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Ayurveda - Meditation, Pranayama, Mantra & Essential Oils for Balancing "Pitta" Mind-Body Types

June 19, 2019

This Rahini Yoga® Blog is part of Kind Karma's Mission Program called, "AHHH!" - Ayurveda Holistic Health & Healing. This program - "AHHH" - promotes Loving Kindness courses, boosts positive thinking, empowers yourself to make healthy lifestyle changes and improves your physical and spiritual wellness.  

 

The AHHH sound is a sacred healing syllable that resonates in our hearts, developing loving kindness, compassion and peace --- towards yourself and others.  Physically, the AHHH sound benefits the lungs, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and colds. 

 

AHHH is also the sound of growth of life and it brings up the realization of our radiant nature; imparting energy, openness, expansion and empowerment.

 

Another potent benefit of the AHHH is that it's the sound of releasing and letting go, as in a very long sigh or exhale after taking a deep inhale.

 

 

"A daily meditation practice empowers us to react less, 

adapt more, and respond positively or neutrally in our lives."

- Dr. Dean Telano

 

Ayurveda 101: Mind-Body Types - Doshas

 

In Ayurveda, the three Doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha - are derived from the five basic elements (Pancha Mahabhutas): Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether or Space. Vata is composed of Air and Ether; Pitta of Fire and Water; and Kapha of Earth and Water.  Also known as mind-body types, the doshas express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.  The doshas are biological energies found throughout the human body and mind.  They govern all physical and mental processes and provide every living being with an individual blueprint for health and fulfillment.

 

Understanding Pitta

 

Pitta (Elements = Fire + Water)

 

The pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production.  The primary function of pitta is transformation. Those with a predominance of the pitta constitution tend to have a fiery nature that manifests in both body and mind.​

 

 

People in whom pitta predominates are intense and fiery, with strong drive, and self-control.  They are alert and intelligent and have good powers of comprehension and concentration.  They are usually medium in height, weight, and endurance. They sunburn easily and usually have plenty of freckles and moles.  They seldom lose or gain much weight. Pittas often experience early graying or hair loss and frequently have bleeding gums.


The normal body temperature of people with pitta constitution is a little higher than in other doshas, and their hands and feet are usually warm and may be sweaty.  They perspire quite a lot and their perspiration often has a strong, sulfuric smell.  The heat is the main characteristic of pitta types so they have low tolerance for hot weather, sunshine, or hard physical work.  Pittas have a strong appetite and digestion and get irritable when don’t eat on time.  They are often attracted to hot spicy dishes, which are not good for them.  They should eat food with sweet, bitter, and astringent taste.

 

Pittas are good planners, ambitious and disciplined.  Aggressive by nature, they easily take control of situations. They are often wise, intelligent people, but they can also have a controlling, dominating personality with a tendency toward comparison, competition, and perfectionism.  Pitta individuals are in constant search of success, never yield from their principles, and can’t bear waiting or being delayed.


Pittas have a powerful intellect and a strong ability to concentrate. When they’re in balance, they are good decision makers, teachers, and speakers. They are precise, sharp-witted, direct, and often outspoken.

 

Imbalanced pittas can be annoyingly demanding and critical of themselves and others, short-tempered, argumentative, prone to sarcasm, and often irritable under stress.  They generally enjoy good health, however when out of balance, their fiery constitution is prone to fevers, inflammatory diseases, acid indigestion, migraines, jaundice, hives and rashes, burning sensations, ulceration, heart attacks, and burning eyes.

 

Pitta = Fire + Water

 

 

Qualities of Pitta

 

Oily

Sharp

Penetrating

Intense

Light

Hot

Mobile

Liquid

Pungent

Acidic

 

 

 

General Guidelines

To balance an excessive or aggravated pitta mind-body, Ayurveda provides specific lifestyle, dietary, herbal, meditation, pranayama and sound therapy strategies.  The following are key concepts that these strategies are based on:

  • Be cool in body, mind, emotions and temperament. 

  • Moderation in all things (try your best!).

  • Surrender by spending lots of time in nature and laughing.

  • Ease up on the reins of controlling things around you. 

  • Balance rest with activity.  Take time to wind down.

 

Lifestyle Tips

  • Set routine times for your meals; do not skip meals.

  • Favor foods that are bitter, sweet and astringent.

  • Avoid:

    • (Or limit) Foods that are pungent, sour, salty and fermented. 

    • Excessive oil.

    • Hot foods, both energetically and in temperature.

    • Chili and cayenne peppers.

    • Highly processed foods (like canned or frozen foods, “TV” dinners or pastries).

    • Eating fresh fruit or drinking fruit juice within ½ hour of any other food.

    • Red meat (or limit).

    • Deep fried foods.

    • Alcohol, except for an occasional beer or white wine.​

    • Caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants.​

  • Eat your meals in a peaceful environment.

  • Sweeteners may be taken in moderation except molasses and honey (or limit use).

  • Eat cooling, not spicy, food.

  • (Optional) Eat dairy if you digest it well. It's best to have an hour before or after other food.

  • Cooling herbs and spices are cardamom, cilantro, coriander, fennel and saffron. Hotter spices such as black pepper, clove, cumin, fenugreek, ginger and mustard seed should be used sparingly.

  • Drink cool (but not iced) beverages. Iced beverages weaken your digestive fire. 

  • Spend time outdoors. 

  • Give yourself a daily oil massage (Abhyanga) with cooler oils such as coconut or olive.

  • Exercise during the cooler part of the day.

  • Practice yoga postures or vinyasas that calm and soothe pitta.

  • Meditate daily to calm and cool the pitta mind and body.

  • Laugh a lot, every day - it really helps!  Laughter releases stress, tension and anger, softening pitta’s edge.

 

Meditation, Pranayama, Mantra & Essential Oils

for Balancing Pitta Mind Types

 

 

Meditation

 

Pitta mind types need to meditate in order to release aggression, anger, irritability, frustration, and to let go of their competitive nature or controlling approach to life. 

 

 

Pitta mind types need to make sure they do not turn their meditation practice into some kind of competition or achievement.  A regular meditation practice can be a good way for pittaindividuals to focus and channel their mental and emotional energies in a positive manner.

 

Rahini Yoga Note: Before meditation, the pitta individual should be very mindful that they are relaxed with a cool or even temperament. This means no hard work, exercise or strenuous physical or mental activity right before the meditation.  To cool off, it's recommended that pitta mind types perform some kind of cooling yoga breathing exercises (see “Pranayama” below) to release any pent-up heat - physically, mentally or emotionally. 

During meditation, pitta mind types might find it helpful to listen to soothing music or sounds.   

 

Pitta mind types generally have good focus or concentration and can meditate easier than vata or kapha mind types.  Initially, if apitta mind type does have difficulty meditating it’s only a matter of time before they learn how to meditate regularly and successfully. 

 

Pranayama

 

Rahini Yoga Note: Pitta imbalances can be caused by faulty pranayama practice and preparation!

  • The focus is to cool and gently tame pitta.  Pittas should avoid trying to controlling the pranayama or breath practice.  As with meditation practice, pitta mind types need to make sure they do not turn their pranayama practice into some kind of competition or achievement.

  • Breathing exercises - pranayama - that balance, align and pacify pitta are: 

    • Nine Breaths of Purification.

    • Left Nostril Breathing (Lunar Breathing).

    • Snowflake Breathing.

    • Butterfly Breath.

    • Shitali. 

    • Focusing on lengthening the exhalation of Ujjayi pranayama (this will help cool the pitta mind type). 

    • So Hum Breathing ("I Am That"). 

 

Mantra (Sound Therapy)

To bring balance to pitta, recite mantras or sounds that vibrate with the cooling energy of the earth and water, and flavored with sweetness of loving kindness or compassion. 

 

Essentially, anytime there is too much heat and intensity in the mind and body pitta will be aggravated or thrown out of balance.  Symptoms of a pitta mind that is no longer in balance are:

  • Anger, aggression, frustration, irritable and agitated. 

  • Impatient and intolerant. 

  • Jealous. 

  • Critical, self-judgement, demanding, sarcastic and blaming.

  • Excessive focus leading to leading to potential burnout.

  • Excessive perfectionist tendencies.

 

To bring the pitta mind back into harmony and to replenish burnt and dried out energies, sounds that are cooling, soothing, calming, gentle, slow and rhythmic are best.  For pitta mind types, mantras should be repeated in a relaxed and slow manner.  It's helpful to recite these mantras during the day when pitta emotions like anger, irritability or impatience become elevated.  

Mantras that cool, soothe and restore pitta types are:

  • Lam (pronounced Lum).

  • Vam (pronounced Vum).

  • Yam (pronounced Yum).

  • Lam, Vam, Yam.

  • Shrim (pronounced Shreem).

  • Sham (pronounced Shum).

  • Aim (pronounced I'm)

  • Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu (May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy and Free). 

  • A-U-M Shanti Shanti Shanti (Om Peace Peace Peace).

 

Rahini Yoga NoteIn our Rahini Yoga teacher training courses we teach a detailed way to correctly pronounce the above mantras.

 

 

"When intention, visualization, awareness, sound and breath weave together, it becomes

INNER LIGHT."

- Dr. Dean Telano

 

 

Essential Oils

 

To balance pitta use oils that have a cool, sweet, soothing and cleansing effect that are used in conjunction with lightweight, 

non-greasy carrier oils.  This will offer the perfect balance, soothe the skin and cool the body. 

  • Cooling oils to pacify pitta’s heat and cool the liver (pitta organ):

    • fennel, coriander, lavender, lemon, lemon balm, lemongrass, lime, neem, neroli, peppermint, sandalwood, spearmint, vetiver, wintergreen and sandalwood.

  • Restorative and nutritive, decrease inflammation, build the blood, cleanse the lymphatic system, increase awareness, cultivate expansion and change patterns for pitta types: 

    • angelica, brahmi, carrot seed, cedarwood, jatamansi, neem, neroli and rose.

  • For pitta types, the best carrier oils are:

    • coconut, olive and sunflower oil. 

For Quick Application

  • Simply place a few drops in the palm of one hand, rub both palms together and sniff. 

  • Surround your nose with the essential oil and simply breathe the aroma in.

 

 

Affirmations

 

Pittas should approach and perform all practices with evenness and calmness.  Pittamind types should affirm calm, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, relaxed effort, and release anger, impatience, or resentment (if these apply).  Pitta individuals should recite affirmations of loving kindness, peace and happiness for all sentient beings.

 

Key Points:

  • When working with affirmations, choose an affirmation that you believe to be true or that which resonates with you.

  • An affirmation is a "Mindful Moment" that offers "Magickal Protection".

  • Affirmation for pitta mind types: "I am content."

 

Visualization

 

To soothe pitta mind types, non-fiery, cool and calm images are best such as:

  • Forest.

  • Gardens.Ocean, lake, waterfall or running water.

  • Deep blue sky.

  • Moon.

  • Star gazing.

  • Mountains.

  • Flowers with cooling colors.

  • Sunset.

  • Surfing the waves.

 

Pitta Pacifying Colors: The colors blue, light blue, green and white are good to visualize. Soft, pastel colors will help to release tension. Pinks and roses are cooling.

 

Kind Karma®
A Global Movement of Creating Loving Kindness
 
 
"Often our voice is found in our continuous compassionate actions."
- Dr. Dean Telano

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of this blog is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda.  This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.  If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, always consult with your physician or professional health professional.  Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

 

 

 

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