Does your exercise correspond with your constitution?

Ayurveda teaches us to think and feel in terms of the elements of nature — fire, earth, water, space and air.

by Dr. Meghana Thanki — 

Most of us would agree that exercising can be a very important part of daily life. It gives us a chance to move energy, release stored-up tension, process and digest our experiences, and slip into a meditative space. The only problem is that often we fall into patterns of moving our bodies without taking a step back to consider the impact the various types of exercise have on our bodies.

Ayurveda teaches us to think and feel in terms of the elements of nature — fire, earth, water, space and air. For example, when we get angry, the fire element plays a role in our emotions and correlates to the pitta dosha; or when we feel heavy or tired, the earth element is predominant and relates to the kapha dosha.

People with a predominant vata constitution, who cannot sit still or stay focused, should try to participate in more grounding forms of exercise, such as gentle yoga or an early morning walk. For pitta individuals, who are generally high-strung and get heated easily, swimming would be beneficial, since it is cooling and meditative at the same time.

Kaphas tend to be more sluggish, wanting to postpone the gym; therefore regular aerobic exercise, such as hiking, bicycling and other invigorating workouts, is best.

Try giving your exercise routine a makeover and see how you feel. Take it to the next level and explore how each form of exercise works for you by understanding the different elements and their respective energetics.

 

Dr. Meghana Thanki is a naturopathic doctor who is trained in Ayurveda and co-creator of Ayurzona — An Integrative Wellness Center in Oldtown Scottsdale. www.ayurzona.com, meghana@ayurzona.com  or 480-425-ZONA (9662).

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 6, December 2007/January 2008.

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