Routine for Balancing Pitta
Our physiology is very much adapted to—and supported by—a sense of routine. Excess Pitta tends to increase the level of fire and intensity in the system, and a daily routine naturally introduces a calm, grounding energy that can serve to subdue the cycles of stress and busy-ness that have become the norm for so many of us.
start with a few simple commitments, things like going to bed and getting up at the same times each day, eating three meals at roughly the same times daily, and indulging yourself with one or two quiet, nourishing practices that calm the mind and soothe pitta’s intensity.
Take a few minutes to indulge yourself before bed. Doing so has the potential to bolster your sense of well-being, and will likely improve the quality of your sleep as well.
Floss, dental stick and brush your teeth.
Shower with warm water to rinse off any tight muscles and remaining stress of your day. Towards the end of your shower, try to gradually shift from warm water to lukewarm and then cool water. Bringing down the water temperature will freshen you up and keep you desirably cool.
Dry well and Self-massage your feet, or whole body (excluding your scalp) with warm oil. This practice helps to calm the mind and ground the energy before sleep. During winter, use almond oil and during summer, use coconut oil. For more information about self-massage read about Abhyanga.
Stretch and spend some time in relaxing Yoga poses.Practice Bhramari Pranayama. This yogic breathing practice calms both the mind and the body. It can also help to support sound and easeful sleep. Even 2 minutes can have a considerable impact.
Honor an early bedtime and consider retiring before 10 pm as a way of discouraging Pitta’s tendency to be productive late at night. Staying up late tends to be more disruptive than helpful for Pitta; receiving adequate rest will help to pacify Pitta. If you have an intention to awaken especially early on a regular basis, you might consider working backwards from that time to establish an appropriate bedtime—allowing a minimum of seven hours for sleep.
If you tend to have trouble quieting your mind, falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night,check out how to balance insufficient sleep.
The first step in creating a morning routine is to choose a consistent time to wake up. Because rest is important, it may be helpful to give yourself permission to sleep later than you normally might if your schedule requires you to stay up late, or if your bedtime routine is disrupted for some reason. Otherwise, pitta does best to awaken early in the morning, ideally by 6 AM.
Eliminate: naturally it is recommended to eliminate upon waking every day. If you are not already in the habit of having a bowel movement first thing each morning, simply relaxing on the toilet for a few minutes can encourage the body to develop a sense of regularity. Cleaning the tongue and drinking warm water (see below) will also support this habit.
Clean your tongue: doing so gently cleanses and awakens the digestive system for the day. It also removes accumulated toxins and bacteria from the tongue that can contribute to foul-smelling breath.
Brush your teeth: be gentle about it.
Swish with oil: oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that helps to nourish and rejuvenate the teeth and gums, loosen plaque from the teeth, balance oral bacteria, and relax the muscles of the neck and jaw. If you are new to this practice, please check how to do oil pulling.
Drink warm water. Drinking 1–4 cups of warm water after your oral hygiene routine helps to stimulate and gently awaken the digestive tract, hydrate the tissues, and also promotes peristalsis—which can encourage a healthy morning bowel movement.
Spare a few moments after done with hygiene care for stretching and/or quiet meditation and/or some Pranayama.
Rejuvenating herbs: help to rebuild the body’s natural strength and stamina and counter excess Pitta’s tendency to burn out. Ask your health care provider.
Breakfast: complete your morning nourishment with a nutritious and healthy breakfast. Starting your day with a healthy meal is incredibly important for Pitta.
Throughout the Rest of Your Day
Balance Productivity with Play: because a Pitta imbalance can lead to excessive focus, intensity, and seriousness, it is important to build in time to slow down, relax, and be playful. Leave space for (or even schedule) some down time every day. Give yourself full permission to step away from your to-do list in favor of doing something you really enjoy, whatever it may be, as long as it is playful and relaxing for you. Ideally, it will also serve to get you out of your head and into your body. Be mindful of pitta’s sneaky capacity to slip goal-oriented activities (like intensive physical training) into this space. The idea here is to back off of your effortfulness and intensity, and to do something fun just for the sake of pleasure and enjoyment. Any number of activities can serve this purpose, but it’s important to be honest about your state of mind and your true intentions.
Eat three square meals daily: do your best to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at consistent times as well. Try to sit down when you eat, giving your full attention to receiving your food slowly and mindfully. Your body will thank you.
Yoga or gentle stretching: balance your burning mind throughout the day with a short session of stretching. Any gentle stretching will usually be supportive.
Moderate exercise: after work when the air is cooler, supportive activities include brisk walking, hiking, tai chi, swimming, light jogging, cycling, and skiing.
Take the Pressure Off
Celebrate simplicity, be willing to laugh at yourself when you fall short of your expectations, and enjoy easing yourself into a sense of routine.