People with a predominance of this dosha tend to have the following features.
- a medium build, warm body
- oily skin
- penetrating ideas and sharp intelligence
- hair that is straight, thin, and shiny with a tendency to gray prematurely
- warm hands and feet
When in excess Pitta persons can get inflammation and redness on skin, irritability and aggressive behavior. There can be early greying of hair and acne and other skin problems.
In this article, I’m trying to explain the Yoga postures that can help in keeping your Pitta in check.
Yoga postures for Pitta
Main sites for pitta dosha in the body are the small intestine, liver, and navel area, so attention should be focused on the navel and solar plexus.
Opening up and releasing the heat in these areas can help in Pacifying the Pitta.
I generally advise my Pitta dominants, clients, to try more backbends and side twist. Postures which help to give pressure to tummy also helps like Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) and Dhanurasana (Bow pose).
Let us look at the 5 major Yoga postures that a Pitta person can try out.
1. Artha Sarvangasana
Generally, all inversions can help you to cool your body and pacify Pitta.
Lie supine on the mat, feet together and hands resting beside the body. Keep the mind calm, body relaxed and take in a full breath. Exhaling, draw the feet close to the hips and fold the legs against the thighs. Gently raise the lower part of the body vertically, with a pull of the abdominal muscles, supported by the hands (fingers under the hips and the thumbs above Balance the entire body-weight upon the palms, the elbows, the neck and the back of the head (final position). Complete the above steps in 4 seconds, while exhaling. Maintain this pose as long as convenient, but not longer than two minutes, breathe normally slow, rhythmic and natural.
2. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
To start the pose, lie on your stomach and place your forehead on the floor. You can have your feet together, or hip-width apart. Keep the tops of your feet pressing against the floor. Place your hands underneath your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, and try to maintain this throughout the pose. Draw your pubic bone towards the floor to stabilize your lower back, and press your feet actively into the floor. With the next inhale, start lifting your head and chest off the floor. Be mindful of opening the chest, and don’t place all of your weight onto your hands. Keep the elbows slightly bent and keep the back muscles working. Take your hands off from the floor for a moment to see what is a comfortable, maintainable height for you. Keep your shoulders relaxed. With exhale lower yourself back onto the ground.
3. Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
Lie on your belly with your hands alongside your torso, palms up. Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks. Reach back with your hands and take hold of your ankles. Keep your knees hip-width for the duration of the pose.
4. Balasana – Child Pose
Start in a tabletop shape, on your hands and knees. Release the tops of your feet to the floor and bring your knees wider than your hips, big toes touching. Slowly lower your hips towards your heels. Walk your hands forward and rest your head on the floor or a prop. Take several slow breaths into your belly and chest. Gently release back to the tabletop.
5. Savasana – Corpse Pose
Separate your legs. Let go of holding your legs straight so that your feet can fall open to either side. Bring your arms alongside your body, but slightly separated from your torso. Turn your palms to face upwards but don’t try to keep them open. Let the fingers curl in. Tuck your shoulder blades onto your back for support. Relax your whole body, including your face. Breath Slowly and steadily. Focus on your mind and body.
Do each of these poses for 5 minutes, so a total of 25 minutes of Pitta pacifying Yoga can help to keep your Pitta in check.
In addition, practicing Chandra Namaskara or moon salutations are also cooling to the body.