How you begin your day can have a significant impact on how you feel throughout it. It is helpful for all people—regardless of their constitution—to develop some type of Ayurveda morning routine. A morning routine can help set the tone for your day, allowing you to cultivate a sense of regularity, focus, and harmony. In two of my prior posts, I addressed Ayurvedic morning routines for Vata and Kapha doshas. This post suggests morning routines for the Pitta dosha type. You will see some tips that apply to all three doshas, as well as a sprinkle of Ayurvedic wisdom geared towards Pitta in particular.
Setting the stage for a good morning
When Pitta types are balanced, they will tend to sleep soundly but also wake up alert and ready to go. Pittas tend to be ambitious and goal oriented, so they will often wake up full of energy and ready to hit the ground running. However, Pittas also need to be careful to get the rest they need and to guard against burnout. Fortunately, Pittas tend to like routines and rituals. Developing a healthful sleep routine and nourishing morning routine is important for Pitta types. If you are predominantly Pitta dosha, be sure to make time in the evening to relax and put your worries aside. Pitta types may especially benefit from putting their to-do list on paper and then setting it out of sight and out of mind before going to bed. Also, as compared to Vata and Kapha doshas, Pittas need a moderate amount of sleep. Schedules and individual circadian rhythms may differ, but in general, Pitta types do well when they are in bed with the lights out by about 10 pm and when they awaken with the sun.
Ayurveda teaches us that the eyes are intimately linked to Pitta. It can be helpful for all types to wash their eyes on a regular basis; however, this is especially helpful for Pitta types as they are prone to having sensitive and/or reddened eyes. Rinsing the eyes with a good quality rose hydrosol diluted with distilled water is a great practice to integrate into an Ayurvedic morning routine for pitta. To do this, you will need an eye rinse cup (this can be purchased at most drug stores in the section with saline eye rinses). Use 50% rose hydrosol and 50% room temperature distilled water. Place the filled eye cup over your open eye and move your eyeball around a little. Then remove the cup, toss out the rinse solution, and repeat on the other eyeball.
Move your body
When balanced, Pitta types have a lot of energy. They will likely be drawn to sports, exercise, and competition. Pittas will benefit from moving their bodies and thereby releasing some of their mental stress. However, they do need to be careful of not getting too overheated or competitive in their athletic endeavors. Especially during the summer, morning is the perfect time for Pitta types to get outside and move their bodies. They should avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, as they are likely to get overheated, thereby aggravating Pitta dosha.
Oil up with Abhyanga
Abhyanga is an essential step in an Ayurveda morning routine. Abhyanga can help balance Pitta by calming the nervous system. Pitta types should try to use cooling oils, like coconut, sunflower or ghee as opposed to heating oils, like sesame or almond. If Pitta types are feeling particularly heated, they should focus their attention on the face, ears, nose, scalp and feet, and keep their massage movements small and slow. Fast massage of the larger muscles may create too much warmth. When finished with Abhyanga, Pitta types should relax with a cooling shower or bath.
Easy does it
As I mentioned earlier, Pitta types typically gravitate to structure and routine. So, creating an Ayurvedic morning routine for Pitta dosha may come quite naturally. Eating Pitta breakfast foods and taking Chyawanprash will further help create balance for fiery Pitta types. Pitta types should emphasize practices that calm and cool their fiery constitutions, setting the tone for a productive and peaceful day.
Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Her Ayurveda practice is based in Asheville, North Carolina and she is the co-owner of Iyengar Yoga Asheville.