Pitta Balancing Yoga Postures

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Ayurvedic Counselor

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The Pitta Dosha is composed of fire and water and holds the qualities of oily, light, sharp, hot, acidic, and liquid.  When these two elements become imbalanced within the body and mind, we see their qualities in excess.

Typically, Pitta imbalances manifest through anger, irritation, jealousy, heartburn, acid reflux, rashes or other types of skin inflammation, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea.

A yoga practice that will best cater to the needs of an aggravated Pitta will be slow, cooling, and grounding.  The practice should focus on postures or variations of postures that are passive.  Postures should be held to promote grounding energy, but they should be held without irritation. Forward folds, seated postures, and supine postures will best pacify pitta. Expansive backbends and heart openers should be avoided.

When practicing yoga to reduce excess Pitta, how the practice is done is just as important as the postures themselves. Because Pitta holds the qualities of hot and sharp, we want to be sure to not add more fuel to the fire.  Every posture and transition should be practiced slowly and more passively to help reduce any excess heat dwelling in the body and mind.

 

Suggested Yoga Postures

Balasana

Childs Pose

Benefits: Helps reduce stress, calms the nervous system, relieves tension throughout the lower back and hips. The grounding and inward reflecting nature gives Pitta the opportunity to surrender and be, rather than do. 

Supta Baddha Konasana

Supine Butterfly Pose

Benefits: Helps reduce fatigue, anxiety and mild depression, helps reduce discomfort associated with menstruation, and stretches the inner thighs and groin. The grounding and passive nature of the pose will help sooth any mental tension or irritations that those that are Pitta dominant are more prone to experiencing. 

Paschimottanasana

Seated Forward Fold

Benefits: Gently massages the digestive organs, stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings, calms the mind. Because those that are more Pitta dominant tend to run hot physically, mentally, and emotionally, any forward fold will help calm and cool the mind.

 Viparita Karani

Legs Up the Wall

Benefits: Helps relieve stress and tension, helps relieve lower back and hip tension,  flushes out the lymphatic system, and increases circulation.  The flow of blood from the feet to the rest of the body will bring in sense of cool, balancing out the heat of Pitta. 

 

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