An Ayurvedic Perspective on Exercise

written by: Susan Bowes, Owner – Tattva’s Herbs

yoga poseAs with any health issue, Ayurveda bases its instructions on the person, and the particular doshas that dominate that individual. Exercise should be in harmony with one’s specific constitution. For instance, those with high Kapha can take on the most strenuous exercise programs, whereas people with Pitta dominating can take some intense exercise, but not  extremely strenuous and intense all the time. Aerobic exercise, swimming, biking and fast walking are all positive ways of expending energy for Pitta and Kapha types. Those with Vata dominating usually have a strong desire to do strenuous activities such as jogging, jumping, lifting weights, etc. but should actually avoid these, and practice a gentler form of exercise like yoga, stretching, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Walking is a safe and practical form of exercise for people of any constitution.

Ayurveda instructs that healthy individuals should practice a workout that is half of one’s capacity (very different from the western attitude of pushing one’s self to the limit) One should exercise until sweat appears on the forehead, under the armpits, and up and down the spinal column, but once reaching that point, maintain for a short time, then slow down. This amount of exercise improves digestion by stimulating the gastric fire, induces relaxation, and promotes sound sleep. Sweating helps the body release toxins, control weight gain, and makes you feel good. Over exercising may cause breathlessness, dehydration, and can cause or increase pain in the muscles of the body.

So, as we can see – a lot of this information is based on common sense. We need to stay in tune to our bodys’ needs, and work to improve health, balance and tranquility in all the aspects of our lives.

One thought on “An Ayurvedic Perspective on Exercise

  1. You will find that there are many benefits of aerobic exercise which you will want to explore as much as possible. Those who are looking to get in shape will need to consider doing certain aerobic exercises which can help with losing weight and slimming down. The great thing about this type of exercise is that there are so many different ways you can do it, so you can change it up every once in a while. If you are determined to shed some of those extra pounds, you will definitely want to take the time to see what your options are when it comes to aerobic exercise.;

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