Ayurvedic Exercise to Strengthen Your Immune System
Date Posted:26 August 2012
Experts of Ayurveda recommend getting some form of exercise on a regular basis for longevity and an overall sense of well-being. It is praised as one of the most effective natural immunity boosters around. You can strengthen your immune system while benefiting your body, your mind, and your spirit.
The Physical Benefits
There are numerous physical benefits to exercising with Ayurvedic principles, such as enhanced strength, agility and energy, increased vitality, the ability to strengthen your immune system naturally, and the ability to flush and eliminate toxins.
Exercise for Your Mind-Body Type
If you have ever sweated your way through weeks of exercise only to find out you have only lost a pound or two and your friends did the same exercise program and lost all their unwanted weight, there may be a very good reason for it. Each person is made up of a mind-body type known as dosha. There are three main doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each type reacts differently to food, herbs, sleeping patterns, overall lifestyle, and even exercise.
You need to find a workout program that fits you, your body, your mind, and your soul in order to unlock your true exercise potential. In order to find your mind-body type, you need to consider all aspects of yourself, your life, your behaviours, your likes, and your dislikes. You can also consult with an Ayurvedic expert who can determine your exact dosha type.
Vatas need variety in their workouts and grow quickly bored and uninspired when they have to do the same routine over and over again. Vata dosha contains the qualities of air and space. They tend to be light on their feet and fast, for short amounts of time. While Vatas are not known for their endurance, they are superstars at short, quick bursts of speed. While they tend to not have much stamina, they think quickly, act quickly, and forget things quickly. They also have a tendency to see the big picture and need constant change to feel balanced. When out of balance, Vatas are anxious, do not sleep well, and become constipated. The key to exercising for a Vata-type is variety and fast-paced routines that last shorter amounts of time. Dancing, aerobics, canoeing, swimming, and running quickly for short distances are all great workouts for a Vata. Vatas should also remember to slow down, enjoy life, and work on improving their strength and stamina.
Pitta types tend to have a medium-build, thrive in competition, and are natural-born leaders. Pitta dosha consists of water and fire – intensity and heat. These qualities can get too strong with some Pittas, and they need to find workouts that will soothe and cool their fire. Pittas were made for water sports like water polo, swimming, and diving. They are better as individual competitors but can grow to be an essential and valuable team player as well. Pittas have a tendency to be extremely competitive and hard on themselves when they do not win or are not the best at what they do. While motivation and drive are great, it is important for a Pitta-type to remember to take pride in even his or her small accomplishments and stay focused on doing his or her best, rather than on having to be the best.
Kapha-types tend to be bigger-boned, have incredible endurance, and excel in mind-body coordinated tasks. They have qualities of the water and earth – steady and calm. They do not get easily ruffled, have an easygoing nature, and are great under pressure. They make excellent teammates – always dependable, reliable, and encouraging. While Kaphas tend to be slower in thought, action, and movement, this is a quality that should be admired, rather than frowned upon. They have a strong digestion system and strong work ethic. Although some people, especially the fast and quick Vata-types, may label them as lazy or slow, they have great stamina and can outlast both Vata and Pitta in just about any activity. When a Kapha is in balance, they love to exercise and have to be careful not to push themselves past their limit.
Know your Limit
Just like with all things in life, moderation is key. Even too much of a good thing can ultimately become bad. Overexerting yourself, especially for the fiery Kapha, will do more harm than good and will discourage you from continuing your workout routine. Ayurveda recommends pushing yourself to no more than fifty percent of your given capacity. You should be breathing air in through your nose and breathing air out through your mouth when you exercise. Once you feel the urge to breathe in through your mouth, slow down until you regain control of breathing in through your nose. Continue at the slower pace and slowly increase speed again. Slow down each time you are unable to continue breathing in through your nose. Eventually, you will be able to build up your endurance and will be able to breathe correctly at a faster pace for the duration of your workout.
Besides being one of the best natural immunity boosters and great for your physicality, there are countless other benefits to finding the right exercise regimen for you. Exercising helps enhance your mental alertness, as well as your ability to focus and concentrate. It also boosts your respect for your body, your self-esteem, your self-awareness, and your ability to manage stress. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it gives your spirit a sense of freedom.