Pitta is the dosha of fire and a degree of water, and is responsible for digestion. It is hot, passionate and active. Pitta-types have reddish, irritable skin, and tend to sweat profusely. They are of medium and muscular build, their hair is often thin and straight and greys early, nails are rubbery, eyes are sharp, the teeth tend to yellow and the gums bleed easily. Pitta has a fiery temperament and they are the type of people who like to make things happen. Memory is astute, sex drive high and anger a predominant emotion. Pitta is exacerbated by spicy foods, stimulants and hot conditions.
Prevalence in pitta (fire-water) manifests as an excess in heat in the body-mind. You may be feeling hot-tempered, hyperactive and angry or the body may feel tense and restless. This energy needs to be harnessed and channelled. The focus in a pitta-regulating practice is on expending the energy evenly and awakening one’s capacity to fine-tune the senses. Impatience and pushiness can lead to injury and a feeling of depletion after the body has been “punished” through excessively vigorous practice. The practitioner needs to realise that being kind to oneself does not mean slacking, but rather directing the effort toward refinement of movement, which ensures correct alignment and smooth transitions. The exhalation is often much stronger and longer than the inhalation and therefore the inhalation needs to be supported and made conscious through such pranayama practices as veloma or bhastrika with antar kumbhaka.