Pitta Dosha and Yoga

Coming home you notice that your dog chewed on your favourite new heels and you have a water stain on your beautiful teak coffee table from the tea bag your honey left laying around (again, not using a coaster). You feel the pressure building as steam comes out of your ears and your face turns a rich shade of scarlet. In short, your Pitta Dosha is stretched to its limits and your are off balance. You need to cool down.

The Pitta person tends to be strong willed, determined and driven, and is often busy pondering and planning out new endeavors. If you are a Pitta planner and leader you may know how difficult it is for you to step out of busy mode to chill and relax.

If you are of high Pitta constitution, you are aligned with fire, influenced by water you'll be drawn to hot yoga classes like a bee to honey. But remember that hot yoga, Vinyasa flow classes and traditional Ashtanga are styles best practiced in moderation.

The often A-type-ish Pitta person likes nothing more then working hard and reaping the benefits in business, their relationship, or in physical activity. Pitta tends to be of a strong and agile build and they like to move and sweat. To balance the challenge of the challenge with cooling calmness and to keep from over extending your limits, consider switching your Hot Yoga shorts for comfy casual wear and a Restorative or Yin style class once or twice per week.

Pitta doshas benefit from cultivating a calm, relaxed attitude toward their practice and letting go of their competitive tendency. Resist the urge to compare yourself with others in your yoga class, and be gentle and patient with yourself.

Since Pittas have a tendency toward excess heat, avoid yoga forms that cause profuse sweating. Instead, favor cooling, relaxing poses. Avoid holding long inverted poses, which create a lot of heat in the head. You may want to schedule your yoga sessions during cooler times of the day, such as dawn or dusk.

Focus on poses that help to release excess heat from the body, including those that compress the solar plexus or open the chest, especially the pigeon, camel, cobra, bow, fish and bridge poses.

The twisting, folding, wide-legged poses aim to provide enough challenge to satisfy any desire for deep stretching, while simultaneouslyhave a refreshing and rejuvenating effect on the blood and lymphatic system, thus allowing for optimal oxygen-blood exchange that is perfect for releasing built-up heat and tension from the midsection, while also fueling the mind.

For standing poses, the best ones for Pitta are those that open the hips, including tree, warrior, and half moon.

When you enter Savasana, focus on your breath, try practicing Ujjayi Pranayama so quietly that you can barely hear it. This will calm your mind and center you in your body and heart.


The Pitta mind responds well to a meditation centered around soothing sound, smells, and colors. You may wish to listen to calming sounds of water or light a scented candle with a fresh cooling scent. Surrounding yourself with cool and light colors, or focusing your gaze on a cooling and calming Yantra, will guide your mind into a peaceful and tranquil state. Gentle or cooling Pranayama (breath work) such as Shitali or Sitkari Pranayama will also soothe your temper and focus your mind.


For you, dear Pitta type, relaxation should be your preferred motto. Staying calm, cool and collected while focusing and leading your team to success is the perfect balance. Remember to take time out for family, friends, loved ones and to enjoy the sweetness life has in store for you.