Adopting a daily exercise routine is a powerful act of self-love. Moving our bodies daily burns ama, creating flow and stamina. It also helps to support detoxification by increasing circulation and moving stagnant energy through the body. It’s important that all activity is done with mindfulness and awareness. And equally important that we tune in everyday to our bodies potential and choose activities that are supportive. Early morning workouts (before 10am) balance all doshas and are best done on a fairly empty stomach. Something light pre-workout is perfect, followed by a balanced and nourishing meal.
Exercise promotes a harmonious internal balance, though it’s very important not to push the body too hard. Yoga is a perfect tri-doshic exercise which establishes flexibility, strength and grounding. Walking is similarly beneficial. When choosing exercise, tune into the current state of your body. For instance, if you’re feeling a lot of heat, it’s best to do calming and cooling activities like gentle yoga and swimming. If the energy in your body feels heavy + stagnant and you’re more cool, try running or dance to heat things up. Regardless, It’s important to pace yourself and continue tuning into your natural rhythm to avoid burnout.
Below are 6 exercise tips to help you incorporate the principals of Ayurveda into your workouts.
1. Workout in the morning or just after sunset
Morning is when the body has the most energy, strength and stamina. During the afternoon, the body goes into a natural state of rest. Just after sunset, internal energy spikes again. For this reason, mornings (before 10am) are generally best for workouts and are helpful when trying to stick to a routine. Exercising late in the evening is not recommended as it spikes cortisol and body temperature, which can disrupt deep sleep. Stay in alignment with this rhythm and your body will feel at it’s best!
2. Connect with your breath
Pre and post exercise, breathe energy through your body with deep, full and steady breaths through the nose. This helps move oxygen through the body and provides more endurance during exercise.
3. Tune in
Regardless of your dominant dosha, honor your body’s needs from day to day and never push past your max. No matter what exercise you’re engaging in, if you’re pushing too hard your body will perceive this as stress and go into fight or flight mode, causing more unneeded tension. Look to gain more energy from exercise vs. exhausting yourself.
4. Get outside
No matter your workout routine, make it a point to exercise outdoors several times a week. The natural world offers a sense of harmony and balance to the body, which, according to Ayurveda, is very healing for the mind-body and spirit.
5. Get regular massages
Massage helps to move any stagnant energy in the body and clears built up lactic acid from the muscles after workouts. It also helps to release any holding patterns created by micro-tears or muscle spasms.
6. Eat clean & have regular meal times
Eating a variety of vitamin and mineral rich whole-foods supports whole body health and healing. Plus, regular meal times help to keep the metabolism and body balanced throughout the day. Aim for ½ veggies, 1/4th starch & 1/4th protein on your plate. Create a beautiful balance of produce, nuts & seeds, and grains & legumes.