According to ayurveda and ayurvedic yoga therapy, if you are a Pitta type or have excess Pitta, should cultivate a regular yoga practice that is gentle, cooling, relaxing, forgiving and surrendering in nature.
It is especially important to practice this type of ayurvedic yoga therapy during the summer months when it is hot and dry.
The right yoga postures help you maintain good strength, flexibility and circulation without over-heating yourself.
The yoga postures should also help you calm your mind, release aggressiveness, decrease competitiveness and channel any anger or irritation if practiced properly.
Ayurveda yoga therapy and tips for practicing yoga asana for pitta dosha
1. You should perform yoga postures (asanas) in a way that is cooling, nurturing and restoring.
2. You should be careful not to turn your full practice into a strong workout in which too much sweating or heating occurs.
3. You can have a strong practice but should compensate it with cooling postures and Pranayama (breathing exercises).
4. You should practice asana that emphasizes the middle abdomen area, the small intestine, and the liver – the main sites of Pitta accumulation
Types of postures for Pitta dosha
Inversions – All are great with the except of headstand (especially if held too long) but shoulder stand and plow pose are best. They allow for the reversal of energy; moving from the navel to the soft palate (salivary secretions) where a cooling and moistening effect creates more lunar energy rather than solar energy
Seated spinal twists – Seated twits like Matyenddrasana have a cooling effect. They massage the internal organs such as the liver and small intestines where Pitta accumulates.
Gentle backbends – Bow pose, Cobra pose, Boat pose, and Fish pose also massage and release tension from the liver and small intestines.
Forward bends – Tortoise (Kurmasana), seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana) and Seated Angle (Upavistha Konasana) are great for relaxing and surrendering. They are more grounding and bring more energy to the middle abdomen area.
Standing poses – Hip opening postures like the Tree (Vrkasana), Triangle (Trikonasana) and Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana) are great for strenght and ares somewhat cooling. They are simple and require a steady mind without too much challenge.
Moon Salutations are very good for cooling and balancing Pitta.
Headstands can be practiced but should be done in moderation followed by cooling postures.
Corpse pose should be taken long enough until you are cool and relaxed.
Note: Too many backbends can be over heating and aggravate Pitta, so they should be done with caution.
Key points for the body, breath and mind
Body – keep your body cool and relaxed; do the yoga poses in a surrendering manner to remove heat and tension.
Prana & Breath – keep your breath cool, relaxed and diffused; exhale through the mouth to relieve heat as needed. In general keep your energy cool, open and receptive
Mind – keep your mind receptive, detached and aware but not sharp or critical.
Before you begin your exercises or yoga practice
Focus on stabilizing your energy and grounding into the earth; Also focus on the air element as it is cooling in nature. Fee or visualize cool, refreshing air moving into the crown of your head and flowing to your feet. This will help Pitta from over-heating (reducing fire element) and tune into a cooling gentle quality.