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Yoga According to Dosha – Vata, Pitta and Kapha

Ayurveda is based on three dosha (predominant qualities of a person) i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These three type of personalities have unique way of yoga practice. They are in charge of movement, transformation, and stability in the body and principally symbolize the wind, fire, and water elements. Similar to nutrition, lifestyle, and herbal recommendations, asana advice is also offered to a person based on their dominant dosha. Ayurveda guides us in selecting the asana practice that best complements our natural tendencies. It encourages the idea that each person has a distinct physical make-up and mental temperament.  As a result, everyone will have distinct requirements. No one diet or way of living or practice can be equally suitable to everyone.

Yoga According to Dosha – How to Practice Yoga for Vata Constitution

Yoga According to Dosha – Vata’s tendency toward dryness causes arthritis and tight joints. They therefore require greater asana practice than any other dosha type. People of Vata nature tend to be stiff in the mornings and in the winter, therefore they should warm themselves well to enhance circulation and mobility.

Overly active asana practices like Vinyasa should be avoided. They could pick a grounded yoga style instead, one that emphasizes holding poses and moving through them carefully and mindfully.

Vata has a propensity to build up in the colon. They should perform various varieties of spinal motions, including twisting and side bending, to release it.

Forward-bending poses, such as the Head-to-Knee Pose-restorative Variation (Janu Sirshasana) and the Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana), are very calming for the mind and can help reduce vata.

Even inversions assist in releasing too much vata.

Standing balance poses that encourage stability and mental equilibrium, such as Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Tree Pose (Vrksasana) (pictured below), and Fierce Posture (Utkatasana), are excellent for balancing vata.

Advanced balancing poses, such as Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana), are especially beneficial for Vata individuals because they make them concentrate and focus their attention at one location rather than scattering their thoughts.

Time and place:  Vata requires warmth, therefore they should practice in a cozy space that is not damp or cold. In the early hours of the morning, their physique might be overly rigid. The hours between dawn and ten in the morning are ideal for practice.

Vata types should concentrate on gaining muscle and strength. Their joints tend to be hypermobile and more susceptible to damage because air (Vata) is light and mobile by nature. They should mostly take it easy and savor each moment.

How to Practice Yoga for Pitta Constitution

Pitta contains some water but primarily represents the fire element.

For instance, because it is “fire in a liquid form,” the hydrochloric acid in our stomach is a pitta product.

Fire produces heat and light, which warms us, digests our food, improves our mental clarity, and heightens our perception.

When pitta is overactive, it can cause fever, inflammation, or ulcers in the body.

We become more prone to emotional issues like irritability and anger.

Pitta people have a propensity for being extremely focused and passionate about their work, which makes them fierce competitors.

Pitta personalities frequently perspire due to interior heat.

They must therefore calm down their practice by taking frequent rests.

Pitta is competitive, thus they must restrain their desire to outperform everyone at asanas. Yoga asanas with a partner might be very advantageous to them.

They must take care to prevent their practice from turning into an Ironman exercise since they are aggressive. People should be aware of their tendency to be self-critical.

The large intestine and the midsection of our bodies are home to fire. Cobra Position (Bhujangasana), Bow Pose (Dhanurasana), and Camel Pose (Ustrasana), which have a cooling effect as we come out of them, are examples of gentle backbends that are not held for very long.

In moderation, intense backbends are beneficial but can aggravate pitta. Thus it’s best to repeat them a few times than to hold them for too long.

The majority of seated poses, such as Bent Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana) (shown below), Completed Posture (Siddhasana), and Hero’s Pose (Virasana), reduce pitta.

Yoga Seal (Yogamudrasana), in particular, is particularly effective at calming the fire element. All forward bends are.

Pitta benefits from nurturing and cooling practices like Sitali pranayama as well as inversions like Plow Pose (Halasana).

Yet, due to their extra pitta and already high levels of irritability, headstand pose (Sirsasana) is not advised for them.

Time: When the sun is at its strongest, people with pitta constitutions shouldn’t practice. The finest times are in the cool morning and evening.

A pitta-reducing practice should be evenly spaced out with regular rest and deep breathing breaks. Keep in mind that pitta causes excessive perspiration, which can lead to electrolyte loss or dehydration. Pitta personalities should practice moderation and concentrate on cooling off.

How to Practice Yoga for Kapha Constitution

The cohesion or putting objects together attribute of Kapha is represented by the water and earth elements. It stands for steadiness, weight, and cold. Our organs’ mucous membrane contains it, and it even lubricates our joints. In terms of our physical health, it nourishes us and keeps us alive. It produces mental peace and warmth on an emotional level. However, when consumed in excess, it might result in weight gain. physical indolence, a propensity for becoming overly attached, and narrow-mindedness. Because of their stability and well-established joints, kaphas benefit from alignment-based therapies.

Their strong bones also indicate that they should move extremely slowly and refrain from forcing themselves into difficult postures. They should not strive to be thin or agile like Vata types, but rather accept the weight of the earth and the water.

Kapha types can practice the vigorous vinyasa styles, but they must progressively and steadily increase their ability. Sudden, intense workouts can be harmful for Kapha because of their propensity for obstruction and heart problems.

Their cold nature also requires warmth. As a result, they must incorporate vigorous exercises that raise internal temperature. But they need to exercise caution and patience. The thighs and midsection are where Kapha tends to congregate. If there is no cardiac problem, they do well with vinyasa yoga or Nauli Kriya. It’s okay to practice forward bends in moderation. They also have a propensity for being lazy. With continual movement during a yoga practice, Kapha can overcome this. Maintaining their attention and interest can be achieved by interspersing complex poses.

Most backbends, including Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana), Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III), Headstand and Forearm Stand Pose (Pincha Mayurasana), and One-Legged King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), are excellent for lowering Kapha. Kapha types can hold their backbends for a longer period of time than pitta types can.

Time: For them, morning and evening practices are appropriate. But because they take their time getting up, the sooner they begin, the better. To get going, they could require a cup of coffee or tea and one or more obnoxious alarm clocks.

Kapha types should focus on improving their mobility and stamina. The extra earth element causes them to move less and regularly solidify their commitment to their current way of life. They find change to be challenging. During practice, they can modify by often altering their posture.

The most intense or dynamic variations of Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara) are advised for Kapha-type people. However, kids need to practice often and gradually increase their endurance. Sun Salutations should be performed slowly and steadily by vata and pitta. Pitta must watch their workload and make sure to take appropriate breaks. Vata types should make sure they hold the position longer than they go in and out of it.

How To Practice Yoga With The Seasons

Additionally, we must keep in mind that the doshas are never static and that their impact on us is constantly shifting. The body and mind are always interacting with each other and reacting to changes in our surroundings, the seasons, our way of life, and any illnesses or maladies. For instance, a Kapha-reducing practice can help us, regardless of our constitution, if we have a cold and congestion. Or we shouldn’t take a vinyasa class that emphasizes constant movement if we’ve been traveling and in the air for many hours. We won’t get anywhere but more lost.

Listen To Your Body

The fact that these ideas are so simple to understand is a plus. All we have to do is pay attention to our bodies and our intuition. Problems arise when we persistently push our bodies against their wants and desires in one direction. Injury, exhaustion, boredom, and poor performance are all indicators that we are acting contrary to our innate nature or constitution. Determine what makes you feel happy, energized, and relaxed and adhere to it regularly rather than following the crowd or the newest fad. In order to achieve a balance between the body and mind by attending to the specific requirements of our individual temperament on a given day, that is exactly how Ayurveda approaches yoga.

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