In Ayurvedic medicine, the summertime is synonymous with pitta dosha. You might be asking yourself why is this so? Well, pitta dosha is the only dosha that contains the fire element because, as summer makes its entrance, the sun moves closer to the earth, the days grow longer and the qualities of fire (heat, light, dryness, intensity, sharpness, etc.) become more prevalent. That’s why, in Ayurveda, summertime is also referred to as pitta season. With the fire element being the strongest element during this time of year, with it comes the activating energy of the warmer weather and longer days which inspire us to get outside, bask in the sun’s rays, connect with family and friends and commune with the abundant plants, animals and insects that abound. Pitta season’s influence of fire also motivates us to take action, push ourselves out of our comfort zones and go the extra mile, be it for work or for play.
WHEN PITTA DOSHA IS OUT OF BALANCE
Ayurveda teaches that when a particular dosha is at its peak, like pitta dosha is during the summer season, it can be easy for that dosha to increase to unhealthy levels in the body and the mind. When this happens, the once motivating and exciting energy that pitta brings can transmute into excessive heat and fire within us. Symptoms of excessive pitta dosha in the body and mind include:
- Being Critical / Judgmental
- Burn out
- Smelly gas
- Loose stools
- Red &/or inflamed skin
- Blemishes in the T-zone areas of the face
YOGA FOR PITTA DOSHA
If you find yourself experiencing any of the above symptoms, rather than continue to heat things up on your yoga mat with intense power yoga sessions, Ayurveda explains that, in order to balance the fiery energy of pitta, it is best to have an overall intention to move more slowly, with ease and self-compassion. Moreover, pitta balancing yoga focuses on expelling excess heat from the body and mind through the utilization of soothing forward folds, detoxifying twists and grounding seated postures.
As you can see, when you begin to look at your yoga practice through the Ayurvedic lens, it becomes an effective medium to balance any excess energy that is coming up within you. Additionally, the Ayurvedic perspective teaches you how to honor how you feel in each moment and better attune to nature’s circadian and seasonal rhythms. The result of integrating Ayurvedic philosophy into your yoga is a sacred practice that can help you to stay steady and at peace despite what may be thrown your way.
To help us create a well-rounded yoga sequence designed to soothe pitta dosha, we sought out some of our favorite yoga teachers, co-founders of YogiAthlete, Adrienne Diaz and Amir Madison. Adrienne and Amir, are students and practitioners of both Ayurveda and its sister science, yoga; therefore, they know firsthand how powerful this dynamic approach can be and we are thrilled to share their knowledge with you! This practice is accessible to all levels of experience. We hope that this sequence reminds you to give yourself some tender love and care even in the hot and fast paced energy of summer.