5 Day Challenge to Nourish Your Mind, Body and Soul
Discover a powerful daily routine that will boost your energy and help you feel vibrant in 5 simple steps!
✓ The importance of living in harmony with the rhythms of nature
✓ How to tune your body to the natural circadian rhythm and create lasting healthy habits
✓ Understand your Ayurvedic mind-body type for healthy happier life
✓ A morning Yoga class to practice in the comfort of your own home
✓ A Delicious Ayurvedic recipe to nourish your mind, body & soul
How to Practice Yoga for Your Mind-Body Type to Maximize the Benefits of Yoga
As with food and lifestyle, it is also important to practice Yoga according to your Mind-Body Type or Dosha to maximize the benefits of Yoga and Ayurvedic lifestyle. This will help create your optimal physical, mental, and emotional health.
It’s particularly important to practice specific Yoga poses and sequences to balance the Doshas and the Five Elements (Air, Ether (or Space), Fire, Water and Earth) when your are in an unbalanced state due to different lifestyle factors.
What are the 5 Elements and the Doshas?
Every individual is made of a combination of Five Elements, Air, Ether (or Space), Fire, Water and Earth and these elements combine in the human body to form three Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Doshas are the energies believed to circulate in the body and mind that make up every individual, which perform different physiological functions in the body and mental process. The differing portions of these Doshas determine an individual’s characteristics and physical constitution.
Akhanda Yoga Approach
I originally trained in Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga but recently I was blessed to study the link between Yoga & Ayurveda in India from a Himalayan Master Yogrishi Vishvketu who designed Akhanda Yoga and Ayurveda Yoga, in which I’m now trained to teach.
In the West, many people practice Yoga as a purely physical practice.
Akhanda means whole, complete and indivisible. Akhanda Yoga includes missing elements that many modern Yoga classes fail to include, such as philosophy, Pranayama (breathing exercise) meditation and sound work (chanting mantra).
The Akhanda Yoga approach emphasizes a balanced class including a full repertoire of Yoga techniques. All Akhanda Yoga classes are structured systematically yet artfully to align the physical, energetic, mental/emotional and intuitive self through the five elements of practice and the five energetic principles.
Yoga Sequence for Balancing Doshas
Many of my Yoga classes in Eat Live Yoga Online are designed specifically for each Dosha and start with a short sequence called Gayatri Kriya, which is designed to balance all Doshas.
Gayatri Kriya is a 20 minute sequence and it’s a great sequence to practice in the morning if you are short on time, but still benefit from the balancing the Doshas and the Five Elements.
Integrating Ayurveda into Your Yoga Practice
Each Dosha often has a tendency towards a particular style of Yoga or exercise in general – but what they often need is the complete opposite to what they actually want!
If you continue practicing Yoga that is not suitable for your Dosha, especially when your Dosha is out of balance, it might lead to a long-term imbalance in your mind & body.
Yoga for Vata
The natural tendency for Vata types is to focus on air and space qualities and love movement and flowing poses, such as Vinyasa Yoga.
But what Vata needs the most is slow, grounding and calming practice, where you hold the poses and move mindfully through sequences such as slow paced sun salutations.
Recommended Vata Postures
- Grounding & Stability: Standing postures
- Heating internal organs and lower back: Forward bends and gentle backbends on the belly
- Forward bends are also great for calming the nervous system
- Digestive & Circulatory system: Inversions
- Digestive system & nervous system: Spinal twists
- Quieting the mind: Balancing postures
- Focus on pelvis, hip & thigh areas to release tension
Example Yoga Postures for Vata
- Downward Facing Dog: A grounding posture
- Wide Knee Child Pose: Hip opening, releases tension physically & emotionally
- Revolved Lunge Pose: Good for digestive system & nervous system
- Side Plank Variation: Helps quieten the mind
Yoga for Pitta
Pitta types are usually drawn to vigorous and energizing postures, such as dynamic Vinyasa Yoga and hot Yoga.
They tend to become too involved in precise or competitive aspects of physical Yoga practice instead of experiencing the benefits and joy of movement. Therefore they are best cultivating balance through cooling, nurturing and joyful practice.
Recommended Pitta Postures
- Release excess heat: Forward bends and inversions such as shoulderstands
- Liver and bile cleansing: Side bends & seated spinal twists
- Release tension from the mid-abdomen, small intestine and liver: Gentle backbends
- Calming: Spinal twists
Example Yoga Postures for Pitta
- Standing Forward Bend: Cooling
- Moon Pose: Liver and bile cleansing
- Locust Pose: Release tension from the mid-abdomen
- Shoulderstand: Cooling
Yoga for Kapha
Kapha tend to be sedentary and rarely motivated to pursue physical activities and prefer grounding, slow, calming Yoga such as Yin Yoga.
But what Kapha types need the most is stimulating and challenging practice. Dynamic style of Yoga is great for Kapha.
Recommended Kapha Postures
- Flowing movements and flowing sequence such as sun salutation
- Stimulation and heating: Stronger and challenging postures that increases heart rate and strengthening core (hold for a longer period of time)
- Building heat & energy while opening the lungs: Backbends
- Detoxifying – invigorates the lungs and the digestive system: Spinal twist
- Stimulate thyroid and lymphatic circulation and feeling of lightness: Inversion (be careful with inversions if overweight as it can cause strain on the cervical spine)
Example Yoga Postures for Kapha
- Side Plank: Strengthening
- Chair Pose: Creates heat
- High Lunge Crescent: Builds heat & energy
- Standing forward bend: Heats the chest