According to Ayurveda, Your Groin Stores Heat—Here’s How to Cool Off

Photo: Getty Images/Zave Smith
I'm sorry but "groin" is one of those words that just makes people uncomfortable, or at least giggle or cringe. But, c'mon people—we need to talk about the groin. First of all, it's an oft-overlooked yet fundamental part of your leg that gets super tight and impacts literally everything you do, from sitting to squat jumps.

And now I hear that your groin stores heat. (Go ahead and laugh thinking about a hot groin, it's fine.) In Ayurveda, your body gets more heat in the summer (of course), but that heat gets stored in your inner leg area. "We consider summer to be the pitta time of year, and as a product of our environment, Ayurveda teaches us that we accumulate more internal heat in the summer months," says Erin Casperson, dean of Kripalu School of Ayurveda, yoga teacher, and Ayurvedic health counselor. "Just like we favor seasonal eating and adjust our diet to balance out the hot qualities of summer, we can also adjust our yoga practice seasonally."

The thing about pitta in Ayurveda is that it's a blend of fire and water elements, so, according to Casperson, it's key to bring in elements of earth and space in order to bring balance."This is based on the Ayurvedic principle that like creates more like and opposites bring balance," she says.

So in your vinyasa, focus on the straight and wide-legged yoga poses to cool off that groin (and your whole body). Think triangle pose, wide-angle forward fold, bound angle, five-pointed star, and happy baby. "By opting for straight leg postures, we favor the space element, which releases heat from the body because space is cool in nature," she explains. So this spaciousness essentially allows air to circulate in the body like a fan inside of your muscles. This is opposed to bending your knees, which, in Ayurveda, creates more heat. "When we bend our knees, we create more fire or heat in the body," she says. "Heat being stored in the inner leg line stems from the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Meridian lines." Lesson learned: This summer, do *not* bend your knees (sorry not sorry, squats!), only do straight-legged yoga moves. And avoid a hot groin.

Oh, and here's how to open up your hip flexors, because those—like the groin—get really tight. And you can take this Ayurvedic skin-care advice to peg your beauty routine to your dosha

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