Pitta-Kapha Balancing Daily Routine
Understanding Pitta-Kapha Dosha
The three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) are the basic biological energies in all of us; these doshas 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 kapha people have pitta and kapha predominant in their constitutions – pitta is made up of the fire (agni) and water (aaps/jal) elements, while kapha is made up of earth (prithvi) and water (aaps/jal). Since pitta is associated with hotness and kapha is predominantly cold, these individuals are blessed with good overall health as long as their doshas remain balanced.
Dosha Balancing Routine
Following a daily schedule that keeps your doshas in balance is necessary for a happy and stress free life. Furthermore, a daily routine will help to streamline your day and increase your productivity and your free time.
Pittta kapha people have the ideal metabolism for physical activities despite its sluggishness – it is hotter and stronger than kapha individuals, but not too hot like pitta individuals. However, inactivity can cause an imbalance in their doshas. A regular morning routine will help to pacify both pitta and kapha doshas and prevent imbalances.
Healthy young woman warming up outdoors
- Have regular waking hours: According to Ayurveda, the best time to wake up is approximately one and a half hours before dawn; this is called brahma muhurtha. However, this is not an option for most people, given our current lifestyle. Decide on a specific time to wake up on a daily basis and try to keep this within an hour of sunrise – this will help to sync your circadian rhythms (internal body clock) with nature.
- Practice oil pulling: Oil pulling (gundusha) is an ancient Ayurvedic technique to improve dental health as well as overall health. Oil pulling helps to loosen plaque and reduce the bacteria responsible for cavities and bad breath. It also helps to extract ama (toxins) from the body so that they can be easily expelled.
- Drink a glass of hot water: Agni balance is important for the pitta-kapha types, so drink a glass of hot water as soon as you wake up. This will kindle your natural digestive fire, as well as help to remove the toxins within your body. If you experience sluggishness on a daily basis, you can add a pinch of black pepper powder to help revive your agni.
- Eliminate: Pitta kapha individuals are prone to constipation when their doshas are not balanced. Daily evacuation is important so that it develops into a regular habit. In the beginning, you may not feel the urge, but simply sitting on the toilet can help you have a bowel movement and prevent constipation.
- Exercise and practice pranayama: Regular exercise is necessary for pitta kapha people to ensure that the pitta side of their constitution does not become congested by kapha qualities. Daily exercise followed by a short pranayama session will help to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Pitta kapha individuals excel in the workplace – they have the people management skills of kapha as well as the strength, motivation, and competitiveness of pitta. Afternoon is an important time of the day for pitta kapha individuals as it is the ideal time to engage in meetings and present ideas and proposals.
Woman doing breathing exercises at workplace
- Eat in moderation: Have a small or moderate sized lunch. People with a pitta kapha type of constitution tend to overeat, especially in the afternoon. A large lunch will decrease your productivity and leave you feeling sluggish and tired.
- Do not drink water with your lunch: Do not drink water or a cold soda with your lunch – this will dilute your stomach acids and impede the digestive process. If possible, drink a glass of hot water approximately thirty minutes before lunch to stimulate the production of digestive juices which will improve digestion.
- Do not work during lunch: Multitasking has become the mantra of our modern times, but eating your lunch at your desk will not increase productivity. Mindful eating will help to reduce problems such as indigestion and bloating and it will also provide you with a brief window to de-stress during your work day.
- Drink herbal tea after your meal: A cup of freshly brewed herbal tea in the afternoon will help to pacify pitta or kapha imbalances. Hibiscus, chamomile, and peppermint are good for balancing pitta, while black pepper, ginger, and cinnamon are some of the best herbs for balancing pitta.
- Take breaks between tasks: Take breaks between tasks to help you channel your energy and stay focused throughout your work day. If possible, find a quiet corner and practice mindful breathing techniques to calm your mind and ease your stress.
An evening routine is important as it helps you transition from your work day to your home life.
Father spending quality time with his son
- Leave office on time: Schedule your tasks so that you don’t have to stay back after office hours on a daily basis. Working for long hours will ruin your work-life balance and increase your stress levels. This will ultimately lead to imbalances in your doshas and leave you vulnerable to illness and chronic health issues.
- Indulge in sports or competitive games: Pitta kapha individuals have a sluggish metabolism and are often prone to weight gain. Additionally, a sedentary job can cause an increase in kapha, which is why a regular exercise regimen is important. Pitta kapha people are competitive by nature so sports and competitive games are a good option for these individuals.
- Have a cool down session: Don’t skip your cool down session after your workout. This will help you cool down and enter a more restful state. This will also improve your quality of sleep, helping prevent problems like insomnia, which are common in pitta kapha individuals.
- Curb your screen time: Pitta kapha individuals can be both hardworking and lethargic at the same time – this is due to the opposite characteristics of their pitta and kapha doshas. Most pitta kapha people push themselves a little too much during their workday and once they get home, the kapha side of their personality takes over and they spend their evenings vegetating in front of a screen. Track the amount of time you spend watching TV and surfing as these activities could cause excess kapha and lead to a dosha imbalance.
Ideally, you should eat your dinner by seven and sleep by ten o’clock but that may not be feasible for all of us. However, what you can do is have regular dinner and sleep timings. Don’t rush through your night routine; instead, allow your day to wind down.
Couple massaging their feet in bed
- Drink hot water before dinner: The sluggish metabolism of a pitta kapha person can result in slower digestion. Drink a glass of hot water thirty minutes before your dinner to stimulate your digestive tract and prevent indigestion and constipation.
- Do not watch TV while eating: Watching TV while eating distracts you from your meal and you are likely to eat more than you need. Mindful eating will enable you to chew your food thoroughly, which will improve digestion and reduce problems such as bloating and constipation.
- Massage your feet after dinner: Massage your feet and calves with a small amount of sesame and mustard oil. This helps to counteract the excess of water associated with the pitta kapha personality type.
- Avoid electronic devices before bed: Get off your phone and laptop for at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep as the blue light from these devices can interfere with your natural sleep patterns.
How to Recognize Pitta-Kapha Imbalance
Due to the dual nature of the pitta kapha type, these individuals are likely to suffer from either a pitta or kapha imbalance. People with high pitta are more likely to get acid reflux, gastric ulcers, and frequent bouts of diarrhea while those with high kapha are more likely to have a sluggish digestive system, which leads to an uncomfortable feeling of heaviness in the stomach and sticky bowel movements. A dosha imbalance can also affect an individual’s personality – those with high pitta tend to be impatient, frustrated, and irritated, while those with high kapha are more likely to feel listless, lethargic, and dull.
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 natural rhythms of nature. The important thing to remember when creating your daily routine to balance pitta and kapha is that you should start slow and only tweak your schedule once you are certain that you can manage to stick with it.
- Salgare, U V, et al. “Importance of Dincharya.” IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science, vol. 4, no. 3, 2015, www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jnhs/papers/vol4-issue3/Version-4/H04344648.pdf.
- “Journal of Circadian Rhythms.” Journal of Circadian Rhythms, Ubiquity Press, www.jcircadianrhythms.com/.
- Janszky, Imre, and Rickard Ljung. “Shifts to and from Daylight Saving Time and Incidence of Myocardial Infarction | NEJM.” New England Journal of Medicine, Oxford University Press, 30 Oct. 2008, www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc0807104.
- Shi, Shu-Qun, et al. “Circadian Disruption Leads to Insulin Resistance and Obesity.” Current Biology, vol. 23, no. 5, 2013, pp. 372–381., doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.01.048.
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.