If you haven’t read my first blog post on doshas, click HERE before going further.
In these posts, I’m explaining how we might use movement and breath to balance doshas and what kinds of conditions might benefit from these practices.
Pitta energy’s home is in the belly. And the element we associate with pitta is fire. When imbalanced, pitta energy, much like vata energy, rises causing issues like Rheumatoid Arthritis, anger, colitis, addiction and insomnia.
As you might guess, fire energy often results in inflammation in the body. So balancing pitta is often indicated in those scenarios. But the more interesting aspect of pitta is the intensity of the energy. When that intensity isn’t controlled, it manifests in anger. However, it also attacks the body via auto-immune diseases and creates a one-point focus resulting in addiction and obsession.
Balancing pitta is one of the more challenging energies to balance, because unlike vata where we want to send energy down, or kapha, where we want to send energy up, pitta is about sensitization to existing energy. In other words, to balance pitta, we have to tame the flame.
An asana or physical body practice for balancing pitta needs to include:
- Flowing or Held Poses that increase heat in the body (but not head and shoulders)
- Resting after heat rises in belly, to bring heat back down
- Twisting poses to return pitta to its home
A breathing practice for balancing pitta might include:
- Slow Kapalabhati breath to warm/energize the belly (but not head and shoulders)
- Vata balancing breathing (ujjayi, etc) to bring heat/energy back down
As you can see, we use both the body and the breath to sensitize to the heat of pitta. This is a unique practice that needs an in-person explanation by a yoga therapist. It’s a powerful practice in that it gets to the root of the issue. Some yoga (and Ayurveda) techniques try pour water on the fire of pitta, but that’s only a temporary fix. At some point, a person must learn to control their own fire.
If you suffer from some of the issues above, maybe it’s time to learn to tame the flame, and help yourself in your healing process. Contact me so we can decide together if these practices are right for you.
Joe Simek is a Certified Yoga Therapist, 500-Hour Level Yoga Teacher, and Co-owner of Dragonfly Yoga Studio. Joe has been practicing yoga for more than a decade, using the wisdom of the teachings to lose weight, get sober, and abandon the corporate grind. In 2012, he formalized his yoga education, completing Dragonfly’s 200 HR Yoga Teacher Training. Joe went on to study Yoga Therapy and Peaceful Weight Loss Through Yoga with Brandt Passalacqua of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy (where he is now a Teaching Assistant) and Advanced Vinyasa Yoga with Rolf Gates. In 2016, Joe co-founded The Fiaria Project, a non-profit organization that aids foster children. He is also the frontman of Destroy It Up, an indie rock music project inspired by yoga philosophy. Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Arizona State University.