I admit it. I am a Pitta dominant dosha. There, I said it.
So, what the heck am I talking about, right?
We learn by studying yoga and Ayurveda that most of us are dominant in one “dosha”. A dosha is a subtle energy, a sort of blueprint that governs how we look, how we act and react, how we function throughout our lives. It’s established at the moment of our conception it is said. What’s interesting (and obvious when you think about it) is that in order to achieve complete wellness, where all your bodily systems are functioning well, and your heart, mind and soul are all in balance, we need to eat, sleep, interact with the world, care for ourselves, and live in a way that is true to who we really are.
There are three doshas in all, and some people are dual-dosha. Each dosha is a combination of different elements (space, air, water, fire and earth). From the tests that I’ve taken, it shows that my dominant dosha is “Pitta”, which is made of fire (yes!!) and water. Pitta is typically described as focused, disciplined, courageous, energetic, ambitious, goal-oriented, dedicated, clear headed, competitive, passionate, a quick learner, sharp, walks with intention, hungry at every meal (again, yes!!) These are characteristics of Pitta when we are in balance; when we eat the right foods, wake and sleep at the right times, practice self-care that is right for us, etc.
A Pitta out of balance can be argumentative, stubborn, over-scheduled, sarcastic, angry, cutting, vain, self-righteous, critical. A Pitta out of balance will also experience all sorts of physical ailments particular to it. The environments we create for ourselves, from the physical spaces, to the emotional environments we live in, how we nourish our bodies and our minds, how we breathe, the sports we choose to engage in, the way in which we practice our yoga, all of these have a direct impact on creating balance, or imbalance in our systems.
Learning how to balance your dosha – which as we said, is “set” at birth – is the work that goes into living your best life.
I begin every yoga class by centering in. It is the time we take to reflect, to observe without judging good or bad, how we are, in the moment at hand.
As a work-in-progress myself, I find it really important to take the time to know and understand my true nature, and to know what I need to do to nurture all the right qualities. I can’t change the blueprint I was born with, but by being aware, I can put the work into keeping myself in a healthy balance.
Armed with this knowledge, learning what preventative habits will keep my unique composition in balance, can be the difference for me, a Pitta, between being sharp, or being cutting; being dedicated or being clingy; being passionate or being self-righteous; being helpful or being controlling, being focused or being stubborn; handling stress or having a burnout.
Once again, I am learning that yoga is not about the poses. It’s about what we learn about ourselves on our individual journeys.
There is a Zen proverb that says:
” Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.”
I am finding the first part easier than the second. But then again, I am a work-in-progress.