By Faye Martins
The term “dosha” arises from Ayurveda and is translated to mean a person’s physical and emotional constitutional nature. There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. An individual is comprised of a combination of these three constitutions. When any one of these doshas is out of balance, an individual can experience disease and a general sense of being unwell physically and/or mentally. Both the systems of Ayurveda and Yoga help to balance each dosha for optimal health. Ayurvedic doctors will recommend a combination of Yoga training exercises, daily massage, dietary guidelines and herbal medicines to restore a healthy balance and rejuvenate a Yogi or Yogini’s overall sense of well-being.
Physically, an individual whose primary dosha is Kapha in nature will have thick hair, glowing skin and large eyes. He or she will also generally sleep regularly and have steady digestion. Emotionally, Kaphas are reputed to be loving, loyal, thoughtful, supportive, steady and kind. Kapha individuals do well with routine. When a Kapha individual is out of balance, he or she may become lethargic and too weighted down with possessions, jobs and relationships that have long outlived their usefulness. Kaphas can be very stubborn and resistant to change, which may prevent the individual from really creating the life of his or her dreams. Kapha individuals are often prone to low energy levels and depression.
Yoga schools that teach balance and invigorate an individual whose constitution is primarily Kapha in nature have challenging classes with an emphasis on vigorous standing poses, backbends, arm balances and practices employing ashtanga-based Yoga sequences. When a Kapha dosha person is out of balance, his or her energy may become stagnant. Practicing Yoga asanas and breathing exercises that generate heat and increase circulation throughout the entire body will help to dissipate the lethargy that Kapha individuals often experience.
Before practicing vigorous standing Yoga poses, backbends or arm balances, it is imperative that a Yogi or Yogini warm-up with several rounds of Sun Salutations, preferably while practicing Ujjayi breathing. There are many online sources that offer detailed descriptions of a variety of Sun Salutations including both Surya Namaskar A and B. After warming up well, a Kapha individual may want to focus on flowing from one pose to the next through a challenging vinyasa practice. Linking the poses together through a vinyasa sequence while practicing Ujjayi breathing will invigorate the entire body, helping to enliven and balance both the body and mind of an individual whose primary dosha is Kapha.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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