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The best exercises for your dosha

The benefits of regular exercise are well known; it can help reduce the onset of major degenerative conditions such as heart disease and diabetes whilst also improving mental health and reducing the risk of suffering from anxiety and depression. However, not everybody is suited to sweating it out in the gym or running a marathon.

In fact, undertaking exercise that is not suited to your body type doesn’t always benefit us and can leave us feeling exhausted and or run the risk of injury. 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 dosha quiz to find out.

Here is a little insight into what types of exercise are most suited to each dosha:

  • Vata  types often have thin and delicate body frames and benefit from strengthening and balancing exercises such as yoga or brisk walking.
  • Pitta  types are the natural athletes and are often found challenging themselves and pushing themselves to the limit. But they can get bored easily, and so benefit from the fun and creative exercise.
  • Kapha  types really benefit from getting a sweat on. They are able to sustain longer periods of metabolic activity as they have excellent stamina. They might find exercises such as swimming and trampolining fun.

As well as physical exercise, 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.

Remember, we’re all a mixture of the three  doshas  so we’ll show characteristics of each but one or two will tend to dominate. If two  doshas  are dominant for you, you can read both articles or be guided by the seasons.

For example,  Vata dosha  is more likely to get aggravated when the season's change in spring and autumn Pitta   dosha  in summer  and  Kapha   dosha  is late winter and early spring . So take extra care to balance these  doshas  at these times of the year.

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