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Exercise and Ayurveda


Regular exercise increases the body's stamina and resistance to disease by facilitating the immune system, clearing all channels, promoting circulation & waste disposal, and destroying fat. Exercise, too, should be in harmony with the specific constitution. Kapha individuals can perform the most strenuous exercise, pitta a medium amount and vata the gentlest. Aerobics, swimming, fast walking and biking are all good exercise for pitta and kapha but not for vata.
Vata tends to love jumping and jogging, but exercises like yoga, stretching and Tai Chi are better choices. For people with serious vata and pitta disorders and for those whose age is over 80 or under 10, exercise should be very gentle.

Walking is probably the best exercise of all for any constitution.

Even for a healthy individual, Ayurveda suggests a workout that is one-half of one's capacity, just until sweat appears on the forehead, under the arms and along the spinal column.

This amount of exercise stimulates gastric fire, improves digestion and relieves constipation, as well as inducing relaxation and sound sleep. Sweating helps to eliminate toxins, reduce fat and make you feel good. Over-exercising may cause dehydration and breathlessness, even chest pain and muscle aches, eventually leading to arthritis, sciatica or heart conditions.

Yoga exercise increases muscular strength, reduces tension and stress, has a low potential for injury, is non-competitive, has spiritual and psychological benefits, and a 5000 year track record.