How to Use Ayurveda to Enhance Your Yoga
As yogis, we are always striving to improve our practices and find more holistic ways to take care of our bodies.
If you haven’t gotten into Ayurveda yet, now is a great time to start.
Ayurveda is a natural healing system that is thousands of years old, and it can be used to further understand the energies of the body, starting with the three doshas.
The Three Doshas
In Ayurveda, there are three doshas, which are the energies that the universe manifests in individuals and make up each individual’s constitution, or prakruti.
Earthly elements are used to describe the doshas.
You can use an understanding of the doshas and how to balance them to both enhance your yoga and increase your bodily mindfulness.
Vata dosha is the “movement” dosha. It governs our bodily functions that involve motion, like our cardiovascular systems.
Vata dosha is comprised of the earthly elements of air and ether (the energy that connects all things).
Pitta dosha governs our metabolic systems and regulates our body temperatures.
Pitta dosha is energy that is described as fire and water, and it is a very intense energy.
Made up of earth and water, Kapha dosha is the energy that makes up our flesh and bodily fluids.
Kapha dosha is stable and heavy, and is therefore a slow energy.
Asanas for Each Dosha
People often use one dosha to explain their primary energy, but we have all three doshas within us — they make up our individual prakrutis.
When combining yoga and the Ayurvedic doshas, you will want to choose asanas that will balance and compliment your primary dosha (find out what dosha you are here).
Asanas for Vata Dosha
Because Vata dosha is energy in motion, people with primarily Vata constitutions need to do yoga poses that are grounding and calming to combat the tendency for those with Vata constitutions to become anxious.
These asanas also should be warming, because Vata is made of air and ether (not fire). Some asanas that balance Vata doshas are:
- Balasana (child’s pose)
- Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
- Dhanurasana (bow pose)
- Savasana (corpse pose)
Asanas for Pitta Dosha
In order to balance a Pitta dosha constitution, asanas that are cooling and calming are a necessity.
People who are of a primarily Pitta dosha constitution are more prone to anger, so balancing asanas are especially important.
Some asanas that calm and cool Pitta doshas are:
Asanas for Kapha Dosha
Kapha dosha is slow and heavy, so to balance a Kapha dosha, it is important to emphasize asanas that are active and heating.
These asanas will help keep those with a primarily Kapha constitution from becoming depressed or overweight:
By keeping your dosha in mind when you practice yoga, you will be able to better control your energies for a more balanced disposition in your daily life.
See you on the mat, yogis!
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