Summer is Pitta Time
Bringing the knowledge of Ayurveda into our yoga flows can help us open and engage in a more harmonious manner.
Pitta embodies the elements of fire and water. Fire qualities are hot, light, sharp, and intense, and water qualities are cold, liquid, soft, and smoth. All of these qualities are predominant in the summer and can cause imbalances, especially for those individuals with a pitta dosha. Slowing down, exercising in the early morning or in the early evening, taking time to relax, and keeping mind and body cool will help to keep pitta in check.
Key pranayama for the summer: Cooling breaths such as Sitali (serpent breath), Sitkara (hissing breath), Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breath), Sama Vritti (equal ratio breath), and Dirgha (three-part yogic breath)
Key asana: Backbends such as Bhujangasana (cobra), Ustrasana (camel), Dhanurasana (Bow), Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow), Matsyasana (fish), and incorporating Chandra Namaskara (moon salutations) with traditional Surya Namaskara to find balance. More cooling counter-poses after strong heating poses, such as forward bends, twists, and supine poses. Keeping drishti (focal point/gaze) inward helps to cool - gaze down, ahead, heavy gaze, or closed eyes during practice.