One of the benefits of understanding your Ayurveda dosha make-up is the ability to choose an exercise that creates balance and strengthens your physiology.
It turns out that the vast majority of Americans don’t exercise regularly. One reason may be that many people pick a means of exercise that does not suit their body type. This can result in feelings of strain, fatigue or irritability. When we pick an exercise that balances our primary dosha the result can be joyful, exhilarating and invigorating.
No matter what your body type or predominate dosha, everyone should loosen up and warm up thoroughly before exercise and warm down properly afterwards. This is especially important if you have been somewhat sedentary during the winter. Ease into a healthy exercise routine. Remember to breath through your nose and to avoid mouth breathing. This is will be a good indicator of whether or not you are pushing beyond a healthful workout.
Do not exercise just before or after a meal.
Do not exercise in the hot sun or in extreme wind or cold.
By nature Vata types have the quality of motion and changeability enlivened in their physiology. They need less exercise than the other body types. They also tend to have more slender frames and less strong joints and cannot take the pounding of heavy, extended exercise. They tend to have less endurance or resilience. Vata types excel at balancing and stretching exercises. Yoga, Pilates, dance, light aerobics, walking at a gentle pace, short hikes, swimming and light bicycling are good for them. Half an hour to an hour of enjoyable exercise per day is usually enough. They must be careful not to over extend their activity.
Pitta types have good drive, speed and endurance. They enjoy challenge and sports that bring a sense of accomplishment, such as skiing, hiking and mountain climbing. Water sports, because of their cooling nature, are also good for Pittas. Be careful of sports that are overly competitive as these can cause you to overextend yourself. Group sports like volleyball can fulfill your competitive spirit in a more tempered and social environment. Be alert to avoiding getting overheated or dehydrated.
Kapha types have a tendency toward heaviness. As a result they need a significant quantity of exercise. Kaphas also have strong frames and joints and can more readily withstand vigorous and extended exercise. They excel in exercise that requires endurance and mind-body coordination. Running, aerobics, brisk cycling and walking, and rowing are good Kapha exercises. It is also recommended that Kaphas change exercise from day to day instead of repeating the same activity.
Exercise for All Doshas
Yoga and Sun Salutes are exercises that can be practiced by almost anyone, regardless of physical constitution. These exercises enhance the link between intelligence and physiology.
To take a dosha quiz or for information about a consultation with an Ayurveda expert, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa and Treatment Center website:
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