Understanding your Ayurvedic body-mind type, or dosha can really help you to determine what type and intensity of exercise will be of most benefit for you and will actually leave you feeling good.
In Ayurveda, there are three different body types or constitutions known as doshas: kapha, pitta and vata which can be defined by particular patterns of behaviour and physical characteristics. If you don't know what your dosha is, take our quiz to find out.
Pitta types are the natural athletes and are often found challenging themselves and pushing themselves to the limit.
Pitta types thrive in competitive sports environments and love to be the best. But they can get bored easily, and so benefit from fun, creative exercises that have a clear end goal. Pitta’s are not afraid of a challenging gym class or taking on a marathon for example, so exercises such as sprinting, cycling or regular high-intensity gym workouts can really help a pitta to let off all the accumulated steam from the day.
However, pitta types are naturally hot and fiery. So, whilst it’s beneficial for them to expel some excess heat, they need to counteract this afterwards by perhaps having a cool shower or massaging themselves with cooling oils such as coconut oil to help ground them.
It's also important for this mind-body type not to exercise outdoors in the hottest part of the day in summer, as this can be aggravating for pitta dosha. Exercising or practising in the outdoors can really help all three dosha connect with nature and help combat stress, anxiety and depression.
It's also important for all dosha types to consider mental exercise too. Meditative practice and breathing exercises help to calm the mind and improve oxygen supply to the brain. And it's very important to take time out of our busy lifestyles to focus on our mental health.
Red ginseng is a powerhouse of energy. An excellent choice for that pre-workout boost. It builds core energy levels through boosting adrenal strength, increases oxygen availability to the muscles supporting recovery and repair and has a mild stimulant effect improving endurance. Try Pukka's Ginseng Matcha Green tea.
Both matcha and green tea boost our metabolic rate and are the perfect option for before, during and after exercise. They also improve cognitive functioning, so can be helpful in keeping us motivated. If you are into more endurance sports such as long-distance walking, then keeping a hot flask of matcha or green tea will help keep you energised and mentally motivated. Try Pukka Lean Matcha Green tea or Turmeric Gold tea.
Turmeric can be helpful in helping the body recover and reduce any built-up inflammation. Turmeric also boosts metabolic rate and increases circulation and heart rate. It’s an excellent alternative to reaching for a conventional painkiller to alleviate muscular tension or pain.
As a BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Jo is passionate about bringing these two ancient sciences together to help people feel empowered about their health. Jo has put her post-graduate certificate in education to good use, co-founding the Ayurveda academy to help others learn of the wonders of Ayurveda. Jo has also earned a Masters degree in human sciences from Oxford University and has taught in several schools
BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher
20 years as a Hatha yoga teacher/ayurvedic practitioner
Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association