The best exercises for the Kapha dosha
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.
The best exercise for Kapha
Kapha types naturally enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle and, although they often have excellent stamina, they can be reluctant to expend energy.
In order to get a Kapha really fired up, they need to get a sweat on and generate some heat without feeling pressurised. Their excellent stamina means that they are able to sustain longer periods of physical activity. So, exercises that will gradually improve body temperature but that aren’t too competitive are ideal.
Exercises such as swimming, long-distance walking, trampolining and a gentle jog are good options. Visiting a sauna after exercise can also be very beneficial for a Kapha type as it helps them sweat out any accumulated toxins whilst also firing up their internal body temperature. If this isn’t possible, try a massage with warming, invigorating massage oils after a warm shower.
Exercising or practising in the outdoors can really help all three dosha connect with nature and help combat stress, anxiety and depression. So, 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.
3 hero herbs for fitness, strength and recovery
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.
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.
Author: Jo Webber
Head of Herbal Education
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
Years of experience:
20 years as a Hatha yoga teacher/ayurvedic practitioner
Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association