Top Ayurveda Exercise Benefits and Tips

By Yoganosh Staff|

Ayurveda exercises and the benefits of living an Ayurvedic lifestyle have been known for thousands of years, however modern interest has brought this "science of life" back to the fore and Ayurveda is recognized as a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. For many good reasons, a growing number of physicians are recommending this holistic, mind-body approach to health and wellness, which places a particular emphasis on correcting mind-body imbalances and on diet, herbs, essential oils, exercise, yoga, and massage.

To understand how to exercise the Ayurveda way, here is some more Ayurveda 101: According to the experts, each of us at our core has a particular physical, psychological, and emotional makeup. This basic constitution falls under one of three body types or "doshas": Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. And yet despite certain similarities, no two people are ever the same! For this reason, a basic tenet of Ayurveda is that to be effective, all health plans, diets, exercise regimens, and lifestyle guides must be custom-designed to suit each person's one-of-a-kind dosha.

Take the Dosha Quiz

If you come from the fitness world, you have likely come across the term 'body type,' in the context of describing a person's size and shape ( mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph). However, the Ayurveda concept of body types differs greatly and is based on personal traits, temperaments, and living practices. To determine your dominant dosha, take the Dosha Quiz. Then you are ready to make informed choices about which exercises your body needs to stay in balance and which activities to shy away from. In all instances, physical activity should be an integral part of your daily routine.

How to Exercise the Ayurveda Way

Recognizing that over-exercising is damaging to the human body, the 'science of life' advocates the practice of 'Balaardh,' where only half of one's physical capacity is used initially, and where the workout regimen gradually intensifies as you build strength and stamina. This will help you stick with your exercise program longer as you won't burn out, get injured, or stop exercising all together. In other words, the rule of thumb is: Listen to your body!

Ayurveda Exercise Tips

Here are some more top tips from the experts:

  • Customize your exercise routine to suit your body type or dosha
  • Dosha-friendly workouts help you enjoy exercising more and still reap all the benefits
  • Early morning is the best time of day to exercise as it boosts energy levels and helps you achieve peak performance during the day
  • Avoid exercising in the evening as it can disturb your sleep and ability to settle down
  • To aid digestion, do not exercise right after meals or on an empty stomach. If you wait three hours after consuming a large meal, you give your body time to absorb the nutrients properly
  • Before exercising, try a warm oil massage called "abhyanga," which improves circulation and helps eliminate toxins
  • Practice balaardh, using only half your strength when you start working out and increasing duration and intensity over time
  • Choose physical activities that you enjoy and are most likely to stick to
  • Pay attention to your breathing while you work out, which provides many systemic benefits
  • Add yoga to your daily workout routine, as it aids in digestion, lightens the body, and lowers resistance to physical discomfort
  • Pay attention to weather and seasons, exercising more in the winter and spring and decreasing exertion levels during the hot summer
  • If you feel energized and uplifted, you are doing the right amount of exercise; if you feel exhausted, breathless, depleted, or overly strained, you are going beyond what your body wants and needs and you should adjust accordingly

Benefits of an Ayurveda Workout

When you adhere to the Ayurvedic approach and customize your exercise routine to balance your dosha, you reap the following physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits:

  • You increase digestive system efficiency
  • You burn digestive impurities (ama)
  • You enjoy a healthy appetite with a balanced metabolism
  • You improve circulation
  • You increase prana, the life force, allowing for deeper breathing
  • You increase immunity to disease
  • You do away with stiffness and heaviness
  • You experience greater lightness, ease, and flexibility
  • You enjoy better coordination
  • You eradicate fatigue
  • You enhance levels of fitness and endurance
  • You improve posture
  • You improve muscle tone
  • You slow down the aging process
  • You enjoy a renewed sense of energy and vitality
  • You notice greater focus, concentration, and mental alertness
  • You experience more stable emotions
  • You have greater self-awareness
  • Your ability to handle stress improves
  • You enjoy an enhanced sense of self-esteem

Now that you've discovered for yourself the benefits of exercising for your body type, check out the Aryuveda approach to diet, stress management, the use of herbs, essential oils, yoga, massage, and even colors and gems. Learn which are personally suitable for your dosha, make informed decisions for your health, and enjoy living in harmony with the world's natural rhythms and with yourself.

Yoganosh Staff

Yoganosh Staff

We are a team of published writers, adventurous travelers, and academics dedicated to enforcing an honest lifestyle of yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation.

Top Ayurveda Exercise Benefits and Tips
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