Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lesson #7: Too Much Pitta

Too Much Pitta
by Gary Gran RYT, DAy.

Late spring and summer are known as the pitta time of year in ayurveda. This means it’s an easy time for pitta to become excessive. So what exactly is pitta? According to ayurveda, pitta dosha is the life principle of fire held in water to a fault or excess. It’s main qualities are a tendency towards excessive heat, oiliness, lightness, intensity, and irritability within the body-mind complex.
Textbook style explanations can only teach us so much, however. So let's conduct an experiment. The goal will be to experience an overload of pitta first hand.
Here is a checklist for what to do (the antidotes will be given later):

1) Go for it. Get as much stimulation as possible.
2) Be as intense as possible. Play to win. Push yourself hard.
3) Turn up the heat. Exercise at noon or in hot places.
4) Then eat some super spicy oily food. Fill up on meat. Drink strong coffee.
5) Put in long hours at work. Stay up late. Burn the midnight oil.
6) Be a risk-taker. Jump first and ask questions later.
7) Watch violent action movies or the evening news.
8) Be ready to argue and defend yourself at all times.
9) Keep your living and work space hot and stuffy.
10) Spend as much time in the sun as possible.

Starting to get a little hot under the collar? Right on! Feeling irritated? You’ve got your pitta rising. Sounding a little harsh in your judgements of others? Yes indeed. Noticing those angry jealous feelings coming on? Bring it on. Feeling like reaching out a striking something or someone? OK, that’s it, hold the show. You definitely know what an excess of pitta feels like. It’s time to stop.
You may also break out in skin rashes, sprout some pimples, or simply feel itchy. Other things that can provoke pitta are exposure to chemicals, plastics, food additives, hormones and toxins in general.
Now it’s time to reverse the process and learn the antidotes:

1) Your new motto is moderation in all things.
2) Let go, let go, let go. Chill and relax. Or as it is now said, chillax.
3) Stay cool. Exercise during the cool of the day.
4) Enjoy mild, cooling, soothing and nourishing foods and drinks. Fruits and fresh veges are especially helpful, but be sure to eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated. Go easy on the spices and stimulants.
5) Take time off. Go to sleep before midnight. Rest during the heat of the day.
6) Slow down. Use foresight. Learn to look before you leap.
7) Enjoy peaceful soothing music and entertainment.
8) Realize that others may not share your opinion nor your enthusiasm. There is no need to be right. Practice cheerfulness and friendliness.
9) Get good ventilation. Use fans, dehumidifiers and air conditioners as necessary.
10) Stay out of the sun. Spend time in shady, soothing natural settings. Enjoy the coolness of the moon.

And, finally, realize your vision and your joy. Pittas are natural leaders once they realize that it’s alright for others to hold different opinions. It doesn’t have to be us against them. Laugh, laugh, and laugh some more. Let your joy be a light unto the world.