Balancing Doshas with Asanas

Before YTT course, I have always thought that yoga is all about asanas. I knew nothing about yoga philosophies and how it can help us increase self awareness and acceptance of others. One of the concepts I am fascinated about is Ayurveda, also known as the Knowledge of Life.

Ayurvedic principles classify individuals with unique personalities into three main dosha types. Our personality is a reflection of our doshas which is a result of our genetics, life experiences and state of mind. It is therefore interesting to learn why we all behave in a same same, but different way. 

Ayurveda breaks down the building blocks of life into five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. The three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—are derived from the five elements. The doshas, known as mind-body types, express particular patterns of energy—each a blend of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.[1]

While it is common to have a mixture of doshas but in most situations, we tend to be more dominant on one. Good understanding of our doshas can create a deeper and more experiential yoga practice as we attempt to work on our ‘weaknesses’.

Below is a summary table with characteristics of each dosha type (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) and recommended asanas to calm our ayurvedic traits.

Asana practice alone is not sustaining. In addition to the above, balancing the doshas also includes re-looking into our lifestyle and diet. The things we do (eg bad habits) and choice of food are often the causes of our imbalanced doshas. 

We all know that achieving a healthy body and mind is not impossible, it just takes more commitment and consistency for a change. Let’s begin to make small adjustments to our lifestyle and diet, one step at a time. As the saying goes, it all starts from within!

[1] http://www.chopra.com/articles/designing-a-yoga-routine-for-your-dosha

Signing off,

Yeo Pei Qin , PQ

Sep’17 YTTC

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