Sadhaka Pitta & Your Emotional Health
Each of the three Doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, have five Sub-Doshas. Each of these Sub-Doshas has their own energetic and physical responsibilities within the body. They can also be thrown out of balance, just like Vata, Pitta and Kapha. A Sub-Dosha of Pitta, called Sadhaka Pitta, is the focus of this article. Sadhaka Pitta has a very special and important role – the processing of life’s events and the subsequent emotions.
Sadhaka Pitta is the caretaker of the heart. In Ayurveda, the heart is considered the home of consciousness, thus intimately connecting the heart and mind. The Charaka Samhita says this: hridaye chetana sthanam, the seat of consciousness is in the heart. Knowing this, it is easy to see how emotional imbalances stem from a negative mind that is unable to process life’s happenings and let go of the emotions that follow. The emotions and mind can both aggravate each other so it becomes a vicious cycle if not healed with the proper practices and remedies.
Some of your Ayurvedic clients will be able to process their emotions quickly and move on, and some will not. Sometimes even your patients with strong Sadhaka Pitta will come across a certain event like a death that they aren’t able to come to peace with no matter what they do. The consequence of hanging onto negative impressions, samskaras, for a long time, is that samskaras can negatively impact the person in their body, mind and spirit, creating psychosomatic disorders. Even modern science agrees that emotional imbalances (i.e., stress) are a major component in health problems, both mental and physical.
Depressions, rages, anxiety, bipolar disorders, ADHD… all are considered symptoms of weak Sadhaka Pitta, called Manasika Roga in Sanskrit – mental disease. Without strong Sadhaka Pitta, Dhi (ability to learn), Dhriti (retaining information) and Smriti (ability to recall) break down, as do the channels of the body, especially between the heart and mind.
What strengthens Sadhaka Pitta? A strong Agni, of course! In modern medicine Agni is known as a metabolic mechanism. There are different types of Agni – there is the Agni that digests food, drink and substances put on the body, there is an Agni in each cell of our body and an Agni associated with each of the Sub-Doshas as well. So the Agni that works for Sadhaka Pitta is what processes emotions so that they can be released. It is known as Sadhaka Agni.
From the viewpoint of conventional medicine, Sadhaka Agni can be compared to neuro-hormones that are located all over the body. The neuro-hormones in the heart send messages to the brain indicating depression, fear, happiness, anger or joy, however the person perceives what’s happening around them.
Some people innately come into this life with strong Sadhaka Agni while others are born with weak or unpredictable Agni. Even others may have been born strong but over the course of their life have weakened their Agni with improper diet and lifestyle, living with negative people or in a polluted environment. However their weak Agni came about, the solution is the same: come back into balance with a proper Dincharya, Pathya, diet and herbal remedies.
The following recommendations are also great for children, teenagers and young people to practice. Childhood is the Kapha time of life, so children naturally take a longer time to understand and process events, and can hold on to a lot of samskaras at this age. But with their youthful openness and flexibility and an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle combined with a loving attitude from their parents/guardians, children and young people can have an easier time growing up without all of the angst that is associated with modern day childhoods and the teen years.
Benefits of Strong Sadhaka Agni
Symptoms of Weak/Imbalanced Sadhaka Agni
Simple Practices to Balance Sadhaka Pitta In Everyday Life
Focus on Sattva Vijaya, victory with balance. The more balanced your patients are, the more Sattvic they will be and the easier they will be able to access positive, uplifting thoughts and emotions. The following 10 recommendations can strengthen Agni and restore Sadhaka Pitta to balance.
Excessive anger and other emotional/mental imbalances have a natural, holistic solution - the healing process. Remind your clients to practice patience and compassion with themselves as they balance Pitta Dosha, reduce Rajas in their bodies and minds, and strengthen their Sadhaka Agni. It likely took them some time to become imbalanced, so naturally it will take time to come back into balance.
For more information on balancing Pitta Dosha, please read our other blog posts on balancing the fire Dosha.
Contributing Editor and Kottakkal Practitioner Affiliate: Dr. JV Hebbar
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