Q. The heat is really hitting me hard, how can I modify my practice in the summer so I’m not wiped out and annoyed?
A. Summer in LA is hot and practice rooms get humid, sticky and sweaty. From June through September, we are in Pitta season in the science of Ayurveda, characterized by fiery, passionate, and dynamic energy. This season is relates to the transformational fire that assists change and those processes in the body that relate to it. If the fire becomes too hot in your system you can disrupt and create imbalances in your metabolism and other bodily functions. You may find yourself getting easily aggravated, angry, and hasty.
Here is what you can do to feel nourished, balanced and bright!
Quick Tip #1: Slow Down Your Practice. You don’t have to practice at the same pace or intensity as other seasons when you are attempting to create heat. The heat is already present in your body. Slow down and meditate more on your breath. You can also practice less Sun Salutations or Vinyasas.
Quick Tip #2: Longer Exhales. When practicing pranayama, if you want to cool down your system you can do this by practicing a longer exhale. Practice exhaling twice as long as the inhale. Also, if you soften the breath you can feel the cooling quality and effect it has on the body.
Quick Tip #3: Practice Cooling Postures. Postures are categorized as ‘heating’ and ‘cooling’. Incorporate more cooling postures into your practice. You can also include a longer cool down if you practice heated poses to balance your nervous system. Try decreasing the amount of standing poses. You can rid the body of extra pitta heat by practicing supine twists. Forward folds are naturally more introspective and cooling. Shoulder stand is a cooling inversion. And, of course, you can hold your restorative poses longer.
Nicole Doherty is a 500-RYT YogaWorks certified teacher, energy healer, life coach, nutritional wellness coach, singer and writer. Through the study of various healing arts and a disciplined yoga practice, Nicole spent most of her adult life on an extensive spiritual inquiry that empowered her to overcome multiple traumas in her life ultimately finding love, light and sustained joy. What she discovered on this path to wholeness fuels her passion to inspire others to heal and find their highest potential. Committed to embodying her truth in service, Nicole encourages others to do the same with her contagious laughter, endearing smile and lightness of being. To learn more, visit her website.