Yoga Sequence: Pitta Dosha

The Pitta Dosha is derived from the fire and water elements; which makes this upcoming season all about heat, transformational energy, intensity, passion, and masculine energy. 


Just like with everything, our practice should flow with the seasons. It’s important we balance ourselves in relation to the energy that is surrounding us-- because this energy is simultaneously within us.


During Pitta season, our practice should be more about cooling the body, slowing down, connecting to more yin (feminine) practices, and mindful movements. 


Here is a sample of a short yoga practice that is good during the Pitta heavy season:


Sitali Breathwork Practice:


Find a comfortable seated position, and sit up tall so there is plenty of space for energy to move within the body and throughout the spine. 


Sitali is a cooling breath, and is perfect for when the body is overheated and especially good during the Pitta heavy summer season. 


It is done by curling the tongue into a circle (most people can do this, but for those who can’t, you can practice this by making a circle with the lips-- as if you are about to drink out of a straw-- and breathe this way) and creating an almost ‘sucking’ action, sucking the air in through the tongue and holding the breath with a closed mouth for a few seconds, feeling the coolness on the roof of the mouth. 


Do this for a few minutes, drawing the cooling energy into the body. 


Cooling Asana Practice:


Cooling Asana practice doesn’t have to have to lack fire-- but more-so invoke a more feminine, cooling, mindful energy-- with the intention of bringing more grounding and water elemental energy rather than just stroking the fire. 


Warm Up: 


Begin laying down, drawing the knees in toward the chest. Open your arms out to a ‘T’, and inhale deeply into your belly. As you exhale, begin to take the knees over to the left-- do not take them all the way to the ground, just allow the legs to go where your shoulders and torso can stay connected to the mat. On the next inhale, bring the legs back up to center.


Moving with each inhale and exhale, begin to move the legs from side to side. Watching the body deepen into the postures with each movement, and keeping the breath deep in the belly. Continue this for a few breaths (at least five times on each side). 


When you are ready, begin rocking forward and back on your spine, until you reach enough momentum that you can come to a standing forward fold position. If this is not accessible, just make your way to standing and fold forward. 




In Uttanasana (forward fold), bend your knees and allow the body to fall forward with gravity. Feel the weight come heavy in the feet and upper body, and allow the weight to continue to pull you closer to the floor. 


Bring your hands to your shins and lift halfway to Ardha Uttanasana (monkey pose, halfway lift), extending the spine and creating space across the chest, pressing the thighs back in space as you ground down through all four corners of the feet. 


When you are ready, ground down through the feet, bend the knees and slowly make your way back up to standing. 


From a standing position, begin to create large hips circles from the pelvis, grounding down through the feet. Continue this and move the arms in circular, fluid movements as well. Continue moving in this fluid, organic way. Continue for five breaths. 


When ready, stop the fluid movements and ground down through the feet, slightly bending the knees. Begin to sway the arms, without any control or tension in the muscles, from side to side. Allowing the arms to just hit the rest of your body, falling with gravity. Keep going for at least ten strong breaths. 


Leave your right foot at the top of the mat, sending your left foot a few feet behind coming into Trikonasana (Triangle)


Ground down through the feet, extend the arms out to a ‘T’ and begin to reach your front arm forward. Slowly tilt your torso down as you continue to spiral your heart toward the ceiling, and extend the spine. Be here for a few breaths.


Slowly begin to come out of this by bending into your front knee and lifting your torso upward. Do the same on the other side. 


Turn both of your toes to face the long end of your mat, bring your feet wider (extend your arms to a ‘T’ and bring your ankles underneath your wrists) and fold forward into wide-legged forward fold. Play around here, sway from side to side, bend the knees, breathe deeply and lift halfway and fold deeper on the exhale. 


Slowly work your way back up to standing, and repeat the sequence from Uttanasana (Chair)


Happy Cooling!


Pitta Yoga Sequence by Sarah Ford