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Get Physical!

Different bodies need different types of exercise—so look for activities that balance your prakriti (nature or constitution), and avoid those that aggravate it. Your prakriti is composed of three doshas (humors): vata, pitta, and kapha. In most of us one is dominant and needs to be brought back into balance.

Vata
If “light, limber, and quick” describe the qualities of your body and mind, your dominant dosha is vata. Restless and impulsive, you dive into enthusiastic exercise plans and quickly exhaust yourself. You’re attracted to high-action sports requiring bursts of energy (like racquetball), but you need just the opposite: activities that require slow, rhythmic motion. Vata-balancing exercise is low-impact (to protect your weak joints) and stabilizing (to offset your erratic nature). You need to pay particular attention to your breaking point and stop before you reach it. Swimming, rollerblading, hiking, and hatha yoga are great for you.

Pitta
Are you hot by nature? Driven to accomplish? Naturally athletic, with a medium, muscular build? If so, your predominating dosha is pitta. You’re intoxicated by competitive sports like tennis, but they often feed your aggression. You’ll reap more benefits from activities that cool your fiery nature and encourage you to enjoy yourself. Water and snow sports are perfect, as are team sports (like basketball and baseball) and activities where you compete against yourself (like mountain biking). Remember, having fun and getting a good workout is more important than winning.

Kapha
Do your friends describe you as steady and grounded? Do you tend to be heavyset and to procrastinate? If so, your main dosha is kapha. Strong and enduring, you are slow to begin a routine—but once you do, you maintain it. You gravitate toward laid-back sports like golf and baseball, but you’ll benefit most from hard, sustained exercise that makes you break a sweat. Martial arts, aerobics, running, and soccer are ideal—they will counter your couch-potato tendency and help you to feel more invigorated, vital, and alive.

Shannon Sexton if editor at large for Yoga+.

Read more: Fitness, Health, Holistic Beauty, ,

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Megan, selected from Yoga+ Magazine

Yoga International is an award-winning, independent magazine that contemplates the deeper dimensions of spiritual life--exploring the power of yoga practice and philosophy to not only transform our bodies and minds, but inspire meaningful engagement in our society, environment, and the global community.

110 comments

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8:27AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

11:24AM PST on Jan 3, 2013

Thank you.

11:09AM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

thanks

8:45PM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

Started an exercise regime yesterday - in anticipation of an athletics competition next month.

2:38PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Useful information.

7:49PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

thanks!

2:29PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Good post. Thanks for the information.

1:08PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

thanks for the info

12:37PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Interesting, thank you.

9:26AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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