Physical exercise help us to keep moving, maintain a healthy weight and feel great in general. If we take in consideration the three Ayurvedic body constitutions, we will see that each one is represent by different elements therefore their qualities vary. Each one has different needs to keep the body healthy and balanced. So which exercise is best suited for your Ayurvedic body constitution?
People with predominant Vata dosha are usually very energetic. They are often known for walking very fast and having trouble standing still. When in balance, Vatas are creative, quick thinkers and very active. They can struggle with keeping a routine, because Vatas are represented by the elements of air and space, air being associated with constant change and movement. Therefore, they are good at starting a routine, but they do need to have a way in which they will stick to a daily exercise regime. Group activities are ideal for them because it brings them in social contact with others but this also helps them keep committed.
Walking in nature
Done at a moderate pace, walking can help bring in balance the excess energy Vatas usually have. Due to the space element, Vatas represent the mind therefore they are constantly thinking. Being outdoors and in nature helps to clear their head, making space for their wonderful creative ideas to come to fruition.
Slow or Yin Yoga
Yoga is ideal for Vatas. This will help them slow down and connect with their physical, mental and emotional self. As Vatas tend to experience fragile or cold feeling joints and bones, a slower type of yoga practice will provide their physical bodies with a great stretch for their muscles and nurturing their whole body, balancing out the cold, dry qualities with a warm feeling.
Getting on the bike is also a great way for Vatas to keep physically active without going to fast. The cycling movement on their joints, particularly their knees and ankles is great as it does not put too much pressure on them.
Meditation with mantras
As Vatas think way too much, they can create unnecessary worry and anxiety for themselves. This is often shown in their inability to have a good night’s sleep, often waking up throughout the night. Meditation will help liberate their mind and release excess worry and stress. Repetition of mantras is a wonderful way for Vatas to relax their nervous system. Vatas also represent communication and mantras help to activate and balance vishudi, the throat chakra which governs communication. They are very creative individuals by nature, so working on their throat chakra will aid them to express themselves freely and openly share their unique ideas to the world.
People with predominant Pitta body constitution tend to be quite active in general. When in balance, they have good energy levels and are consistent with their exercise regime. As Pitta’s tend to be quite focused and disciplined, they have no problem sticking to a daily routine of physical activity. They are great at getting things done and are usually intrinsically motivated, meaning they can motivate themselves quite easily without needing a push from external factors. Due to their fire element, they can often be quite competitive and fiery by nature, so exercise that is too vigorous will increase their fire and bring them into a state of imbalance. So they are best to focus on moderate activities, which gets their body moving at medium pace.
Whilst competitive or fast runs are not very well suited for Pittas, jogging is a great way for them to keep healthy and in shape. They like activity and this will feed their need to move, without creating too much fire internally.
Pittas are great doers/executors and they usually make things happen and can manifest whatever they set their mind to. They constantly have a plan or a strategy about how to structure their ideas which is one of their best qualities. But this means they also tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves, so meditation will help quiet their mind and create some mental space, releasing any nervous system tension.
Pittas represent agni/the digestive system and when in balance, they have a good digestion. Pilates will help them maintain a strong core and bring the attention to the abdominal area.
A moderate yoga flow is well suited for people with Pitta predominant dosha. This will help them relax, stretch their muscles and get the prana moving, without creating too much heat.
People with predominant Kapha dosha are tend to have a slower pace than the other two doshas. Kapha represents the elements of water and earth, which have the qualities of heavy, slow, steady and solid. This is great because this means Kaphas can be slow starters, but once they get in a rhythm, they are steady and consistent. They do need a push sometimes due to their more relaxed and slower nature. Kaphas are known as the nurturers and they love being around people so being part of group physical activities is a great way for them to commit to a healthy daily exercise regime.
Going for daily runs at a faster pace will help Kaphas feel more energised and balance out their slow nature. Signing up for fun runs or mini marathon style events is a great way for them to be social and exercise at the same time. This also requires discipline and daily training, which is a great motivation for Kaphas to keep active.
Kaphas greatly benefits from aerobic exercises and skipping is a good way for them to get moving. As they tend to have a heavier body composition (not necessarily in weight, but their bone structure is heavier than the other doshas), exercises such as skipping will strengthen their physical body and release those happy endorphins.
Yoga is no doubt great for everybody, but for Kaphas a faster pace style is more suitable. Therefore vinyasa yoga offer them the ability to be involved in a more dynamic type of yoga and sweat it out too. Due to their water element, Kaphas are often prone to water retention, so exercise in which they sweat are great for them.
As Kaphas tend to have a strong, healthy bones structure, signing up to some cross-fit classes is a great way for them to get off the couch and move. Crossfit involves different types of movement done at high intensity, which means Kaphas will get moving and get their blood pumping.