Vata-Pitta-Kapha Balancing Yoga
Understanding Vata-Pitta-Kapha Dosha
comprises of the elements of ether and air, pitta
of fire and water, and kapha
of earth and water. It is rare for an individual to have a fairly equal balance of all three doshas, known as a tridoshic
constitution. Individuals with a tridoshic constitution tend to enjoy the best of health, but physical and psychological problems can arise as a result of aggravation of any of the doshas.
The ideal balance of doshas to promote wellbeing is best maintained through a lifestyle that includes a well-rounded yoga program. The integration of yoga practice with an Ayurvedic lifestyle helps to free up your movements, support digestion, and soothe the nervous system. The regular practice of yoga asanas also has a positive influence on various bodily functions as it facilitates the elimination of bodily wastes and ama
or toxins. At the same time, the meditative practices and pranayamas
or breathing exercises that are part of yoga have a calming influence that helps build self-awareness.
Choosing The Right Asanas
Choosing the right asanas for a tridoshic constitution is actually pretty straightforward, as you need to include a mix of various types of asanas to keep your program well-rounded. The approach is basically the same as with healthy eating – you need a blend of every nutrient in moderation. On a regular basis, your yoga routine should follow a moderate pace with a good mix of standing and inverted poses, forward and back bends, but it will need to be tweaked in case signs of any dosha
’s aggravation arise. Your regular tridoshic yoga balancing routine should include:
- Meditative asanas that have an emphasis on balance and focus
- Non-strenuous but challenging asanas that should be held for longer durations
- Pranayamas or breathing exercises that encourage deep relaxation
The Best Asanas for Vata-Pitta-Kapha Balance
Stretching asanas are recommended for all dosha types and should be included in any warm up routine. However, based on tridoshic yoga recommendations, there are certain poses that should be included in any routine to keep it balanced and comprehensive.
Some of the best asanas for a tridoshic yoga routine would include the Surya Namaskar, Balasana (Child pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra pose), Downward dog (Adho mukha
shvanasana), Sirshanasa (Headstand), Sarvanghasana (Shoulderstand), Halasana (Plow pose), Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge pose), Meru Wakrasana (Simple spinal twist), Matsyasana (Fish pose), Paschimothanasana (Seated forward bend), Salabhasana (Locust pose), Dhanurasana (Bow pose), Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half spinal twist), Pada Hastasana (Hand under foot pose), Trikonasana (Triangle pose), and Shavasana (Corpse pose). When planning your own yoga routine, just make sure to include a mix of asanas that represents every type.
Don’t forget that the optimal amount of physical activity varies for every individual. Ayurvedic texts emphasize the importance of physical activity and exercise, but they also warn against over exertion. Yoga routines that are too strenuous will defeat the purpose, causing depletion of ojas
, the substance that strengthens immunity. If you ever experience discomfort or pain when moving into or holding an asana
, stop immediately. Yoga is meant for individuals of any fitness level, so if you aren’t ready for a particular asana, you can look for simpler variations of the same asana. Most importantly, consistency and discipline are absolutely essential. This is more important than the duration of your yoga sessions, so make it a point to practice yoga daily even if just for ten minutes!
- Lad, Vasant. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Three Rivers Press, 1999.
- Tiwari, Maya. Love Your Body Type The Ayurveda Way. 1st ed., Mother Om Media, 2012.
- Frawley, David, et al. Yoga for Your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your Asana Practice. New Age Books, 2003.
The information on this page has been contributed by Nishtha Bijlani, RYT (500 Hrs, Yoga Alliance) and is intended for the sole use of Allayurveda. Information contained within this article may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of Allayurveda.