In Ayurvedic Yoga, the yoga asanas are used as a therapy or treatment. The physical postures can be used to address a variety of chronic ailments, structural body problems and specific dis-ease manifestations. Because of this, it is important to choose yoga postures that are most balancing for each dosha both being mindful of the person’s prakruti or constitution and their vikruti or current imbalances.
Yoga for Pitta Dosha
Pitta dosha has the characteristic of being muscly yet flexible as well as being very dedicated to their yoga practice. Pitta people are very dedicated to their yoga practice, but must be careful not to bring too much competitive energy into their practice of yoga. Because of this competitive nature, Pittas may push themselves too hard and cause their bodies injuries. Pitta people often lose sight of the subtler aspects of yoga and often aren’t in the present moment when practicing. This makes it very important that Pitta people practice asanas in a non-competitive, cooling and nurturing way. Yoga classes like Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Shivananda Yoga, and Yoga Nidra are great styles for Pittas to practice.
Pittas are associated with the element of fire. This will cause them overheat the body easily if they aren’t careful. Because Pitta controls all the digestion, absorption and assimilation in the body/mind, Pitta predominant people will want to take time in their practice. It is important for Pittas to pacify Pitta by focusing on the present moment and bringing a cool and relaxing energy to their asana practice. Pittas should avoid heated yoga classes like Bikram Yoga, Forrest Yoga, Baptiste Yoga and other forms of Hot Yoga.
Because Pitta people commonly feel a need to perfect postures and to compete with themselves and other in a yoga class, Pittas will benefit the most from a solitary practice in their own temperature controlled environment. Pranayama and meditation are especially important for them. Pranayama practices that are the most beneficial for Pitta people are shitali or sitkari breathing to cool the excess heat of Pitta.
Pitta Dosha Yoga Poses
Pitta’s main site is the small intestine and navel region, so yoga postures that focus on that area are the most pacifying for Pitta people. This includes postures that release tension in the mid-abdomen, waist and liver area like forward bends, shoulder stand and plough pose, as well as twists. Because Pitta is associated with the elements of fire and water, cooling and relaxing yoga poses are alleviative. This includes postures like forward bend, seated poses, and twists. A Pitta dosha yoga practice should always end with a calming meditation practice or savasana. Pittas drive will serve them well in developing a steady meditation and asana practice, but them must remember to not be too rigid and to go easy on themselves. It is easy for Pittas to push themselves too hard and too far. It is important for Pitta people to develop a meditative state not only in relaxation poses but also during the moving portion of their yoga practice and to avoid feelings of irritation and competitiveness.
In Ayurveda, yoga asanas are tailored to each person just like all Ayurvedic practices and protocols are. What is right for one person will not necessarily be right for the next. It is important to practice yoga in a way that is considered balancing to you and your dosha. If you are a Pitta person and want to know the most balancing yoga practice for your unique constitution, Schedule an Ayurvedic Yoga Class with us.