Knowing your body type can help you find a fitness plan that works best for you – one that you can stick with. Older systems of medicine categorized patients into types or constitutions. This helped determine the most beneficial form of exercise.
In ayurvedic wisdom, there are three basic types or “doshas” – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person is made up of a combination of doshas, with one or two being dominant. Your unique combination of doshas makes up your constitution.
Ayurvedic body types are also categorized in this way – Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Your body can fall somewhere in between but is usually dominated by one of these types.
Each Body Type Benefits From a Different Exercise Plan
- Vata types are long, lean and have lots of “wind” energy. They benefit from yoga, pilates, walking or swimming – exercise that keeps them moving without taxing their delicate nervous systems.
- Pitta types have a medium build and are muscular. They benefit from staying active with all types of activity! A mix is best. Try crossfit training, kettlebell workouts, boot camps or a mix of Pilates, yoga and cardio.
- Kapha types are heavier and prone to extra weight around the abdomen. They need more vigorous exercise – cardio and weights with a focus on flexibility (pilates, yoga) to keep the body lean and agile.
My Personal Exercise Routine
Being a pitta-dominant type I benefit from a variety of activity. My favorites are yoga, swimming and pilates but I also do cardio, weights and try to play tennis and racquetball when I get the opportunity.
Yoga has a special place in my life and one of my resolutions is to do it more often. As a certified instructor, I have fun creating my own vinyasa flow routines and aim to do it 1-2 times per week. I became certified to teach during my residency, when intuition told me that I wasn’t going to have time to make it to classes one day. It was one of the best things I ever did!
People often ask me how I stay motivated to work out despite my busy work schedule and family life. I love the physical and mental benefits of exercise – it makes me feel lean, lithe, strong and relaxed. How can you beat that?! This gives me the “will” to exercise and where there is a will there is a way.
Even when I travel, I try to keep it up. I take my yoga mat and iPod with me, walk as much as possible and use the hotel gym when it’s available. You can exercise anywhere!