Elemental Yoga: A Fire-Moving Yoga Practice for Pitta

Move built-up fire energy from the belly through the rest of the body to balance the Pitta dosha and combat its tendencies for competition and overheating.
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Move built-up fire energy from the belly through the rest of the body to balance the Pitta dosha and combat its tendencies for competition and overheating.

Move built-up fire energy from the belly through the rest of the body to balance the Pitta dosha and combat its tendencies for competition and overheating.

Pitta is a mix of fire and water. Pitta doshas (take our dosha quiz to determine yours) need to be especially mindful of letting go of their competitive tendencies and comparing themselves with other yogis—on and off the mat. Instead, trying to relax and stay present with your own practice and regular meditation is especially important for this dosha.

Pitta’s primary element, fire, is based in the stomach. The poses in this sequence help to move accumulated Pitta and its fire quality to evenly spread through out the body for the natural glow and natural radiance that comes from balance.
The element of fire in this dosha means Pittas have more of a tendency toward heat and overheating. It’s not ideal for Pittas to practice power yoga classes in a heated room. Pitta types need to adjust even more in the hot summer months, taking even greater care to avoid overheating in their practices. Cooling, relaxing poses are best, ideally in the beginning of the day—or at least not in the hottest part of the day. Focus on poses that help to release excess heat from the body, including those that open the heart and the hips, such as Pigeon, Cobra, Bow and Bridge poses. The best standing poses for Pitta are those that open the hips, including Tree Pose, Warrior II, and Half Moon.

Avoid holding long inversions (which draw a lot of heat into the head), overheating with very fast flow sequences, and aggressively pushing to get into Handstand every practice. A longer Savasana period is wonderful for Pittas, focusing on calming the breath, which helps you feel cooled down and more centered.

Kimberly Snyder, C.N., is a nutritionist, yoga instructor and the multi-time New York Times bestselling author of the Beauty Detox book series and the new book Radical Beauty, which she co-authored with Deepak Chopra. Radical Beauty redefines beauty to be an empowering and attainable concept to tap into your highest potential of your natural unique beauty and health, inside and out, that includes 6 Pillars for a holistic lifestyle (Internal Nourishment, External Nourishment, Sleep, Primal Beauty/Connecting with Nature, Movement/Yoga and Spiritual Beauty). Snyder has appeared as a nutrition and beauty expert on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, Ellen, Today and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many others. The go-to nutritionist for many Hollywood stars, Snyder founded Glow Bio, an organic cleanse and smoothie company, and is a Kriya and Vinyasa yoga practitioner, 200-hour Yoga Alliance-certified instructor and avid meditator. In 2015, her first yoga DVD, The Beauty Detox Power Yoga DVD, was released. Snyder is an Ayurvedic doctoral student under the esteemed Dr. Parla Jayagopal at AUCM. Snyder promotes balance, one thing she juggles herself with her writing, her businesses, her practice, and her beloved 6-month old son.