Yoga for Your Dosha

Kapha Dosha Yoga Tips

The main qualities of kapha are unctuous, cool, heavy, slow, smooth, soft and stable. It is also dense, cloudy and viscous. A yoga practice for a kapha individual should be one creating space, stimulation, warmth and buoyancy. Kapha types have the most stamina and strength of all the doshas, but when out of balance, suffer from lethargy and excess weight. If you are predominantly kapha, a stimulating, energizing yoga practice is ideal. It's important to challenge yourself and create heat in your body, to counter kapha's natural tendency to feel cold and sluggish. Move through your flow sequences quickly (though always with conscious awareness) to lighten and warm your body. Most of the standing poses are invigorating, especially if you hold them for a longer time. Try maintaining your asanas for up to 20 breaths. Back bends are also heating, helping to open the chest and circulate the life-giving energy of prana throughout the body. 

Doing your yoga in the early morning hours of kapha (6-10am) will help keep you more energized and motivated throughout the day. At the beginning or end of your practice, you can practice bhastrika or bellows breath, which cleanses the body and energizes the digestive system. Kaphas can cultivate all of this by following some basic guidelines:

 

  • Practice at a vigorous pace and intensity.

  • Focus on the subtlety of the pose and how it creates an expansive presence in the body and energy field.

  • Practice in a warm space.

  • Use a strong forceful breath during practice.

  • When you are ready to release the pose, take one more breath.

  • Keep your chest and shoulders open and lifted as you practice.

  • Have a sharp upward gaze.

  • Feel a sense of lightness in your poses.

  • Pause for a moment between your inhalations and exhalations.

  • Challenge yourself.

  • Keep moving. Have short resting periods between poses.

  • Enjoy a restorative pose for final relaxation.

  • Be precise in your poses.

  • Pay close attention to your alignment.

  • Dont give up!

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Yoga Tips For Pitta

Pitta types tend to have the best focus and determination of the three Ayurvedic types. Because of their natural physical abilities, in yoga, a Pitta constitution is able to have a very disciplined practice once oriented correctly. To start, Pitta person must understand their strengths and limitations. In general, Pitta tend to overheat, become irritable, and may even lack the patience to get started with the practice. Because of their determination, they may even overdue postures, becoming aggressive with themselves, and they tend stick to poses they can do well while ignoring the ones that they are most in need of to develop further.

According to Ayurveda a Pitta person will do best with a practice that is balancing. Pittas should perform asanas that are cooling, nurturing, expansive and relaxing. In a practice, this requires relaxing breaths and quiet sitting between strong asanas, releasing any stress that has developed. This doesn’t mean that they cannot do any strong practices, but if they do, they should make sure to compensate for any heat created by ending with cooling postures and Pranayama.

Those people with an imbalance in Pitta dosha tend to suffer from excess heat in their bodies. Calming and cooling poses which extend the soar plexus (where pitta resides) helps balance this. Poses which extend the solar plexus help dissipate heat in the body, however its important not to fall for the temptation to over-cool pitta, our bellies should always be warm, but our heads cool. Pitta types tend to be good at asanas but can not do some of the poses Vata types find easy,  due do to their shorter bones.

In general, their practice should cool the head and blood, calm the heart and relieve tension. A yoga practice for a pitta individual should encourage compassion, acceptance, have a relaxed effort and be cooling in nature. Pittas can cultivate this by following some basic guidelines: 

  • Have fun in your poses. Do not take yourself or your pose too seriously. 
  • Enjoy movement in your poses. 
  • Soften your gaze downward, at the horizon or even practice with your eyes closed. 
  • Allow freedom and creativity in your practice. Change it up. Avoid sticking to one style or series of poses. 
  • Practice in a moderately cool space. You do not want to get cold, but pittas should avoid practicing in extremely heated spaces. 
  • Focus on the yoga experience in your body, not your brain. 
  • Work at 80% effort. 
  • Avoid being judgmental and critical of yourself. 
  • Make sure you have plenty of practice space. 
  • Remind yourself that yoga is not a competition. 
  • Focus on your exhalation. 
  • Use the exhalation to let go and release any built up anger, frustration, stress, etc. 
  • Be aware of your breath in your back body. 
  • Practice plenty of twists and side body openers. 
  • Notice the position of your ribs; draw them back into your body. 
  • Benefit from practicing at a moderate pace. 
  • Remind yourself that less is more.

For more information on how to balance pitta email us. We have loads of information we love to share!

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Tips for Vata Yoga

People with Vata derangement typically move quickly, sometimes with little awareness, and often push themselves harder than their bodies can take. Vata dosha is characterized by the qualities cold, mobility, lightness and expansiveness. A yoga practice for a Vata individual should be one creating warmth, serenity and nourishment. Vatas can cultivate this by following some basic guidelines:

  • Practice at a slow, smooth and steady pace.
  • Explore fluidity in your poses. Use gentle movements such as spinal and pelvic undulation, rotation in the joints, counter-poses, and flexion and extension.
  • Hold each posture for a short amount of time, but do multiple repetitions.
  • Draw into and move from your power center or hara. The hara is the area below the navel and above the pubic bone.
  • Focus on the foundation of the pose to create stability.
  • Internally rotate the femurs and press into the outer edges of your legs.
  • As you move, imagine you are moving through a substance like warm water or warm mud.
  • Focus on lengthening your inhalation.
  • Stay connected to the earth. Ground down through your big toes.
  • Fix your gaze below or at the horizon.
  • Engage your entire body by hugging your muscles to the bones.
  • Do not over extend or deplete yourself. Your practice should be strengthening, not draining. Vatas easily exhaust themselves and when the vata imbalance becomes severe, a restorative practice is best.
  • Be present in your practice.
  • Stay warm.
  • Conclude your practice with a long relaxation.

When Vata has gone out of balance, too much air has accumulated in the mind, body, environment. The result is a sense of un-groundedness. The best way to balance excess Vata is to bring more earth and stability into the physiology. Think relaxing.

  • Go to bed and awaken at the same time every day.
  • Meditate twice a day to quiet the mind.
  • Practice yoga to connect with your body.
  • Wear relaxing fragrances.
  • Eat three meals per day and favor, sweet, sour and salty taste.
  • Perform a slow daily self massage with warm Relaxing herbalized oils.
  • Drink Relaxing herbal tea.
  • Look for opportunities to create rhythm and routine in your life.
  • Finish things once you start them.