Yogini Emma Newlyn writes Yoga for your Dosha

This week, we are sharing with you some top tips for practising Yoga according to your dosha type. With so many different types of Yoga available to us now, our latest brand ambassador Emma Newlyn shares with us her tips for practising Yoga according to your dosha type. Emma works as a full time Yoga teacher, also running Ayurvedic courses and working as a massage therapist, truly embodying leading a holistic, Ayurvedic lifestyle.

The Ayurvedic ‘science of life’ or ‘wisdom of longevity’ is a system that holds an abundance of holistic health tools including diet and lifestyle advice, daily routines, herbs and spices, self-massage, colour therapy, breathing techniques, mantra and meditation, and much more, including specific yoga practices designed to bring each person’s dosha into balance. The word dosha refers to your mind-body type, which is a combination of the elements ether, air, fire, earth and water.

Know Your Dosha

We all have different amounts of the elements within us; some people may be described as ‘fiery’, whereas others are earthy. Some people may feel very ‘watery’ – emotional, fluid and changeable, whereas others are air-types; light and occasionally scattered. Knowing your individual dosha can help you figure out how to keep yourself balanced and well, and aid in developing a diet and lifestyle that suits your unique self.

There are three doshas: Vata – a combination or air and ether, Pitta – a combination of fire and water, and Kapha – a combination of earth and water. These doshas govern our personality and physicality, and most of us will find that we’re a combination of two doshas (i.e. vata/pitta, pitta/kapha etc). Here’s a brief breakdown of the characteristics of each dosha: which descriptions match up with you?

Vata

Relates to the qualities of air and ether: wind, movement, coldness, dryness and irregularity. Vata types are usually slim, with prominent joints that can become aching or ‘cracking’ in cold weather. They often have dry skin and hair, nails that break easily, and are prone to feeling fragile or weak after exertion. Vata types are creative and love adventures, easily excitable, and usually speak quickly too. They can be scattered and prone to anxiety, and often quite forgetful. Vata types need warmth and nourishment, as well as routine and comfort to help calm and soothe them. When it comes to skincare, they need something hydrating, warming and calming to counteract their typically dry and dehydrated skin.

Pitta

The logical thinkers and people who ‘get things done’ – pitta types are fiery in nature, passionate and usually have quite short tempers. Pitta types love intensity in the form of exercise or competition, and thrive under pressure. Whilst they’re good team leaders, pitta types can be overly bossy and explosive at times, so they need lots of ways to calm and cool down. With a tendency towards heat, pitta types are likely to experience inflammation or skin issues like acne or eczema. Skincare for them needs to be soothing and calming that won’t further aggravate their sensitive skin.

Kapha

Earthy Kapha types love routine, staying at home and sleeping in. Their somewhat ‘heavy’ nature can mean they’re prone to laziness and lethargy, but once they get going, their strong body enables them to become great at endurance activities. Kapha types are also watery, which means they can feel bloated at times, and experience a lot of phlegm or sinus issues – especially during springtime. Loyal and thoughtful, they have a great memory, and benefit from remembering to change things up once in a while. Kapha types are balanced by a skincare routine that purifies, stimulates and prevents pores from clogging which is crucial for their oily skin which can also be acne prone.

Each and every one of us has all five elements within us, and therefore all three doshas. What makes individualises us is the different dominating levels that the elements sit within us. We are not one stable dosha all the time, they very much interchange as we navigate our way through life. The seasons can alter our dominating element as well as hormones, stress and environmental factors so the key to maintaining balance is recognising each dosha’s traits and then counteracting accordingly to restore balance.

Yoga For Your Dosha

Ayurvedic practitioners often ‘prescribe’ specific yoga practices for each dosha type depending upon their current state of health, the season, and any impactful life events. For anyone feeling overly Vata, aim to start the day with a slow and grounding yoga practice, plenty of long leisurely stretches, movements like joint rotations that help nourish the joints, and a pranayama practice like alternate nostril breathing to balance and calm the mind. Pitta types who feel especially fiery would benefit from practicing ‘shitali’ pranayama; a breathing technique that effectively cools down the body. Movement practices like Tai Chi that focus on slow and fluid motions can help cultivate calmness, as can spending time in nature. Kapha types benefit from injecting a lot of dynamic movement into their practice to help shake up the lymphatic system and circulation. A dynamic vinyasa flow practice, kappalabhati breathing or simply rebounding each morning can help shift any heaviness from the body and mind.

 

How do you find balance? Do you have a morning routine or yoga practice that helps you feel calmer, energised or more focussed for the day ahead?

 

By Emma Newlyn

(www.emmanewlynyoga.com)