Yoga for You

Oct 8, 2015 | Yoga

Ayurveda offers a complete system of healing body, mind, and soul. It is literally translated as the science of life; not the science of just the physical body. One of the many differences between Ayurveda and other medicinal practices is that Ayurveda does NOT teach that what may be good for one person is good for every person. In fact, it prescribes exactly the opposite.

Ayurveda takes on a holistic way of healing each individual on a very specific, and custom tailored approach. For example, what may heal a stomach ulcer in a person with a Vata imbalance could actually inflame a stomach ulcer in someone who tends to have a very high Pitta imbalance.

The ancient Ayurvedic texts and current Ayurvedic practitioners understand these differences, and prescribe unique therapies to heal and prevent illness in different people. Each of us has our own unique composition of the three doshas at birth, and with Ayurvedic therapy, we are able to balance the doshas to restore our mental, physical, and spiritual health to it’s original state.

The type of yoga that we practice is no different than my stomach ulcer example. Yoga is more than an exercise class. Yoga is a lifestyle: meant to balance any doshic imbalances to restore peace of mind and body. Not every type of yoga will be good for every person. All too often, when taking on a yoga practice, we gravitate towards the type of yoga that will further feed our imbalances. Rather than restoring balance and peace, we create chaos.

What types of Yoga Asana practices are most beneficial to you?

Vata Dosha – Characterized by a fast paced lifestyle, a person who is prone to Vata imbalances speaks fast, moves fast, is prone to anxiety, scanty weight, depression, and loneliness. This individual will often gravitate towards a yoga practice that feeds this fast paced mindset. Instead, they should stick with a practice of slow, deliberate movements, longer holds, and calm mind. This practice will act as a moving, grounding meditation for a predominantly Vata individual. A balanced state of mind is the goal of a practice for Vata Dosha. Suggested asanas for Vata: tree pose, mountain pose, warrior I and II, and a 15 – 20 minute savasana.

Pitta Dosha – Pitta is the dosha of fire; often characterized by excess heat in the body. Prone to acidity, aggressive or bad tempered behavior, and prone to acne, this person will be drawn to a competitive yoga practice. Instead, they should stick with a practice of slow, deliberate movements, longer holds, and calm mind that acts as a moving meditation. While some Vata or Kapha individuals may find that a hot yoga practice is the most balancing for them, hot yoga is a BIG no-no for Pittas. Suggested asanas for Pitta: pigeon, camel, cobra, bow, and tree pose.

Kapha Dosha – People who tend to be predominantly Kapha dosha are often lethargic, slow, and overweight when out of balance. Naturally, these individuals will gravitate towards a slow and steady yoga practice. Instead, they should go for a heating, aerobic style of practice to balance the heaviness and lethargy of their Kapha constitution. Suggested asanas for Kapha: fast paced sun salutations, backbends, and any balancing posture held for longer than 20 breaths.

The most important thing to remember when entering into a yoga practice is that INTENTION  is everything. Your body will go where your mind goes, and vice versa, so even if you’re practicing the “right” postures and styles of yoga to balance Vata, if your mind is still moving at 1,000 miles a minute, your practice will not have the balancing effect that you desire and need. Setting intention of movement, breath, and mind is the only way to achieve the balance that you seek from a yoga practice. Namasté.

Still not sure what your dominant dosha is? Or how you should adjust your yoga practice to heal your body and mind? Sign up for our {100% FREE} Ayurveda Challenge and find out!