In the spirit of Ayurveda, the ancient tradition of Indian medicine, summer is the season of pitta, or fire. Although that fire has an intent (to provide the heat necessary to initiate activity and digest food and emotions), an excess of that energy can be toxic.
Asanas (poses) that support in balancing Pitta are those that focus pressure on the naval and solar plexus area (ie: forward folds), in the small intestine where Pitta resides. There should be enough calming asanas included in your practice to quiet irritation, anger, impatience, frustration, anxiety, and intensity caused by Pitta. These types of asanas will also help with acid reflux, ulcers, rashes and sunburn. Generally all forward bends, side stretches, twists, backbends that stretch muscles in your stomach, will be supportive.
These simple, restful movements will form more space in chronically tight areas and cultivate longer breaths, supporting you to decompress — and turn on your internal air-conditioning.
Each asana listed below is designed to be grounding and pacifying, releasing tension and expanding the calming, cooling flow of oxygen in the body without enhancing excess heat. For added cooling benefits, practice early in the morning (when temperatures are at their lowest) and stay hydrated throughout the day. These are poses that can be held for one or two minutes each.
Cooling asanas for you:
- Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose)
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle)
- Trikonasana (Extended Triangle)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
- Pada hastasana (Hands to Feet)
- Meru Vakrasana (Simple Spinal Twist)
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Semi Spinal Seated Twist)
- Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Forward Bend)