Pitta Time!

Calming and cooling asanas* help in balancing the fiery Pitta dosha. Pitta normally resides in the duodenal region of the small intestines. This region is also the site of the Solar plexus (Manipur Chakra, third chakra) which is closely associated with the power of fire, digestion and other activities of Pitta dosha.  Asanas that exert pressure on this region are perfect for balancing Pitta.  Asanas that massage the liver and spleen help in improving the power of the digestive fire (Agni) which depends on Pitta for its optimum functioning. Asanas that affect the Solar plexus like the Camel pose (Ushtrasana), Cobra pose (Bhujangasana), Bow pose (Dhanurasana), Bridge pose ( Setu bandhasana) and Pigeon pose (Ek pada rajakapotasana) are excellent for balancing Pitta and for relieving Pitta conditions like heart burn, gastric ulcers and Pitta skin conditions like eczema and acne. Standing Asanas that have a cooling effect on the head and heart, like the Tree pose (Vrkshasana); Warrior pose (Veer bhadrasana) and the Half moon pose (Ardha Chandrasana) are beneficial for Pitta dosha. Calming asanas like the Corpse pose (Shavasana) are extremely beneficial for helping Pitta individuals in controlling their anger, anxiety and impulsivity.

Cooler times of the day, like the dawn and dusk are best for the practice of Yoga to calm down a fiery Pitta. It is important that people with Pitta body type avoid cultivating negative feelings like jealousy, anger etc when practising your asana, as these feelings will negate the benefits of Yoga. Being submissive, gentle and forgiving towards oneself and others is the ideal way to maintain Pitta balance through Yoga. Practice of inverted poses like the Shoulder stand (Sarvangasana), Head stand (Shirshasana) that tend to pool a lot of heat in the head region should be avoided. Also, before you begin with meditation, any build up of heat in the body from the Asana practice should be dissipated by practicing Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling breath) and Left nostril breathing (Chandrabhedana Pranayama).

* Practicing asanas in a continued sequence with smooth transitions from one pose to other along with synchronized breathing.

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