By Tracie Korol
Now that summer is in retreat, all of us Pitta creatures are crawling out from under sheds, basking in the sun again and are venturing into non-AC’d air. It is during summer that Pitta dosha, which translates as “that which cooks”, is most predominant, as it is comprised of fire and water elements — or heat and humidity.
Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. Pitta is responsible for enzymatic and endocrine activity, the regulation of body temperature, pigmentation, vision, intelligence, vitality, ambition, courage and understanding. The key qualities of Pitta are hot, sharp, light, liquid, spreading and slightly oily. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.
Conveniently and historically, I have been lucky to only have personal pets in the Pitta dosha. As I came to understand, for my own well being within the Ayurvedic model, how to maintain balance, it was pretty easy to figure out how to maintain balance for my pack of sturdy, crafty Pitta pets.
Common characteristics of pets that exhibit Pitta tendencies are/have:
• Medium physique, strong, well built
• Sharp mind, good powers of concentration
• Assertive, self-confident; aggressive, demanding, pushy when out of balance
• Competitive, enjoy challenge
• Strong digestion, strong appetite; crabby if they have to miss or wait for a meal
• Like to be in command
• Under stress, Pittas become irritated and angry
• Uncomfortable in sun or hot weather; heat makes them very tired
• People may find them stubborn or pushy
• Generally good leadership ability
• Subject to mood swings, impatience, and anger
• Typical physical problems include rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, hot sensations in the stomach or intestines, insomnia, bloodshot or burning eyes and other vision problems, anemia, jaundice.
These pets are of medium build and show a slight prominence of veins and muscle tendons. The bones are not as prominent as in the Vata pet. Muscle development is moderate.
The fur is soft and warm. The eyeballs will be of medium prominence. The claws are soft and pliable. The shape of the nose is sharp. Physiologically, these pets have a strong metabolism, good digestion and resulting strong appetites. The dog of Pitta constitution usually takes large quantities of food and liquid (think: Lab). Their sleep is of medium duration but uninterrupted. They produce a large volume of urine. The body temperature may run slightly high, and their paws will tend to be warm. Pitta pets do not tolerate sunlight or heat well.
Psychologically, Pitta pets have good powers of comprehension; they are very intelligent and clever. For example, to this day I have yet to meet another dog that can maneuver baby safety latches the way my beagle could when on a mission for the kitchen garbage. Then, she would sulk when caught in the act. They have emotional tendencies toward indignation, irascibility and jealousy.
The balanced Pitta pet is blessed with a joyful disposition, a sharp intellect, and tremendous courage and drive. As the fire of the mind and body becomes unruly, however, the laughing Pitta quickly becomes the barking Pitta. Anger, rage, and ego replace Pitta’s positive attributes, leaving a dog that is greasy, somewhat smelly, bitter with life and overbearing towards others.
There is a saying that imbalanced Pitta individuals don’t go to hell, they simply create it wherever they go!
By Tracie Korol