Movement throughout the body is vital for life. Movement of prana (life force) within the blood, the movement of oxygen for the lungs, and the regular movement of food and nutrients in the gut are examples of essential internal movement. Healthy internal movement can be achieved through a balance of mind, body and spirit. External movement is necessary as well. However, external movement does not look the same for everyone.
The term “working out” or “exercise” can trigger many negative feelings in a person. This has a direct impact on how you experience movement and your perspective of physical fitness. In order to build a sustainable movement routine, you must first learn exactly how your body likes to move because this looks different for each dosha and body type. Some may enjoy hiking more than a group fitness class. Finding the exact routine that fuels you is the only way to establish a strong, lifelong routine. So what are some ways to do this? We have a small quiz for you to take to help you find your fitness style.
Fitness Style Test:
- You arrive at a pool party and immediately head toward a:
A.) Pool table
B.) Crowd near the food table
C.) Political conversation in the corner
D.) Deck overlooking the lake
- You’ve just been told you have to head a committee for work. Which of the following do you agree to?
A.) The company softball team
B.) The holiday party-planning committee
C.) The charity oversight delegation
D.) The nature ropes course team-building event
- You just won tickets to a concert of your choice. Who do you go see?
A.) Rock band
B.) Pop star
D.) Reggae artist
- You get to plan the perfect vacation. You:
A.) Head to the shore for a week of beach volleyball
B.) Go on a cruise to meet new people and see the world
C.) Go to a resort where you can rest, recharge, and enjoy some golf
D.) Head out on an Eco tour in Brazil and stay in a remote jungle tree house
- Your pet of choice is a:
A.) Labrador retriever – you need a pet that can keep pace with you
B.) Siamese cat – you love to hang out when you’re home, but the truth is you’re often out and about and need an independent pet
C.) Schnauzer – you adore this reliable lapdog. He’s your buddy through it all
D.) Tarantula – you’re not scared of anything
- Your favorite time of day is:
A.) Game time
B.) Midnight – that’s when things get interesting
C.) Five o’clock. Work is done and it’s time to go home to eat dinner and relax with a good book
D.) Sunrise – when life’s adventures begin
- If you were a piece of produce, you would be a(n):
A.) Avocado – you need the fat to burn
B.) Pomegranate – good for your skin (and you like to look good), plus it works well with cocktails
C.) Apple – nutritious and one of your go-to snacks
D.) Yucca – it’s exotic, rustic, and yet grounding
Add up your answers to determine your fitness style
If you answered mostly A – you may be a Team Player (pitta)
If you answered mostly B – you may be a Social Butterfly (vata)
If you answered mostly C – you may be a Workout Regular (Pitta and vata)
If you answered mostly D – you may be a Nature Lover (kapha)
Based on your results, these directly correlate to the doshas.
Best workouts for the doshas:
Vata: Vatas should focus on strength training and grounding exercise
Pitta: Pittas should focus on Yin Yoga, swimming, and walking; low impact exercise
Kapha: Kaphas should focus on running, HIIT, Tabata, and cardio; high endurance exercise
Although these are some examples of what your dosha should focus on, it does not mean you can’t experiment with other areas of exercise. We all hold qualities of all three doshas and might find ourselves in more than one category. For instance you might be a vata that loves running, but if you are vata imbalanced, sticking with more grounding exercises such as yoga and strength training is a safer place to begin, but it doesn’t mean you never have to run again! Above all else, just begin at the basics. Yoga, and body strength exercises are all around great for each dosha.
Here are some exercises that are great for each fitness style and dosha:
If there is a competition, this person is absolutely in. They are disciplined, focused, and extremely driven. Their eye is on the prize with workouts. However, pittas will burn themselves out quickly and should have a foundation of low impact movement. Although they may be extremely driven to weight lift and do some CrossFit training, they should balance out their workouts with some of the following:
- Jumping Rope
- Rock Climbing
Avoid: HIIT, Tabata, weight lifting, high impact exercise
Music and fun energizes the vata fitness type. They need things to stay varied to stay engaged. They will lack motivation if they don’t see value in what they are doing, which is why grounding exercise in nature for vatas is the best.This should include, but not be limited to:
- Personal Training
- Weight Lifting
- Sports like Soccer, basketball, and Tennis
- Karate or other Martial Arts
Avoid: running, swimming, cycling, and any exercise involving speed.
Kaphas have the highest endurance of all the doshas so all activities are great for them. These can include:
- Mountain Biking
- Weight Lifting
- Sports like Soccer, basketball, and Volleyball
- Martial Arts
- Strength Training
It is important to keep in mind that you may love certain activities that you may find in a different category and that is okay! The goal is to find what you love, and how your body likes to move for long life of vitality and energy!