Our bodies are literally designed for exercise. It is through exercise, in whatever form it may come, that we get our life force moving and our energy flowing. Engaging in regular exercise is truly one of the best things we can do to stay healthy, live with more energy, reverse the aging process, and feel our best. To maintain this level of optimal health, regular exercise is essential. To truly benefit from and stay motivated to exercise, we must find the right type of exercise that fits our own unique body type. Just as there is not just one right way to exercise, there is not one body “type.” We are all human, yet come in an array of physical and mental differences.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, there are three different body types, or doshas. Finding the right exercise for your dosha can make all the difference when you engage in physical flow. When you find an exercise that is in harmony with your body and mind, you will find yourself less fatigued and more eager to get your life force moving. Following, you will get a quick impression of each dosha and the different types of exercise that complement each one.
Kapha dosha types are known for having great physical strength and abundant, solid energy. This energy is best expelled by engaging in endurance sports such as running, swimming, football, soccer, dance, and aerobics. Another thing kaphas are known for, however, is their tendency to become sluggish and congested. This may appear in the kapha as laziness and motivation is often hard to harness. To break this cycle, those with a kapha dosha are encouraged to begin with brisk walking to break the stagnant energy that needs to be released from their body. Hiking and jogging are also excellent ways to make kaphas break into the sweat necessary to let their energy flow.
If it’s anything pittas are, it is competitive. There is a strong drive amongst people with the pitta dosha, and exercises such as hiking, golf, tennis, and rock climbing are popular amongst this group. Winter sports of all kinds, including skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing are all excellent for the pitta dosha as they can withstand cold better than any other dosha. Swimming is also an outstanding exercise to balance pitta energy, as the water helps to cool the heat of this body type. Long-distance or mountain biking is also great for their resolute pace.
Vata doshas are inherently enthusiastic, yet their bursts of energy tend to make them tire quickly. Yoga, Tai Chi, dancing, and slow-paced walking are all excellent grounding exercises for vatas. Known for their thin body structure, vatas are also best to avoid outdoor activities in the winter. They are more prone to cold than the other body types and will benefit best from indoor activities at this time. Vatas are known to push themselves too hard and, in turn, become weak. It is best for these types to develop balance and strength in low impact exercises that allow them to flow without overexertion.
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