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How to Cool Your Pitta

And Bring Balance To Your Inner Fire

BY EMILY CRONKLETON | AWESOME AYURVEDA | BEGINNER

YOUR AYURVEDIC CONSTITUTION

Your ayurvedic constitution is a unique blend of vata, kapha, and pitta doshas. The pitta dosha is characterized by hot, intense, penetrating energies. This force is vital to activity and transformation since its the fire element that inspires movement and motion. Most people are prone to excess pitta, especially during hot weather.

If your system is out of balance, its vital that you restore harmony to the body and mind to bring about optimum levels of energy and overall well-being.

This article will highlight simple things you can do to cool down when you are experiencing an excess of pitta. While youll need to take long-term action for lasting results, there are lots of ways to cool pitta and rapidly bring your energy back into balance. The key is to relax and ground your body while decreasing internal heat, which helps you to stay calm mentally and physically. 

WHAT IS PITTA?

The pitta constitution is associated with the steamy, hot summer season and the elements of fire and water. Balanced pitta helps one develop intellect and concentration. However, the sharp acidic nature of pitta can manifest in several ways, and in excess, is associated with high levels of drive, ambition, perfectionism or too much activity.

You may feel an excess of pita during the hotter seasons, or during times of stress, especially if you are feeling overworked or have too many emotions to process.

Expressions of Pitta Imbalance

An increase of pitta in the body can lead to physical and mental imbalances.

Be gentle with yourself as you work to correct them and bring the body back into balance.

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS MAY MANIFEST AS:

 

red, inflamed or irritated skin conditions,
such as sunburn, eczema, dermatitis or acne

fever or feeling overheated

excess stomach acid and bile

ulcers, heartburn

diarrhea

piles and hemorrhages

inflammation

sweating and body odor

bad breath

insomnia

cold sores

 

EMOTIONAL & BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS MAY MANIFEST AS:

 

impatience

frustration

irritability

jealousy or envy

hypercriticism

anxiety

anger

resentment  

EATING YOUR WAY BACK TO BALANCE

 The fiery aspect of pitta affects your digestion and metabolism. Therefore, following a diet to reduce pitta helps to strengthen and soothe the digestive system. Suitable foods will decrease internal heat and balance your digestive fire.

Ayurveda works with the law of opposites in order to bring the body back into balance. As such, pitta’s lightness can be balanced with stabilizing, heavy, nourishing foods that help you to ground.

INCLUDE PLENTY OF NOURISHING VEGETABLES

to your diet, such as pumpkin, and potatoes. Eat plenty of raw foods, which are naturally cooling. Make a fresh salad using leafy greens, cucumber, and celery. Broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans are also good options. 

FLAVOR DENSE, DRY FOODS

to give you a stable and sustaining supply of energy. Moreover, bitter, sweet, and astringent foods also help calm pitta. 

LIMIT YOUR INTAKE OF TOMATOES, BEETS, EGGPLANT, AND RADISHES.

The stimulating nature of peppers, garlic, and onion is especially aggravating to the pitta dosha. 

OLIVE, SUNFLOWER, AND COCONUT OILS ARE IDEAL

for reducing pitta. Avoid warming oils such as sesame, almond, and corn. Grain options include wheat, rice, barley, and oats. Avoid corn, rye, and brown rice.

SWEET FRUITS

such as grapes, melons, cherries, coconuts, avocados, mangoes, and pineapples are ideal for balancing pitta. Avoid sour fruits such as grapefruits, kiwis, and berries.

ORGANIC DAIRY PRODUCTS

such as milk, butter, and ghee can be consumed to cool down. Avoid sour dairy products such as yogurt, sour cream, and cheese. 

ADD SOOTHING AND COOLING SPICES

such as coriander, cinnamon, and fennel to your meals. Cilantro, fennel, cardamom, and saffron are also helpful. Avoid hot spices such as ginger, cumin, clove, salt, and mustard seed.

COOLING DRINKS TO BALANCE PITTA

TRADITIONAL BUTTERMILK

is an excellent drink option. It contains probiotics, plus the high vitamin and mineral content can boost your energy if the heat has you feeling drained.

PLAIN WATER

will help your body cool down while boosting hydration levels. To enhance its effect and make it even more refreshing, add cucumber slices, mint, or watermelon.

FRESH COCONUT WATER

has a host of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes to hydrate and energize your body. Drinking hot herbal tea will also help you to cool down by causing you to sweat more.

FRESH ALOE VERA GEL

can be applied to your skin or used it to make a refreshing drink. Add 2 tablespoons of gel to a cup of water.

HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO DECREASE PITTA

Essential oils are a great way to cool the body down quickly. You can use cooling essential oils to combat pitta overload in several ways. Examples of cooling essential oils include peppermint, clary sage, and lemongrass. Use these oils to make a mist by adding a few drops of oil to a spray bottle of water. Keep this in the fridge and spray it on your body and face when you want to cool down. Or you can add a few drops of essential oil to a cold or frozen washcloth. Place the fabric on your forehead while youre lying in a resting position and take this time to fully relax. Essential oils can also be added to your body lotion for a cooling effect on your skin or diffused throughout your room.

HELPFUL HERBS IN REDUCING PITTA

Several herbal options are useful in balancing pitta. You may wish to take these regularly or have them on hand to use when youre feeling excess heat in the body.

TRIPHALA

Triphala is a blend of amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki. In addition to lowering your bodys temperature, this health enhancer rejuvenates, boosts immunity, and improves digestion.

NEEM

Neem is a bitter herb used to treat excess heat in the body, encourage healthy digestion, and boost metabolism. It has a positive effect on skin conditions, immunity, and blood sugar levels.

BRAHMI

Brahmi cools your body, plus it helps to enhance brain function and memory. This is useful in promoting clear thoughts when excess pitta causes information or emotion overload.

Rituals to Calm Pitta & Unwind

9

Cool pitta by taking a cold bath, shower, or foot bath.

Cool pitta by taking a cold bath, shower, or foot bath. Soak your feet in a bucket of ice water for 20 minutes and allow this time for complete relaxation. Add a few drops of a cooling essential oil such as vetiver, bergamot, or eucalyptus. If you can, swim in a pool or natural water source.

9

Have massages a few times a week using coconut or olive oil.

If its not possible to have an appointment with a professional, you can do an ayurvedic self-massage.

9

Take steps to reduce your stress and limit your activity.

Avoid direct sunlight, and if you can, avoid activity during the hottest part of the day. Wear light-colored clothing in natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or rayon. Surround yourself with cooling colors such as white, blue, and green. Play soothing, relaxing music as you take time to restore your natural energy.

9

Take the time to MEDITATE and calm your mind, even if it’s only for ten minutes.

Taking time to ground and center will bring you a multitude of benefits. Yoga nidra is another wonderful practice to balance pitta. The benefits of this practice can help you to release emotions, reduce stress, and cultivate mental clarity.

COOLING PRANAYAMA

Here are a few breathing techniques you can use to beat the heat. 

You can practice these techniques during your asana or meditation practice or at any time throughout the day.

Ujjayi pranayama

is a breathing technique that you can use to lower your temperature. Simply constrict your throat muscles while breathing slowly through your nose. Maintain a stable and deep breath as you still your mind, center, and relax. Continue this breath for 5-10 minutes.

Sitali pranayama

is a relaxing practice that calms your mind and cools your body. To do this:

[1] Sit in a comfortable position.

[2] Stick out your tongue and roll the edges together.

[3] If your tongue doesnt curl, purse your lips.

[4] Inhale slowly through your mouth.

[5] Exhale out through your nose.

[6] Continue like this for a few minutes or longer.

COOLING ASANA

When youre feeling overheated its essential that you rest and rejuvenate your body and mind. Restorative and yin yoga are extremely helpful in reducing pitta. These asanas may be especially beneficial if youre naturally inclined toward a more energetic practice, and find it challenging to relax. Make a commitment to set aside at least ten minutes a day to practice a few of these asanas.

Here are some yoga poses that are cooling:
  • balasana
  • vrksasana
  • bhujangasana
  • paschimottanasana
  • viparita karani
  • baddha konasana
  • supta baddha konasana
  • savasana 

LAW OF OPPOSITES

Take the time to check in with yourself often and notice how youre feeling. Focus on balancing all of the energies in your body regularly so that you receive and experience the positive attributes of each dosha. If you have any symptoms of an imbalance, take steps to move your constitution in the other direction. Remember that like creates like, so think of the law of opposites to reverse imbalances.

Maintaining a healthy balance will bring you benefits on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels, allowing you to live and thrive at the highest vibration possible.

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About The Author

Emily Cronkleton

Emily Cronkleton is a certified yoga teacher and has studied yoga in the United States, India, Thailand and Bali. Her passion for yoga has laid the foundation for a healthy and inspired life. Her teachers and practice have helped shape her life experience in many ways.


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