Black History Month Salute 3 Women, 3 Doshas: Part II
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient healing tradition with texts dating back over 3,000 years. The principles of Ayurvedic healing are founded on balancing the energies of the five elements found in nature: earth, air, fire, water, ether. These energies govern all the functions of our bodies and all things.
In Ayurveda, there are three doshas vata, pitta and kapha that represent the balance of the elements. Each person has a predominance of one dosha and often people are a mix of doshas.
According to Ayurveda, your constitution is inherited at birth but can go in and out of balance throughout your lifetime. In disease states, we often find an imbalance of these (hot/cold, hot/warm, cold/dry, cold/moist) qualities that can be overcome through complimentary dietary and lifestyle changes suited to one’s dosha.
This is the second post of a three part series highlighting fabulous African-American women representing each dosha in honor of Black History Month! Last time, we honored Kerry Washington and looked at common vata traits and characteristics. This post we will get to know the firecracker of the dosha's associated with heat and intensity.
Pitta: Element: Fire + Water
Serena Williams, born September 26, 1981 in Compton, California is one of the top ranked tennis players in the world. Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and is our featured powerful pitta for Black History Month.
Founder of the Serena Williams Fund and the Williams Sisters Fund, Serena has built schools around the world to overcome educational inequalities. Williams is an ambassador for the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse campaign, a program providing services to survivors of domestic abuse supporting victims in regaining the confidence, support and resources needed to live their best lives.
New mom and newlywed, Williams is a classic pitta: a strong willed, hot headed, go-getter type who knows how to turn her dreams into realities. Serena’s drive, on and off the court, is why she is our featured pitta ‘she-roe’ for Black History Month!
Common Traits: Medium size, muscular build, hot, moist, and irritable. Great speakers, competitive, lovers of intense physical activity, ambitious. Rigid, Type A personality, highly opinionated and hot-headed. Pitta’s have voracious appetites, a fast metabolism and they hate to miss a meal!
Best Foods: cooling foods, like grains, sweet fruits, and vegetables.
Foods to Avoid: meat, seafood, sour fruits and dairy products, fried foods, eggs, yogurt, cheese, vinegar alcohol, spicy foods and salt. (Serena’s a vegan!)
Pitta Herbs: cooling and moistening herbs are great to balance out the hot and dry pitta energy: cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), turmeric (Curcuma longa), yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and yellow dock (Rumex crispus).
Aggravators: hot temperatures, outdoor activities in the sun, high stress, jealousy, intense competitions.
Trouble Signs: diarrhea, skin diseases, gerd, IBS, mouth ulcers, anger, headaches/migraines, fevers, inflammation, vertigo, ringing in the ears, excessive sweating, frequent urination.
Lifestyle Advice: Cool down and slow down. Avoid aggravation. Chill out. This is easier said than done for pitta’s as this approach is contradictory to their nature, but it is so important. Walking, swimming and gentle yoga are great physical activities as they are cooling, low-impact, and encourage deep and focused breathing. Pitta’s need to make sure they share the intensity directed towards their goals to their self care rituals to avoid “burn-out”. Keep a cool head, check your ego at the door and shine fiery pitta shine!
Understanding the doshas can be a bit tricky. What’s important to highlight is that like the three women I will feature for black history month we are all perfect as we are and one constitution is not better or more desirable than the other. Your dosha simply, is what it is. This week let’s celebrate African-American pitta’s doing big things in and around the world.
Do you know your dosha? Get out there and have fun learning about your constitution and how to use these energetic principles to help you thrive. There are many free dosha tests available online that can help you determine your dosha or contact an experienced practitioner. Stay tuned for my favorite African-American kapha she-roe coming up in Part III of this post.
What’s your Dosha? Who’s your favorite pitta? Make sure to share your wellness tips according to your dosha in the comments!