By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of health and healing. The wisdom and practices of Ayurveda are believed to have developed in Northern India several thousand years ago. This well-balanced system of health and healing is known as the companion healing modality to Yoga. Ayurveda believes that distress and disease grow out of an unbalanced dosha. Dosha is a term that refers to the entire make-up of an individual including his or her emotional, physical, mental and spiritual tendencies and patterns. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend a healthy diet, plenty or exercise and rest, a regular daily schedule and herbal remedies when required to support the body’s own healing processes. Ayurvedic doctors also advise a patient to practice appropriate Yoga asanas and meditation techniques daily in order to maintain optimal health and well being.
The pitta dosha boils down to one word, fire! The pitta element in the body is related to the fire of digestion and the synthesis of thinking and learning. It is also related to the digestion of experiences of all kinds. Yogis and Yoginis whose predominant dosha is pitta are quick thinking, quick to anger, intelligent, ethical and high-minded. Pittas are generally very dharmic and can even become rigid in their beliefs and thinking. They are excellent leaders and usually very disciplined. When a pitta dosha person is out of balance, he or she may be “all over the place,” irritable and quick to anger.
To balance out a pitta dosha, both the diet and the lifestyle of a pitta dosha individual should ideally emphasize cooling and grounding. Hot spices such as hot curries and chilies are best avoided. It is optimal for a pitta to exercise during the cooler parts of the day in the morning and early evening hours. Foods that are cooked are optimally consumed when they are warm and not steaming hot. It is also recommended by Ayurvedic healers that a pitta use as little added fat and butter as possible. Ghee is the most favorable oil for a pitta to use if he or she is using oil in preparing food. Foods that are dense and heavy, such as whole grains and root vegetables, will help to ground the internal fire of a pitta. Another great way to ground a pitta is by gardening. Not only will gardening provide exercise and fresh air, it will also help a pitta release pent-up fire into the earth.
The heat of the summertime is when a pitta is most likely to be out-of-balance. It is important in the hotter months for a pitta to eat plenty of cooling foods such as cold milk and yogurt, chilled fruit and seasonal salads. The wintertime is a much more comfortable season for most pittas. The general winter Ayurvedic guideline for a pitta dosha individual is to refrain from heating highly seasoned and spicy food. It is also important for a pitta to eat food when it is moderately warm and not piping hot. These forms of dietary heat may exacerbate the fire of a pitta. Japanese sushi is a wonderful winter entree choice for a pitta dosha Yogi or Yogini. Sushi is cooling, delicious and light and will help to quench a Pitta’s hunger and fire.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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