HOW TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT WAY – ACCORDING TO YOUR DOSHA June 18, 2020 – Posted in: Lifestyle – Tags: Ayurveda, dosha, exercise, kapha, pitta, vata
Exercising regularly (but not overdoing it) is very important for immunity, because the more vibrant and active your tissues are, the more vibrant and active your ojas (vigor).
Exercise the right way according to your dosha – this is a precious piece of advice given to us by Ayurvedic experts. In Ayurveda, there are three mind-body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which are known as doshas. Since each of them has individual characteristics, weaknesses and needs, one’s exercise routine should be well suited to one’s dosha, in order to bring about balance and a healthy mind-body.
Daily walks and yoga postures are good for balancing all the doshas and especially suit Vata types, while more vigorous daily exercise is required by Kapha types to stay healthy.
In general, Ayurveda suggests that we exercise to only about 50% of our capacity—until we break a mild sweat on the forehead, under the arms, and along the spine, or until the first sign of dryness in the mouth.
Keep in mind that for most people experiencing a consistently high level of stress, a Vata-pacifying exercise routine that is gently paced and grounding is often most appropriate at first.
Don’t know whether your dosha is Vata or Pitta or Kapha? Take our dosha quiz here.
EXERCISE FOR VATA DOSHA
Vata loves speed, freedom, flexibility and enjoy new challenges. As a Vata, you often feels anxious, tired, and emotionally overwhelmed. Physically, you also tend to have insufficient body weight and light bones. There is a tendency to overexert yourself.
Because Vata is so windy, scattered, and variable, you need to stay steady, grounded, and intentional. The more Vata can stay still and move with intention the better.
Vata dosha exercise should also be slow. Of course, you can bring your heart rate up, but make sure that you follow it up with something relaxing.
Since Vata bodies are cold, do Vata dosha exercise in a warm environment.
Listen to your body and stop when you need to. Focus on regularity and grounding rather than speed and effort.
Be mindful in your movements – this increases a sense of grounding.
Anything too cardio intensive will increase the already swift motion in your mind-body and will stiffen muscles and joints.
For Vata-predominant types, the ideal exercise program is typically very gentle, and includes calm, grounding activities such as yoga, dancing, walking, chi gong, tai chi or strength training (to build muscle and strengthen bones). Again, the key for Vatas is to sloooooow dooowwwwnnn.
EXERCISE FOR PITTA DOSHA
Pittas are fiery, competitive, ambitious, and energetic. You are a leader and love hard, intense work. But you get easily angry, impatient, and jealous. Your digestion is typically strong but may suffer from acidity, ulcers, and skin problems like rashes. You may take competition too seriously.
Pittas are naturally muscular and pretty good athletes, so they actively seek out physical activities. So, a Pitta doesn’t need a whole lot of motivation to get moving. However, they need to stay cool and stay away from anything too competitive, stressful, or too hot. It’s important for you to take it slow and not focus on the competitive aspect of exercise.
Just like Vata types, you may overexert yourself. So, listen to your body. Remember to get enough of rest.
Pitta is quite hot. So, Pitta dosha exercise is best done in a cool environment. Sweating also helps cool your body down.
If you like intense exercise, combine it with restorative activities too, such as meditation.
For Pitta-predominant types, the ideal exercise program is typically challenging but moderately paced, with an emphasis on relaxed effort throughout the activity. Appropriate forms of exercise for Pitta types include yoga (but hot yoga is a no no), swimming, jogging, biking, hiking, and skiing. Again, the key for Pittas is to relax and cool down.
EXERCISE FOR KAPHA DOSHA
Kapha is slow, stable, and heavy. If you are a Kapha type, you have the qualities of steadiness, patience, calmness, and endurance. You have well-formed muscles and bones. But you also have excess body weight, sluggishness, depression, excess phlegm, and water retention. You can easily feel lazy, resistant to change, and unmotivated.
Kaphas need to move because they tend to be heavy in both body and mind. Moving the physical body will help lighten both of these. Kapha dosha exercise should be fast, upbeat, and intense. Anything that increases your heart rate is good for you.
Sweating is extremely helpful for you, since it promotes weight loss.
Since your dosha is cold, make sure that you practise in a warm environment.
Be open to trying out new kinds of activities every once in a while.
Make sure that you get some kind of movement everyday, to counter the sluggish nature of Kapha. You would benefit from some competitiveness too.
For Kapha-predominant types, the ideal exercise program is typically quite vigorous and challenging. Appropriate forms of exercise for Kapha types include hot yoga, brisk walking, marathon, biking, hiking, martial arts, aerobic exercise and other forms of adventure sports or competitive games. Again, the key for Kaphas is to keep on moving.