During the summer months, it's important to find various ways to releasing heat instead of just eating ice cream and drinking cold water.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, body heat is governed by the fire element in the body. Fire is embodied by pitta dosha. So, it's important to find ways to let pitta dissipate from the body. Yoga is a great way to release heat from the body, without going crazy and having to stick your head in the freezer every 10 minutes.
There are certain sites in the body that each element resides. For pitta, releasing heat from the liver and small intestine area creates the most effective results. The liver and small intestine are larger areas in the body that hold the most heat. If you think about it, the liver is a large organ, which is responsible (from an Ayurvedic paradigm) for blood processing, and detoxing the body. Detoxing takes an immense amount of energy for the body, which inherently creates heat. The small intestine, is an area of metabolism, again creating large amounts of heat.
In terms of yoga, if we're able to stretch the front of the torso, allowing extension of the liver and intestine, this creates an access point for the heat to leave.
Another group of poses that is also is great are spinal twists. Think of it as wringing out a wet towel to get every single drop of water out. Similarly, we're wringing out the liver and spleen--again, creating access points for the heat to leave.
Finally, focus on practices that cool and calm. Restorative, slow, and gentle practices are great for the summer as it allows the body to relax and rejuvenate.
Below, check out 4 poses that are great to incorporate in the summer time in your practice. Enjoy the benefits that yoga has to offer!