Pacifying Pitta for Better Skin

Today I’m playing with pacifying my heightened Pitta.

Pitta is one of the three doshas (constitutions) in the yogic system of medicine called Ayurveda. Pitta is a combination of the elements fire and water, and has the physical, mental, and emotional qualities you’d associate with those elements (both positive and negative). Pitta people are the firey, influential, competitive do-ers in the world who tend to run a little hot under the collar too.

Since I tend to go out of balance more in the Vata dosha than in Pitta, I’ve done a lot over the years to pacify Vata. Vata is a combination of air and space elements, so Vata people are likely the mobile, upbeat, and “ooh, shiny!” spacey ones who have great ideas and can’t sit still. When I do things to ground my Vata nature, I generally just move on or maintain what I’m doing to help keep myself rooted. But because I’m a Vata-Pitta (dual-doshas), I inevitably calm Vata only to heighten Pitta. Historically I’ve not taken much interest in dealing with Pitta. Until now.

Recently I’ve been taking a new supplement to help with the hormonal BS we ladies have to deal with. It appears to be working, but that means suddenly the toxins that have been built up in my system need a way out. Unfortunately, in the past couple of years anger has been Pitta’s primary expression, which is part of why I’m trying the supplement. The good news is I’m not feeling angry! The bad news is that my skin is suddenly a mess.

I’ve been blessed with good skin my entire life. Even in high school when most kids were pimply, I never had more than the occasional, pre-period zit. Now, my face is itchy, firey, blotchy, and breaking out. Most of it is unseen (to appeal to my vanity here) but it *feels* awful. I treated myself to a facial yesterday and that helped, and now I’m task to pacify Pitta, because I know it’s the dosha most likely out of balance when one has any type of skin condition.

For Vata, one usually massages with sesame oil, and this morning for the first time I tried the Pitta massage: coconut oil. I can definitely see why the change is recommended! The Vata oil is heavy and warm; the Pitta oil is runny and cool. I also took a cooler shower, and tried to dry my hair (especially where it met my face) with the cool shot on the hairdryer. In a few minutes I’m picking up some coconut water, cucumbers, and other “cooling” foods to eat today. Although I’m a sun/heat/humid kind of person generally (to counter the cold/dry of Vata), I’m thankful today is overcast and a cool 83.

I’m sure once Pitta settles down my skin will clear, and then it will be time to handle Vata again. Ah, balance. As I say when I have my students in any of the balancing yoga postures, balance is constant adjustment. Guess I have to recognize that it is the same with the doshas.


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