Beat the Heat. Yoga for Hot Summer Days
…and more, indeed! When the temperatures reached way over 35 degrees all over Europe, I found myself avoiding the yoga mat (and any kind of movement tbh), I knew it was time for this Ayurveda informed Pitta (fire) Pacifying Practice.
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS PITTA?
Pitta is one of the three doshas, combinations of elements that make up our bodies, minds and the world around. The doshas govern our personality, physical constitution, the weather, seasons and even parts of the day. Everything and everyone is made out of elements.
Pitta is a combination of fire and water with fire prevailing. If your Ayurvedic constitutions is governed by the pitta dosha, you’re most likely a thinker, go-doer with ambition and drive. In summer, or when you overheat, you may find yourself sweating a lot, feeling irritable, angry and explosive, perhaps struggling with inflammation, skin rash or high acidity.
There are many ways to balance your inner fire including through breathing practices, proper nutrition, sufficient hydration and proximity to water, and obviously a pitta pacifying asana practice.
There's no need for you to know your Ayurvedic constitution to benefit from this practice over summer. We are experiencing Pitta season with fire elements very present day and night. You will always benefit from this practice on any hot day. If, however, you'd like to know your constitutions, here's a comprehensive test.
HOW TO PRACTICE TO PACIFY EXCESS FIRE
I’ve recorded a short version of pitta pacifying practice for you that I've done with my students both live and online. It’s inspired by poses recommended by Dr. David Frawley, and it’s my go to on a hot day or whenever I feel my shadow side popping up. Anger issues anyone?
There’s couple of rules to follow to make this practice true to its title
practice with about 50-60% of your capacity
make the practice light and easeful
maintain easy and smooth breath
Your breath is the best indicator of the easefulness of your practice. Staying present with your easeful breath throughout the practice is in itself fire pacifying.
If you wish to add more poses into this practice while maintaining its pitta pacifying quality, here’s a general indication of families of poses and how they interact with pitta dosha
Forward folds are calming and cooling
Gentle twists balance pitta (will bring it up or down as needed)
Gentle prone backbends balance pitta
Seated side bends pacify pitta
Supine poses are calming and cooling
BONUS: take your savasana with legs up a chair for extra nourishment and to decrease swelling in legs from heat
Get in touch with me in comments to let me know how this practice went and what it did for you. As always, I’m here for you. Do not hesitate to ask me any questions or share insights. I love witnessing your yoga journey.