in India several thousand years ago, Ayurveda (Sanskrit for "science of
life") is a system that classifies physical ailments and mental conditions
according to one's basic constitution, or body type. Called doshas (Sanskrit
for "temperament"), these three distinct types are categorized as Pitta
(hot and sharp), Kapha (heavy and water-retaining) and Vata (dry and windy).
Pitta is intense, active and volatile with a craving for spicy foods and
caffeinated drinks. Kapha is even-tempered, slow, depressive and tends
to overeat. Vata is meticulous, moody, nervous and often suffers from
poor digestion. When Pitta is overstimulated, Kapha indulges or Vata becomes
irritable, conditions and ailments associated with these doshas erupt.
To allay the symptoms and promote the dosha's positive qualities, Ayurvedic
practitioners recommend specific lifestyle changes including diet, exercise,
environment and even attitude. In this article I will examine the Pitta
dosha. I will examine Kapha and Vata in subsequent articles.
Lee Gifford: The Pitta Profile
most people identify with a combination of two doshas, Kathie
Lee Gifford's Pitta nature is unmistakable. A vivacious personality
whose auburn hair frequently shows up in Pitta types, Gifford has never
had a problem being center stage, from her early triumph in the Junior
Miss pageant to her current stint as the second half of Live with
Regis and Kathie Lee. Highly competitive and likely to overwork
to the point of exhaustion, Pitta people easily suffer from burnout. Not
only has Gifford been Philbin's
co-host for fifteen years, but she has a clothing line, hosts
holiday specials, is the Carnival Cruise Lines spokesperson and has just
finished substituting one night a week on Broadway for Carol Burnett.
Let's not forget Gifford's duties as wife, mother and her tireless work
for charity. If anyone fits the Pitta profile, she certainly does.
Reveals your Body Type
each dosha has traits in common with the zodiacal signs and their ruling
planets. The enterprising, active and outgoing fire signs, Aries, Leo
and Sagittarius, are categorized as Pitta. Despite its classification
as a water sign, Scorpio, too, is Pitta, since it produces stressed-out
“Type A" personalities. Mars (ruler of Aries and co-ruler of Scorpio),
the Sun (ruler of Leo), and Pluto (ruler of Scorpio) are considered Pitta
planets. Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius and co-ruler of Pisces, is both
Pitta and Kapha.
Gifford's horoscope perfectly confirms her Pitta nature. Along with Mercury,
the three Pitta planets, Sun, Mars, and Pluto form a stellium (a group
of three or more planets clustered closely together) in Leo, making fire
the strongest element, and Leo the most prominent sign, in her chart.
Besides ambition, high energy and endless activities, Leo, like Pitta,
is characterized by a flair for drama, and the need to be noticed. Often
interrupting to make herself heard, Gifford's blunt way of speaking has
become her trademark style, and indicative of Mercury and Mars conjoining
the IC (Imum Coeli) and South Node. Add to the equation her passionate,
controlling Scorpio Moon, and there is no doubt that Pitta is her dominant
dosha. (Since her Gemini Ascendant, and its associated planet, Mercury,
are Vata, this dosha also figures in her personality.)
Activate Pitta Imbalances
light of recent transits to her Pitta planets, Gifford's decision to leave
her daytime hostess duties and streamline her activities is no surprise.
Since July, 1998, Saturn has been moving through Taurus, a fixed sign
that naturally opposes Scorpio, the sign of her Moon, and squares Leo,
where her stellium is situated. Uranus' movement through Aquarius filled
out this fixed grand cross and placed her entire chart in a state of crisis,
ranging from marital problems to public scandals involving her clothing
line. With her Pitta nature out of control, it is no wonder that she has
reacted by speaking her mind and angrily flaring up at the press. Rather
than bringing out the Pitta type’s easygoing, charming and productive
traits, the transits have left her aggressive, hostile and tired of the
for Healthy Living
Pitta is a "hot" dosha, Gifford should literally cool down by
avoiding warm climates, relaxing, taking things in their stride and consuming
cold foods like fruits, salads and sherbet. By the same token, she should
avoid hot soups, spicy foods and stimulants such as chocolate, coffee
her daily job may in fact be the perfect remedy for improving her mental
and physical health. But like most Pitta workaholics and fire types, Kathie
Lee Gifford will probably fill the gap with new activities until she is
forced to slow down once again.