Ayuvedic tips to stay calm, cool, and joyful this summer

balancing rocksAyurvedic tips to stay calm, cool, and joyful this summer.
by Monica Limon, 
bahiyoga.com / monica@bahiyoga.com

The heat is on…summer is here…so enjoy these long lazy days with Pitta pacifying morning yoga poses to strengthen digestion and metabolism. Begin with a slow, cooling, heart-opening yoga practice to balance the fiery element of Pitta. Walk away feeling more calm, cool, and joyful.

Pitta Dosha Balancing Act
Pitta is one of the three Ayurvedic doshas or biological energies found in the body and mind and derives from the elements of fire and water.

During the summer, pitta can accumulate as inflammation in the stomach, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and small intestines. The key to pacifying pitta is to remain cool, calm, and peaceful. When pitta is in balance, your digestion and metabolism are strong and you feel passionate, joyful, and courageous. When it’s out of balance, you might arouse aggression, irritability, anger, hatred, judgment, criticism, and jealousy.

Tips for Pacifying Pitta
Here are some practical suggestions for balancing the pitta person during the seasonal changes that occur in summer and early fall:

Early morning yin-style asana practice, including the Moon Salutation, Tree, Bridge, Locust, Triangle, and gentle abdominal twists. The emphasis throughout your practice can be on surrendering, forgiving, softening, and being gentle with yourself. Pittas should come away from an asana practice feeling; cool, content, calm, released tension in mid-abdomen, a clear mind, emotions relaxed, and a tendency toward competitiveness and irritation should be subdued.

Practice Shitali pranayama or left-nostril breathing to cool and calm the hot quality of pitta dosha.

A regular meditation practice assists in quieting the active pitta mind, releasing anger, and allowing the sense of control to dissipate. Meditation should leave one feeling cool and calm in both mind and heart.

Give yourself a slow and loving full-body massage before taking a shower. As a base, use sunflower or coconut oil, which is cooling and nourishing. Essential oils of rose, sandalwood, jasmine, or lavender can be added to further enhance delight and healing.

Drink a tea of cumin, coriander, fennel, and rose to pacify the hot quality, improve digestion and calm the mind.

Eat foods that are cooling and calming; sweet, bitter, and astringent. Coconut, cucumber, watermelon, steamed greens, mung beans, and basmati rice are excellent choices. Sipping cool (not iced) water throughout the day keeps pittas fires at bay. When the hot and sharp qualities are acute it is best to avoid spicy, salty, oily, and sour foods such as chilis, pickles, french fries, and citrus fruits respectively. Due to pitta’s raging appetite, it is in their best interest that they never miss a meal!

Wear clothing of light texture and color. Excellent choices would be cotton, linen, and silk of white, blue and green. Red and yellow shades tend to increase the fire that is already present.

Enjoy regular, relaxing, peaceful walks in Nature to calm the inherent intensity that a pitta person may experience. Other activities to please pittas senses include swimming, gardening, and walking in the moonlight.
monica sunset


Subtle Energy Yoga
with Monica Limon | RYT500, E-RYT200, YACEP

Mondays @ 8:15am – 9:30am
Thursdays @ 9:45am – 11:00am
at The Yoga Center Reno


The focus of this asana practice is to create sukha or good space to awaken the subtle energy body with attention to alignment, breath awareness, and joyful movement to draw prana deeper into the connective tissues, muscles, joints, and bones.

In this class, Monica will integrate the three Ayurvedic doshas; Vata, Kapha, Pitta to support a healthy yoga practice. Plus, a mixture of subtle energy work on the seven Chakras with an understanding of the koshas to help bring—body, breath, mind, wisdom, and bliss—into harmony, promoting overall health and bringing you closer to self-realization and an absolute fullness of being.

This class is for all levels.

In Loving Memory of Lisa Dalberg

Lisa Dalberg poseLisa Dalberg—one of The Yoga Center’s original owners and guiding lights and beloved teacher to many in this community—passed away quietly with a dear friend at her side. There will be a Celebration of Life later this summer when it is safe to gather. Please contact Kathy Randolph at kathy@yogaforscleroderma.com if you would like to be notified. This lovely tribute was written by her friend Kristen Kenner:

Elizabeth Maud Dalberg

Reno, Nevada – On February 21, 2020 Lisa Dalberg, a shining light in our community, passed on with a dear friend at her side. Lisa was born January 24, 1924 to Samuel Smith and Maud (Hopwood) Smith. Lisa is survived by her step daughter, Laila Heppler (Larry) and granddaughters Jamie Nattrass and Julie Samford.

Lisa was raised in the beauty of the Palo Alto, California countryside. Watching her father’s health decline during her childhood sparked her interest in health, as a young girl she would seek out articles on health at the library rather than novels. She spent a great deal of time outdoors and discovered nature’s way of balancing and healing itself. Her love of movement grew with horseback riding as she roamed freely throughout the Lakes Basin area of the Sierra’s, and then ballet followed by classical modern dance. Knee injuries curtailed ballet and prompted her interest in yoga in the 1950’s.

Lisa met her husband of 50 years, Ted Dalberg, on the dance floor at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in California. Together they taught dance for 10 years at their own dance studio in Santa Barbara, California. Lisa bridged East and West philosophies with a holistic approach to health care. She worked at exclusive spas and health clubs including John Robert Powers School in New York, the Golden Door and La Costa in Southern California.

Lisa and Ted moved to Reno in 1971, where she enrolled at UNR, earned her B.Sc. in Health Education and developed an exercise program for seniors. Lisa taught Hatha yoga and meditation for over 50 years, bringing yoga into the mainstream in Reno. She taught yoga at UNR, Lakeridge Tennis Club, YWCA, Robinson House, Washoe (Renown) Hospital, Classic Residence (5 Star), and McKinley Arts & Culture Center. In 1998 she co-founded The Yoga Center Reno where she taught into her 90’s, and where her legacy of therapeutic yoga accessible to all lives on.

Lisa was modest and approached each student without judgement, inspiring them on their journey to listen to their own body’s brilliant intelligence to heal itself through movement. She was a stellar teacher with a never-ending thirst for understanding without the need for attention or accolades. Lisa didn’t do yoga, she embodied yoga. She lives on through those she touched, as well as in our hearts. We will miss her dearly.

There will be a celebration of life this summer at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center when it is safe for us to gather. If you would like to be notified please contact Kathy Randolph at kathy@yogaforscleroderma.com.

Here is the link to her online obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/rgj/obituary.aspx?n=elizabeth-maud-dalberg&pid=195855211

Yin Yoga and Quieting the Mind

Yin Yoga and Quieting the Mind
How Yin Yoga can help us slow down and find a deep quiet within ourselves.
by Lee Ann Maynard

“If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves…”

–From the poem “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda

Yin Cobblers

We have plans, we have lists and we have places to go and appointments to keep. This pace of living in the fast lane keeps us out of rhythm with ourselves and nature. As a result we feel exhausted and contracted. Stiffness sets into our neck, hips and back. We are always leaning forward, moving to the next thing.

Yin Yoga is an Embodied Meditation. We meet the body and mind as it is, without trying to change anything, and we settle into each pose with a sense of curiosity and openness. There is no ‘perfect alignment” and no striving for a particular shape in each pose. We don’t even get off the floor. Instead we meet ourselves close to the earth and begin surrendering to gravity. Each pose is held for 2-5 minutes, never striving but settling into it. The names of the poses are different than the well known “yang” yoga poses. Instead, most pose names seem plucked out of nature, like “Sleeping Swan”, “Crocodile”, “Butterfly”, “Dragonfly”, which encourage us to come to them from a different attitude. Helping us to let go of the striving nature of other yoga formats.

Yin Yoga works on the connective tissues rather than focusing on stretching or strengthening muscles. It focuses on “disengaging” the muscles so that ligaments, tendons and fascia can open up and become more hydrated and elastic. Working deep into the joints, this practice helps us to feel a greater sense of flexibility in the hips, spine, knees, shoulders and neck. This greater sense of flexibility and ease and can translate to a more open and flexible mind state. A sense of relaxation and letting go seems attainable when the body has released tension.

Yin Yoga as an Embodied Meditation also strengthens a mindfulness practice using the sensations of the body and the breath to become aware of where we hold onto tension. Our nervous systems have been trained by our habitual movement and emotional mind states. Our bodies begin to feel locked up and we can feel that we have lost range of motion in joints and our sense of flexibility. Coming into each Yin Yoga pose we sense these constrictions in the mind and the body and begin the process of caring for ourselves. We give ourselves time. We watch how the breath affects the body in these shapes and slowly, in the quiet of the practice, we re-train the nervous system to help us relax and be more calm.

Do you feel overwhelmed and tired and contracted? Perhaps you can see in your life where there is a need to slow down and to get more intimate with your body and mind. Maybe you are becoming more aware of how your emotional states are translated into constrictions in your body. Can you find some time in your planned out life to find a Yin Yoga class and learn how to do nothing, which is really a doorway to seeing everything?

by Helen Luke

We hurry through the so-called boring things
in order to attend to that which we deem
more important, interesting.
Perhaps the final freedom will be a recognition that
everything in every moment is “essential”
and that nothing at all is “important”.
Yin Yoga with Lee Ann Maynard, E-RYT 500
Thursday Evenings
6:45 – 8:00 pm
The Yoga Center-Reno
$16 drop-in
multiple class packages available
No yoga experience is necessary.
Read more about Lee Ann Maynard.