Each of us is born with a certain mind-body type that affects our physical, mental and emotional makeup. There are three Ayurvedic mind body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The secret to discovering an exercise program you will enjoy and stick to is matching your total makeup to it. But how do you find your mind-body type? First you must take a personal inventory. Think of your body frame, natural pace, energy level and personality traits.
The first mind-body type is the Vata, which has qualities of space and air -- fast and light. Vatas are traditionally slender, with drier skin. They are quick and lively in thought and action. They make friends easily. They learn quickly but forget quickly. They are big-picture people and get bored easily. Vatas sleep lightly and have bursts of energy. They may have sensitive digestion and worry when stressed. It is important for Vatas to develop strength and balance.
For Vatas the key to exercise is variety! Go dancing, canoeing or hiking one week, then golf, bike or do yoga or Pilates the next.
The Pitta has qualities of fire and water -- heat and intensity. They need to soothe these aspects when they get too strong. Pittas are generally of medium build. They are strong in thought and actions and are ambitious. They may be moderate sleepers and prefer cooler climates. They have good concentration levels and are good leaders. Pittas have strong appetites and digestion. They can be pushy when stressed. Team sports are great, but watch your competitive stress level.
For Pittas, it is essential to release heat from your body -- remember, you have element of fire in you. Water sports are great for releasing this heat.
Kaphas have qualities of water and earth -- calm and steady. They are typically larger-boned and have a proclivity toward oily skin. They are slower and calm in their thoughts and actions. They are slower to learn but retain information well. They have great stamina, with a strong digestive system. When in balance, they love to exercise. They are detailed-oriented but can become stubborn or lazy when stressed. Kaphas are strong in physical makeup.
For Kaphas, running, lifting weights, rowing, swimming, aerobics and hatha yoga are ideal.
By matching how you exercise to who you are, you'll enjoy and stick to your program while reaping the benefits in every aspect of you life!
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