• Yoga Poses for Balancing the Pitta Dosha

    How much do you know about Ayurveda – Yoga’s sister science? Did you know that it can help you find balance, optimal health, and even help you become your highest self? And did you know that when combined with Yoga, this powerful system for healing becomes even stronger? That’s why Kino and Sahara Rose decided to team up for the #EatLikeAYogi Challenge – to teach us how to bring yoga and Ayurveda back together, as they were meant to be practiced.

    Yoga and Ayurveda are great tools for helping us find balance, optimal health and wellbeing, and not to mention, accessing our highest selves; but only if we incorporate practices that cater to our needs as individuals – more specifically, our imbalances. That’s where the Doshas come in.

    If you already know your primary dosha and where your imbalances are coming from, then you’re in a good place to start working back toward balance. If not, the #EatLikeAYogi Challenge is designed to help you learn. Throughout the challenge, Sahara Rose teaches us how to identify our primary doshas, and which doshas may be out of balance. She offers practices that we can use to come back to a place of equanimity, including specifications based on which dosha needs to be addressed.

    Ayurveda is only one piece of the equation, however. Our yoga practices can also help us find balance, and for this challenge, Kino has chosen 14 yoga poses to compliment the practices from Ayurveda. Today, we’re taking an in depth look at the Pitta balancing poses featured in the challenge.

    Pitta imbalance tends to be associated with the following signs and symptoms:

    • Sensitive skin that burns easy in the sun
    • Heartburn
    • Diarrhea
    • Quick to anger / Strong anger
    • Agitation as a stress response
    • Excess sweat
    • Acne and or skin rashes
    • Nose bleeds or excessive bleeding with cuts
    • Self-critical thoughts/feelings
    • Obsessive or compulsive thinking
    • Hatred
    • Revenge seeking tendencies
    • Inflammation
    • Burnout
    • And more

    Does this sound like you? Participating in the October Challenge with Kino and Sahara Rose is a great place to start for finding your way back to a more balanced state. Plus, be sure to put more emphasis on the following Pitta balancing yoga poses that Kino has recommended for the challenge:

    Prasarita Padottanasana A – This deep forward fold helps to cool the fires of pitta imbalance. Mid-day – the pitta time of day – is a good time to take a brake and give this pose a try. But remember, in order to balance pitta, we need to be soft in our efforts, so try not to over-stretch or push yourself too much. Just allow your body to fold forward softly, and let gravity do the work.

    Baddha Konasana – Those of us who are pitta dominant or who may be struggling with a pitta imbalance tend to be overactive and on-the-go, all the time. We find it difficult to sit down for rest or to do anything we feel is not productive. That’s one of the reasons why yoga is great for balancing pitta aggravation. But we have to approach our practices gently, with an intention to slow down. Seated postures like Baddha Konasana are great for giving us the opportunity to do just that. Give this pose a try with Kino on The Encyclopedia of Yoga to learn how to practice this pose properly and in a way that will help you balance your pitta dosha.

    Meditation/Padmasana – Meditation and breath work are great for bringing balance to an overactive pitta dosha. Simply taking a breath in, can bring cooling energy to the body, while a breath out will release excess heat. When sitting down for meditation as a means of calming your pitta imbalance, choose a simple, easy and comfortable seat that doesn’t cause any unnecessary discomfort in your body. This will give you the best results. If Padmasana is easily accessible for you, then great – if not, Sukasana is a better option. As for the kind of meditation you want to engage in, pittas can benefit greatly by meditating on images of water or the cooling sensation of the breath in.

    Sarvangasana/Viparita Karani – All inversions are cooling in nature, which makes them great postures for managing a pitta imbalance. Kino recommends legs up the wall in particular simply because it allows for the greatest amount of ease. This pose gives you the opportunity to soften and relax the entire body while maintaining enough elevation in the hips to still be considered an inversion. If you’re feeling overheated, irritated, angry, or any other sort of pitta aggravation, give this pose a try.

    Ready to start incorporating these poses into your daily life and practice? Combined with the recipes and self-care routines recommended by Sahara Rose, these poses will help you find your way back to optimal health and balance in no time.

    by Alex Wilson

    Alex Wilson is a writer, yoga teacher, Ayurveda Yoga Specialist, and the content manager here at OMstars.com

    Alex Wilson, Anxious yogi

    Join The Challenge Today

     

  • Use Yoga & Ayurveda to Balance the Vata Dosha

    Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, is an ancient wellness system that can help us find optimal health and balance in life. It’s all about eating a nutritious and balanced diet that’s suited for your individual needs, engaging in self-care practices that nourish your body, mind and soul, plus, practicing yoga in a way that is informed by this ancient science of life. These three components are your Ayurvedic keys to good health and well-being.

    Our October challenge, #EatLikeAYogi, is all about bringing yoga and Ayurveda together as they were meant to be practiced. In doing so, you will have all the tools you need to find your way back to a place of optimal well-being. During this challenge, each day, participants will complete an Ayurvedic practice (based on food and self-care) with Sahara Rose, and an Ayurveda informed yoga pose recommended by Kino.

    Each of the yoga poses in this challenge have been selected based on their ability to help balance the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). As a compliment to the challenge, we are going to breakdown which poses are good for balancing which doshas, and why.

    Today we’re talking about Vata imbalance and which yoga poses you should incorporate into your practice if you’re working to find balance.

    A Vata imbalance is typically associated with many of the following signs and symptoms:

    • Constipation
    • Excess bloating and gas
    • Poor mental focus
    • Anxiety or excessive nervousness
    • Cold hands and feet
    • Physical weakness
    • Dry Skin
    • Irregular appetite
    • Restlessness
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Hyperactivity
    • And more

    Does this sound like you? Participating in the October Challenge with Kino and Sahara Rose is a great place to start for finding your way back to a more balanced state. Plus, be sure to put more emphasis on the following Vata balancing yoga poses that Kino has recommended for the challenge:

    Tree Pose – Since vata imbalance is usually associated with scattered thoughts, poor ability to focus, excessive nervousness and anxiety, balancing postures like tree pose can help to bring more stillness to the mind. Tree pose requires a keen mental focus, so try incorporating this pose into your daily practice to see if it helps.

    Paschimottanasana – Forward folds are grounding, calming, and encourage introspection. This is why any forward fold is great for bringing balance to excess Vata. Try this pose in the evening before bed to ease hyperactivity and help you prepare for a more restful sleep.

    Utkatasana – Chair pose is very effective for creating a sense of grounding, which is great for relaxing a Vata mind. Plus, it activates the downward moving force in our bodies (Apana Vayu) which can help when it comes to alleviating constipation.

    Warrior II – This is another grounding pose that can really help with balancing excess Vata. This posture does however pose a challenge for those of us who may be experiencing a Vata imbalance. This is because it’s a little less interesting than some of the other postures on this list. Vatas get bored very easily, but if you try incorporating a little movement with this pose before settling into stillness, you may find more success. Try this simple movement before settling in to hold Warrior II for an extended period of time: from Warrior II, inhale to lift your arms and bring the palms to touch. At the same time lengthen your front leg. On the exhale, bend back into your front knee, and extend the arms back in opposite directions. Repeat for several rounds of breath.

    Ustrasana – The last pose on our list for balancing Vata is Ustrasana, aka camel pose. This pose is recommended because it asks us to still the mind and focus on grounding through the legs before adding in the backbend. That’s what’s really important for getting the full benefit out of this pose. From this place of grounding, move slowly and mindfully into the backbend, being extra careful not to overdo it.

    Remember, a dedicated yoga practice that’s informed by Ayurveda is only part of what we need to do to find balance. Incorporate these poses into your daily practice and be sure to try the recipes and self-care routines recommended by Sahara Rose. This is what will truly help you find optimum health and bring balance to your overall life.

    By Alex Wilson

    Alex Wilson is a writer, yoga teacher, Ayurveda Yoga Specialist, and the content manager here at OMstars.com

    Alex Wilson, Anxious yogi

    Join The Challenge Today