Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama for Pitta Balance

By Dr. Regina Antony
A well balanced Pitta leads to higher level of intelligence, memory, analytical power and knowledge.
As we tread the path of Yoga, our intelligence, memory, analytical power, wisdom and spiritual knowledge should increase.
Hence, Yogic practices help to improve the quality of Pitta Dosha.

Introduction

Increased Pitta Dosha can cause excessive worldly attraction, mental distraction, anger outbursts and violence.
All the Yogic principles that are useful to contain anger, violence and mental distractions help to keep Pitta under balance.
Such Yogic principles that help in Pitta balance are –
Ahimsa – non violence
Satya – truth
Brahmacharya – abstinence from sex
Aparigraha – abstinence from greed
Santosha – happiness
Tapas – purification
Swadhyaya – Self observation
Pratyahara – withdrawal of senses from sensual pleasures. 

Pitta balancing asanas


The following are postures in Yoga which aims at balancing Pitta Dosha –

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose
By controlling Pachaka Pitta, this asana helps in proper digestion of food. 

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
By stimulating Pachaka Pitta, this asana helps in enhancing metabolism and the capacity to digest and assimilate food in a proper way.

Malasana – Garland Pose
Malasana helps in balancing Pachaka pitta and hence kindles digestion strength (agni). The metabolism improves; the health of digestive system is restored. 

Bakasana – Crane / Crow Pose
This asana balances Pachaka Pitta and aids the digestion of food.

Paripurna Navasana – Full Boat Pose
By strengthening and balancing Pachaka Pitta, Paripurna Navasana helps in improving digestion and strengthens the digestive system and abdominal organs.

Shalabhasana – Locust Pose or Grasshopper Pose
Shalabhasana helps in maintaining the sync between the Pachaka Pitta and Samana Vayu, thus helps in regulating metabolism.

Supta Virasana – Reclined Hero Pose
Supta Virasana balances and stimulates Pachaka Pitta and aids proper digestion. With this many digestive disorders, diarrhoea, acidity and distension of abdomen are cured.

Shavasana – Corpse Pose
Shavasana balances Tridoshas.

Mayurasana – Peacock Pose
Mayurasana basically balances Tridoshas.

Vajrasana – Diamond Pose
By maintaining the symphony of Pitta and Vata with Kapha in the stomach, Vajrasana helps in creating a protective buffer in the gut, thus prevents ulcers and acidity.

Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
By balancing and activating the functions of Pachaka Pitta, Trikonasana enhances digestion and metabolism. 

Chakrasana (Urdhwa Dhanurasana) – Wheel Pose
Chakrasana synchronizes the activities of Prana Vayu and Sadhaka Pitta.

Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
By activating and balancing Sadhaka Pitta located in the thorax or chest, Bhujangasana helps in enhancing the functioning of the heart and lungs, enhances circulation of blood, oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body and helps in warding off respiratory disorders, mainly asthma. By activating Pachaka Pitta, Bhujangasana aids digestion and fine tunes the metabolism.

Udarakarshana Asana – Abdominal Stretch Pose
By stimulating and activating Pachaka Pitta, Udarakarshana Asana helps in stimulating digestion apart from curing digestive disorders. 

Tiryaka Bhujangasana – Swaying Cobra Pose
It stimulates Pachaka Pitta, thus improving the digestion power of the body.

Kati Chakrasana – Standing Spinal Twist Pose
By stimulating Pachaka Pitta and establishing a comprehensive coordination between it and Samana Vata, Kati Chakrasana helps in correcting the dysfunctions related to digestion.

Tiryaka Tadasana – Swaying Palm Tree Pose
Tiryak Tadasana stimulates Pachaka Pitta and hence digestion strength (Agni).

Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Tadasana balances the activities of Pachaka Pitta and helps in proper digestion and assimilation of food. It also balances Sadhaka Pitta.

Pitta balancing pranayamas

Effect of Pranayamas on Pitta Dosha –
Certain types of Pranayama, which generate heat, or stimulate Pingala Nadi tend to increase Pitta, and those that are coolant, like Sheetali and Sheetkari mitigate Pitta.

Agnisara Pranayam – The air is exhaled out and at that point, abdominal muscles are fanned. This improves digestion power. Hence, it increases Pitta at the level of stomach and intestines.

Sooryanga Bhastrika – done through the right nostril, influences Pingala nadi and increases Pitta more than Vata.

Bhramari Pranayama – Humming bee breath – It is more targeted towards mind and spirituality than the body. It balances all the three Doshas.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – balances all the three Doshas.

Sheetkari and Sheetali Pranayama – These are coolant breathing exercises. Mitigates Pitta and increases Kapha and Vata Doshas.

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama – It is a derivative of Nadi Shodhana, excluding breath holding phase. It balances Tridosha.

Read related – How To Do Pranayama – A Simple Pranayama Technique

Pitta balancing meditation


Sadhaka type of Pitta is related to motivation and vigor to follow our passion and achieve our goals. Alltypes of meditations are aimed to achieve a positive mindset, enabling us to achieve our life goals. Hence, all types of positive meditations are Pitta balancing in nature.
Of all types of Pitta, Sadhaka Pitta is directly related to mind.

Sadhaka means ‘to achieve’ or ‘that which enables one to achieve things’.
Other meanings of Sadhaka Pitta –

  • To energize – Sadhaka Pitta motivates and energizes the person
  • Accomplishing – Helps in accomplishing tasks
  • Conclusive – Helps in taking decisions and draw conclusions
  • Completing and fulfilling – Helps in completing and fulfilling tasks
  • Efficient, perfect, skilful, and useful
  • Adapted to any purpose
  • Enhancing productivity

Functions of Sadhaka Pitta


Achievement of aspirations, dreams and goals –

The main function of Sadhaka Pitta is to enable us to achieve something in our lives.
Sadhaka Pitta, helps and motivates the person to achieve his aspirations, goals and dreams (abhiprarthita manoratha sadhana krut – Sushruta Samhita, Sutrasthana 21).
Sadhaka pitta stimulates mind, sense organs and intellect.

Induces intellect, discriminating power and zeal –
Sadhaka Pitta, when healthy and at its functional best, will provide intellect, discriminating power and zeal to the person. These qualities will help the person to achieve his aspirations and goals. (Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 12)

Wards off the envelope of Kapha and Tamo guna around the brain –
Excess Kapha and Tamo guna in brain causes depression. They also inactivate higher centres of brain and induce excessive sleep. This leads to slowing down of all activities. With this the intelligence of person fails and he will not be able to achieve his aspirations and goals.

Sadhaka pitta clears Kapha and Tamas quality (depressing mind quality) and thus activates the brain. The activated brain enables one to achieve his dreams, goals and aspirations. (Dalhana commentary, Sushruta Samhita Sutrasthana 21/10)

Helps achieve Purushartha Chatushtaya –
Sadhaka Pitta imparts vigour and enthusiasm to enable one to achieve ‘four objects of human pursuit’.
They are –
Dharma (righteousness),
Artha (wealth),
Kaama (fulfilment of desires) and
Moksha (salvation).
This is achieved since Sadhaka pitta motivates one to progress towards fulfilling his aspirations by destroying the impact of depressing mind quality and Kapha over the brain. (Dalhana commentary, Sushruta Samhita Sutrasthana 21/10)

Pitta balancing spiritual practices


Bhajan – singing of prayers:
Is a classical Pitta balancing spiritual practice. It helps to bring happiness to the mind, curbs anger, excessive thoughts, anxiety, aggressiveness and violent nature of mind. These anger and related bad qualities can be a sign of increased Pitta and Bhajans and prayers help to curb aggressive Pitta Dosha.

As part of spiritual practice, rice and milk are consumed. Both of these food ingredients are sweet, coolant and balance Pitta and Vata Dosha.

Panchamrita – It is a combination of yogurt, cow’s milk, honey, sugar and ghee. This is used for performing Abhisheka (pouring over the divine idols) and the same is consumed as Prasada (religious offering). Panchamrita has a Vata and Pitta balancing effect on the body.

Most of the spiritual practitioners prefer taking cold water bath, early in the morning. This helps to stimulate the brain, mind and sense organs and also helps to keep Pitta Dosha in balance.

Read related – Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama for Vata Balance

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