Its part two of my Ayurveda Explained Series! Last post was all about Vata, while this time we’re talking the Pitta dosha. But first, what is Ayurveda? What is a dosha?
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian Science of Healing which believes that health is a state of perfect balance. Specifically, this depends on the balance of our internal energies; also known as Doshas. These Doshas are characterized by the elements: Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth and water). We all have these three energies in our constitutions but are born with a specific makeup that usually makes one or two of the doshas dominant – and it is our ratio of these doshas that make us unique individuals that must be treated and healed based on our individuality.
Illness is seen as a reflection of imbalance in Ayurveda. This occurs when we eat, live and think in a way that loses us from our original doshic constitution. Thus, we accumulate different ratios of dosga, leading to signs of excess or deficient dosha. This translates into depletion (from Vata space/ air in our bodies), inflammation (through excess Pitta heat) or build-up of toxicity (the accumulating Kapha earth and water-retention). This encourages more body-awareness as the focus is not on symptoms of disease, but the imbalances occurring on a subtle level. Want to know more about Ayurveda and how it supports beauty and self-care? More in-depth info that can’t be jammed into a short piece is in my book “Beauty, Pure and Simple”.
Pitta – Fire
The Pitta dosha is represented by fire as it governs all that is hot, sharp and light in our constitutions – this is why inflammation is linked to an excess of this energy. Pitta also governs transformation (akin to how heat causes chemical changes). Therefore this dosha is responsible for transformations in the body: metabolism (transforming storage to energy), digestion (transforming food to usable energy) and cellular transformation. In TCM this is known as Yang (All that is action-oriented. Energetically, like the Sunny side of the mountain.)
Those with high Pitta tend to be ambitious, competitive and organized. Fiery, type A personalities, Pittas are opinionated, impatient and extremely competent. Because fire represents transformation, Pittas are considered highly intelligent as they easily digest information. Physically, Pitta expresses itself as a medium, athletic build. Pitta features are medium sized, are of average height and even their physicality seems to be organized and efficient. Pitta skin is sensitive with redness and can be reactive and break out. This is why this dosha must be looked at with chronic acne, rosacea, eczema and hives. Internal Pitta ailments also stem from excess heat (fire) – examples include: ulcers, poor digestion, hyperacidity and all inflammation in the form of problems named with “itis”. Furthermore, these and other health issues are often stress-related and are aggravated by the pressure Pitta-dominant people put on themselves.