Viewed through an Ayurvedic lens, Summer is pitta season. Some characteristics of pitta dosha include hot, spicy, oily, sharp, pungent, spreading.
If you find yourself hot-tempered, reactive, over-heated, inflamed, give these practices a try:
- Zoom out. Relax your drishti. Set your gaze on a spacious scene: the horizon, a trickling stream, a body of water. Rest your eyes and visualize a lucid blue sky at the inside of your own forehead. Absorb the experience through all of your senses. Let it sink into every layer of your being.
- Create space. Allow yourself 3-6 sama vritti breaths before you respond. Do you have time to try it now? Let the belly soften as you receive the in breath all the way up to the heartspace for a count of 4 or any sustainable, comfortable duration for you. Relax the crown of your head, forehead, sides of your neck and tops of your shoulder as you exhale for the same duration.
- Increase intake of cooling foods such as cucumbers, melons, lime or mint-infused water. Reduce intake of spicy, hot foods.
- Rise in and out of a gentle cobra pose, moving on the halves of your breath. Consider keeping your asana practice close to the ground in a slow flow. This has been the go-to in our weekly online hatha classes of late!
- Sitkari/sheetkari breath. Part the lips and gently inhale through the mouth, drawing the breeze of the breath in through the spaces in your teeth. Pause and feel the cooling, refreshing effect of the technique. Allow the jaw, root of the tongue, forehead and eyelids to stay soft and relaxed. Close the lips and exhale long, slow and easefully through the nose.
When you give these techniques a try, send me a message to tell me of your experience. Are there any practices you regularly go to for heat relief?
Meghan Hogan, E-RYT 500, CCC-SLP is Lead Faculty for the Yoga Vidya Teacher Training and In-Depth Studies program, a Speech-Language Pathologist supporting preschool children with disabilities and their families, a wife and mother.
Her mission in sharing yoga is to provide caregivers of all walks of life tools for self-care and stress management.