The ultimate guide to balancing pitta dosha

If you’re looking for a treasure trove of resources and information to help you balance pitta dosha, you’ve come to the right place!

(Don’t know what pitta dosha is? Head here to take the Discover Your Dosha quiz). 

I’ve compiled pitta-balancing resources for your diet, exercise, daily rhythms, and self-care rituals. These resources come from my study of Ayurveda over the past decade and how I’ve implemented these teachings with myself and clients. Different from many pitta guides out there, I also focus on the mind of a pitta – how your motivations and values work together to shape your thoughts, words, and actions.

How to use this pitta balancing guide

Below you’ll find a list of resources and actions you can take to help balance pitta dosha. Before you dive in – take a moment to recognize that you don’t have to do *everything* on this list in order to be well and feel balanced. These are recommendations that can be implemented over time. And more importantly, they should be implemented with compassion and curiosity. Try something and then notice – do you experience any differences in your body, mind, energy, or emotions?  Be patient and curious with yourself. And if you have any questions about how to implement these teachings into your unique situation, send me an email! I’d love to help you out.

So without further ado….

About Pitta dosha

Pitta dosha is one of the three Ayurvedic doshas. It has the energy of fire and water – it is hot, wet, mobile, light, sharp, rough, and hard. When balanced, pitta dosha manifests as a sharp intellect, robust health, strong digestion, and charisma. Our personal fire is burning brightly, and we feel like we can handle whatever the world throws at us.

When pitta is out of balance…

You might experience issues like acid reflux, diarrhea, red or irritated skin, rashes, eczema, liver issues, poor eyesight, and graying or balding hair.

Mentally/emotionally, imbalance pitta manifests as anger, frustration, controlling, perfectionism, and impatience. We might feel closed off emotionally from others. Our fire is burning a little too brightly.

Pitta in the environment

Pitta dosha doesn’t just show up in people, it also shows up in the environment. When it’s pitta time of the day or year, it’s more likely that we’ll experience pitta-type issues and we’ll want to particularly focus on pitta-balancing activities.

Pitta dosha rules the summertime (all of that hot fire!) and pitta time of day is between 10am-2pm and 10pm-2am.

Because pitta time of day is mid-day, you’ll want to eat your largest meal of the day around noon, when your digestive fire is strongest.

When 10pm rolls around, you might find yourself suddenly less tired and ready to tackle a new project. Unfortunately, staying up during pitta time might mean you have a really hard time falling asleep at 12 or 1am! Be sure to go to bed before 10pm so that your pitta time is spent digesting the experiences of the day, instead of ruminating about them. You can learn more about how to follow the doshic times of day in this blog post.

Pitta-balancing food

As I mentioned above, pitta dosha is associated with a strong digestive fire. People with pitta dosha need to eat on a schedule and regularly in order to avoid getting hangry. That means that people with a strong pitta constitution don’t do well with intermittent fasting or skipping meals. Find a regular meal schedule and stick to it!

Pittas should favor sweet, bitter, and astringent flavors, reducing salty, sour, and pungent tastes.

Eat More

  • leafy greens
  • mint
  • berries
  • whole grains
  • green vegetables
  • beans
  • yogurt
  • seeds

Eat Less

  • hot sauce
  • onion and garlic
  • ginger
  • processed food
  • fermented food, including kombucha
  • tree nuts
  • cayenne pepper
  • excess caffeine or alcohol

The “eat more” foods are watery, sweet, and nourishing. The foods in the “eat less” list are heating and rajasic – they increase the activity of the body and mind and can cause you to overheat.

Now before you get worried about removing onions and garlic, I want to remind you that every little bit counts, and that even choosing to forgo the onion dip at a party can make a big difference when it comes to balancing pitta dosha.

To replace onions and garlic, I highly recommend stocking your pantry with celery, fennel seed, and asafoetida. Celery works great as an onion replacement, and fennel and asafoetida can create the pungent flavor of garlic without the heating qualities. You can purchase asafoetida (also known as hing) here.

If you’re interested in reducing your caffeine intake, I have a blog post about exactly how I did it (without stress or headaches!) about 6 years back. This pitta can tell you that removing coffee from my diet was one of the best decisions I ever made for my health. Learn more here.

Here’s a great pitta-balancing recipe: minty-fresh pesto. It’s great as a dip or as a topper for pasta, beans, rice, and more!

Pitta-balancing movement and exercise 

Folks with Pitta energy excited by a challenge both mentally and physically, and their bodies are pretty well-equipped to handle it. Pittas need to be wary of pushing too hard in their exercise, which would cause burn out, or of getting too strict and regimented in their workouts.

That means pittas should avoid workout programs and gyms where the culture is very pitta – always doing more, pushing harder, and avoiding breaks. You can of course still push yourself and have strenuous exercise, but it needs balance and the reminder that recovery is an important process of getting stronger.

One challenge to finding this balance is that pittas are smart and can get bored easily. Sometimes, that boredom is what drives them to seek extra challenge. See if instead you can vary your exercises, so you’re constantly working different skills and muscles. Exercise that is in a game/competition format, like soccer or basketball, can also be something that provides constant stimulation as well as connection and open heartedness as a member of a team.

It’s also important to note that pittas do well exercising outside connecting to nature. Just make sure that you don’t exercise in the middle of the day or when it’s too hot out! One other exercise that’s great for pitta is swimming – that cool water can douse the flames of pitta and help you to feel great, clear, clean, and balanced.

Yoga asana are wonderful for balancing pitta. Here’s a wonderful 20-minute pitta-balancing morning yoga sequence – you can follow the instructions on your own or have a video version of it by joining my on demand yoga library!

Pitta-balancing daily routine

Dinacharya are our daily routines for self-care. Pittas tend to love routines, which is great, but they can also get caught up in being purpose driven and always doing something. So we want to be sure that there’s room in that routine for softer, heart-opening and rejuvenating activities. Swimming, walking in nature, painting, and other creative pursuits are great for those with excess pitta dosha. Meditation and yoga nidra is a wonderful practice to help you quiet the body and mind.

Pittas can benefit from abhyanga, just be sure to do it with coconut oil to avoid overheating the body.

For more on daily rhythms that support pitta dosha, click here.

Pitta-balancing sleep

Pitta sleep issues manifest as racing thoughts (preventing them from going to sleep), waking up in the middle of the night, or having vivid, action-packed, even violent dreams. One of the biggest recommendations for Pitta dosha is to do the Close the Loop routine. This one tip has solved many of my Pitta client’s sleep problems. Learn pitta-balancing strategies for better sleep here.

Pitta-balancing communication

You have to talk to a pitta a certain way (and it’s useful to know your own communication tendencies! Learn more about how to communicate with a pitta in this post.

Pitta Psychology

Learn what motivates a pitta, what makes them tick, and how to feel like the most balanced version of you here.


Pitta dosha is powerful, fiery, and dynamic. Keep that fire in balance with these routines listed above, and you’ll feel charismatic, joyful, and vibrant.

For personalized support on putting these routines into practice and balancing your doshas, consider an Ayurvedic consultation with me. We always start with a free introductory call so you can see if it’s right for you. Learn more here!

Do you have some folks with pitta dosha in your life? Forward this blog post to them, so they can take action to create more balance!


  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   Sam

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