Work Toward Natural Heart Health the Ayurvedic Way
Date Posted:18 August 2012
While exercise is always recommended, Ayurveda cautions about not overdoing it and taking a moderate approach, as over-extending yourself can shorten your life span just as much as not exercising can. Many countries, especially Western countries, are sedentary, but all too often, people become obsessed with becoming thin. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to be in shape and wanting to take care of your body, it can be taken too far and turn dangerous to your health.
The ancient science of life, Ayurveda, originated in India thousands of years ago and still uses the same principles of nature to restore balance in the individual now as it did then. The Ayurvedic approach to natural heart health starts with diet, but exercise and exercising the right way for your mind-body type, or dosha, is just as important. The choice you make for your workout regimen can either enhance or hurt your physical and emotional balance.
Each different dosha type needs a different type of exercise to maintain balance. While each person has elements of all three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, most people are predominately one dosha. Learning what type of dosha you are is the first step in exercising in a healthy and effective manner.
While each dosha type should figure out which workout regimen suits them most appropriately, there are several tips that work for every dosha type to achieve natural heart health, combat mental fatigue, and get in great and healthy shape.
Breathing correctly is akin to an art form in Ayurveda. Specialized breathing techniques, known as Pranayama, should be done on a daily basis and can help you breathe correctly when exercising. Shallow and quick breaths drawn through the mouth are incorrect and deprive the body of vital oxygen. According to Ayurveda, you should breathe deeply through your nose, which delivers oxygen throughout your body and increases the quality of your life force, or prana.
Take It Outside
Ayurveda recommends doing the majority of your workout outside in nature, even during winter. This exposes you to the energy giving sun, fresh air, and a chance to enjoy all the beauty you may miss in your busy life. This helps restore balance to your dosha, fight mental fatigue, and renew your spirit.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
This cliché holds true for followers of Ayurveda as well. According to Ayurveda, the best time to exercise is during the time of Kapha, which is sunrise until about ten in the morning. Kapha dosha is characterized by strength, resilience, and stamina. If you are not a morning person, Kapha also is dominant from sunset until about ten at night.
Forget Giving 100%, Try 50% Instead
One of the key elements to exercising Ayurveda-style is not over-extending or over-exerting yourself. Your workout should leave you feeling refreshed, balanced, and energized. If you feel wiped out, exhausted, sluggish, or have a headache, you have done too much and need to scale back the time or intensity level of your workout.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga, the sister to Ayurveda, is an excellent form of exercise. It was embraced by the wise sages in India during the same time Ayurveda was developed. Both were intended to keep the mind and the body balanced, strong, and healthy. Practice yoga and meditation on a daily basis to improve natural heart health, recover from mental fatigue, and enhance the natural healing ability of your inner self.
When exercising, everyone may have a different goal in mind. Some may workout to lose weight, while others want to gain muscle or increase strength. Regardless of the reason, always listen to your body. Stay fit, stay healthy, and remember – moderation is key.