Dancing with Fire: Flow through Pitta Season's Heat with Ease
Yoga Journal|July - August 2021
According to Ayurveda, we're in pitta season, which brings warmth and activity. The summer's fiery energy fuels your desire to get out there and do things—like picnics, camping, and pool parties.
By Michelle Briks Prosper

And after a long winter cooped up inside, the urge to be more active and social makes sense. But all of that heat and action can also lead to burnout, irritability, and exhaustion. That's because overdoing it can cause anyone, no matter their dosha, to feel overextended.

Pitta-season challenges can show up in your body and attitude as physical and mental flare-ups: rashes and acne, an agitated mind, and a quickness to anger. But paradoxically, the excess heat and humidity that accompany the season can also help you cultivate balance.

For starters, warmth encourages fluidity and flexibility. Hot temperatures can also remind you to pause and surrender into the present moment. Slowing down can help you to make smart choices about how you move and breathe, and about what you consume. A still, calm mental state also allows you to remain open to possibility, which is the opposite of rigidity. From this discerning place, you can feel more clarity, relaxation, and ease as you move through your day.

Ayurvedic wisdom supports turning inward to listen to what you need. It also offers you ways to customize your yoga practice so that you can feel and function your best, no matter how high the temperature rises. These Ayurvedic guidelines will help you to navigate pitta season with ease and grace.

Let go of shoulds

Excess pitta energy can show up as judgment toward yourself or others. Judgment is your ego's way of trying to assert control—of dictating how things should be. This approach can make you mentally rigid and emotionally tight. The antidote to judgment? Compassion. Setting an intention to be kinder and more sympathetic can soften your ego's controlling grip and invite a healthy, fluid openness in your body and mind. Cultivating these qualities helps you connect with others and to accept friends, family, and strangers as they are, without feeling the need to control or change them.

Combine strength and openness

Playing on pitta's strengths is a smart way to moderate its excess. For example, practice a mix of poses that build inner heat along with shapes that help you stay fluid: Vigorous asanas such as lunges and Plank variations offer heat-building stillness and help you invite in an attitude of self-appreciation to balance any hot-tempered, judgmental energy the season's warmth may have kicked up. Poses such as Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and variations of Skandasana (Pose Dedicated to the God of War) usher in ease, openness, and flexibility, particularly in your hips—the svadhisthana chakra—and in your heart, the anahata chakra region.

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