Ayurvedic practice recognises three Doshas, or body types: Vata, Pitta & Kapha. Your Ayurvedic Dosha body type makes some activities more suitable for you than others. Here Dr. Mathew looks at the type of activities that are likely to reduce harm and optimise your health, according to Dosha.
Activity recommended for Vata body type
The Vata body-type person has a predisposition to joint and bone-related conditions. The nature of Vata is dry and cold. This manifests as dry, clicking joints within the body and stiffness which improves as the body warms up.
Relatively low-impact activities which are joint-stabilizing and strengthening are recommended for Vata-types. Vata people, being more hyperactive by nature, are predisposed to want to do more physically strenuous activities, including running or other high-intensity training. However, these may lead to injuries.
The activities for the Vata body and mind is gentle dance, pilates, Hatha yoga, etc. One should also consider the hyperactive mind of the Vata and include more grounding and calming activities, such as breathing exercises, meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, etc.
Climate-wise, Vata is the only Dosha type that is permitted to sleep/nap during the day in the peak summertime. This is due to the natural tendency to spend energy quickly and unwisely from time to time, leading to a depleted stage during the middle of the active day.
On days like this, it’s best to take a reclining nap for just 15 minutes. This is enough to re-energize your system and help maintain strength and focus throughout the rest of the day.
During peak Summer, the Vata person should maintain gentle activities early in the morning. In Winter, more focus should be given to warming-up and stretching to relieve cold and stiffness. Avoid excess exposure in cold weather, engage in indoor activities instead.
Activity recommended for Pitta body type
The Pitta body-type person is predisposed towards acidity or gastric issues, headaches, chronic skin conditions, etc. Too much exposure to bright light and heat may aggravate this tendency and cause a variety of symptoms.
So, the exercises recommended for Pitta-types include cooling water-based activities, such as swimming, aqua aerobics, etc. Excessive cardio in a hot and humid climate can lead to dehydration, dizziness, headaches, cramps and heat syncope or heatstroke.
Pittas should also make sure that they stay away from the mid-day sun, activities in artificially warm environments, such as hot yoga. Pittas should generally focus on strengthening, grounding activities and moderate cardio exercises.
Climate-wise, Pittas should avoid any strenuous outdoor activities in the peak Summertime. Early morning or late evening, when the heat is mild and there is a cool breeze, are the best times for outdoor activity.
Activity recommended for Kapha body type
The Kapha body-type person has a predisposition to easy weight gain, lack of energy and breathing issues, through being heavy and clogged inside. The ability to do strenuous activities without injury is higher in Kaphas, compared to the other body-types. The major issue is the lack of initiation in term of physical activity. Kaphas are also usually uncomfortable with excess cold weather.
So, the kind of exercises recommended should be energizing and invigorating, such as spin, running, aerobics, intense strength training, Zumba, Body Combat etc. Since, generally, Kapha people tend to be shallower in breathing, Yoga and Pranayama or breathing exercises are highly recommended.
Climate-wise, Kaphas are aggravated in the peak Winter and Springtime. The excess of pollen content in the atmosphere during spring makes it difficult for Kapha to cope with respiratory allergies and congestion.
So, the best time for outdoor activity for the Kapha-type is the warm Summertime and Autumnal pleasant, cool weather.
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