PITTA is the subtle energy of TRANSFORMATION

Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, metabolism, of food as well as of mental experiences.
* Elements Fire and Water.
* Qualities Hot, sharp, oily, soft, spreading, light.
* Season Summer
* Seat of pitta in the body Small intestine, liver, blood, heart, eyes.
* Time of day 10am-2pm, 10pm-2am.
* Time of life 25-55 years old
* Physical profile Medium build, sinewy musculature, blue/green eyes, red, blonde or light brown hair color, freckles and moles.
* Psychological profile Sharp intellect, focused, intense, confident. Pittas are entrepreneurial and make charismatic leaders. Their power of concentration allows them to grasp information quickly and deeply, and to master any subject they choose to.
* Spiritual profile The path of self inquiry through Jnana yoga or yoga of knowledge is particularly suited for pitta types whose intellect will love to investigate the nature of Life. Asking the question "Who am I?" without seeking to answer it, and instead letting it take root in the heart and ALLOWING the answer to be revealed, in due time.
* Exercise Moderate amount, moderate intensity. The goal for pittas with exercise is to release excess heat, internal tension both physical and mental.
* Colors Blues, greens, white.
* Aromas Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, lemon, geranium.
* Tastes Sweet, bitter and astringent.
* Diet Favor foods that are dry, room-temperature, lightly oiled.
* Aggravated by exposure to heat, eating too salty, sour and spicy foods, over-working, a brainy and controlling approach to life alcohol, caffeine, competition, loud and aggressive sensory input.
* When out of balance Pitta types are prone to being irritable, impatient and angry. When their driven and ambitious nature takes over they become overly focused on their goals and forget to enjoy the journey. They can become critical, cutting and abrasive with others.
* Common pitta disorders Thinning hair, premature graying, skin sensitivity to sun, skin rashes, heartburn, inflammatory conditions, excessive sweating, irritability, anger, liver disorders, excess hunger and thirst, bad breath.
* Recommended massages and body treatments Oil massage with coconut oil, marma therapy, vishesh, deep tissue massage, Thai Massage, shirodhara, reflexology.

Balancing Pitta With Ayurveda and Yoga

Keep in mind that HOW you practice is as important if not more than WHAT you do during your practice. The same exact postures can be balancing to all mind-body constitutions if done with the correct inward attitude. Please remember also that Ayurveda is all about honoring how we feel in the moment, therefore when you come to practice try and identify which energy is in excess within your body/mind. Please go to the Ayurveda section of www.swasthyaayurved.com where I describe each constitution in more detail. You may be a pitta type but let's say you are feeling completely unmotivated, you may need to add some energizing elements to your practice (kapha), or rather baby yourself with a super gentle and nurturing practice (vata). To deeply understand your Ayurvedic constitution it is ideal to receive personal guidance from an experienced Ayurvedic yoga teacher for a little while. You'll learn how to identify your own imbalances and adjust your practice accordingly, so that it always balances how you are feeling in that moment.

The following Recommendations are well-suited for…

1. A pitta constitution.
2. A pitta imbalance.
3. Individuals in their pitta time of life (20-55).
4. The pitta season (summer).
5. Anyone with excess heat in their body (inflammatory conditions such as heartburn, gastritis, tendonitis…) and mind (expressed as frustration, anger, excessive criticism…).
* Intention Cool down mind and body, open the heart, soften, lighten up, enjoy the process. Feel more, think less.
* Pittas tend to practice anything with great discipline, thoroughly and intensely. They must be careful not to push themselves too hard, stick to a rigid routine no matter what (or fail to, and then beat themselves up for it!) and potentially get injured. Practicing with surrender and receptivity will invite more yin (cooling) energy in their practice.
* Styles used Watch out for styles that are physically demanding or practiced in a hot room, as those tend to increase the fire element in pittas. The precision of alignment-based yoga is deeply satisfying to the detail-oriented pitta mind, but in excess can also create a rigid attitude. Yin, restorative and heart-centered approaches to practicing will challenge pittas in a good way, encouraging them to slow down, surrender and just be with the sensations in their bodies. Regardless of which style pittas choose, they always benefit from the "less is more" approach!
* Postures Twists, side stretches, supported inversions, shoulder stand, forward bends.
* Breathing techniques Slow deep breathing, abdominal breathing, alternate nostril breathing, left-nostril breathing, shitali (literally "cooling breath"), mouth exhalations.
* Relaxation Moderate amount.
* Meditation To release anger, develop detachment and learn to allow things to be as they are. Careful to not make "perfect, deep"meditation yet another goal to attain. Focus on expanding capacity to feel, heart focused meditation/visualization. Use power of concentration and keen perception to inquire into the nature of consciousness and touch the Truth in all that is. Develop discrimination. Watch the breath dispassionately. Pittas may get disturbed by too focused or critical approach.

The Pitta Pacifying Lifestyle

Yoga On and Off the Mat. Yoga Always. When we organize every aspect of our life in a way that supports our nature and its unique requirements we feel better and it's easier to come to the mat to practice. When we practice regularly we become more calm, intuitive and aware, and naturally gravitates towards things, foods, people which support our highest good. This in turn makes it easier to continue to show up for our practice, go deeper and reap more benefits. And on and on the cycle goes.

A few "musts" to keep the pitta energy cool and collected:

* Take time to do things just for the sake of doing them. For example: walk barefoot in the grass, stare at the full moon, sit outside just watching people go by.
* Have plenty of contact with Nature.
* Stay away from excessive heat, i.e. hot weather, hot foods and drinks, "hot" situations.
* Nurture your inner child, laugh a lot!
* Use cooling breathing techniques such as shitali, left-nostril breathing and mouth exhalations.
* Take cool showers.
* Adjust your diet according to the seasons.