you can manage to stick with it.
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The information on this page has been contributed by Meghna Unhawane, B.Sc. Home Science & Nutrition and is intended for the sole use of Allayurveda. Information contained within this article may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of Allayurveda.