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Yoga Asanas and the Doshas
The suitability of particular asanas according to your body type (dosha)
Peter Marchand
Aum Gang Ganapataye Namah Aum
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Asanas & Doshas


 
 
 

Yoga asanas & doshasDepending on your body type (see doshas), some asanas are more suitable and others are less suitable. In general, following are some recommendations for the 3 main body types :

Vata dosha dominated people : These people should start their asana practice slowly and never do any exhausting or very heating practice. They can sweat a little, but not too much. They should take little sips of water in between and take a moderate amount of water before and after practice. They should be especially careful to avoid injury and must be properly warmed up and stretched before trying anything difficult. Postures that work on the spine and the belly are especially important. The asana practice should involved pranayama and some meditation so that they get out of their heads and into their body, which is relatively difficult for them.

Pitta dosha dominated people : These people should avoid any practice which is heating them up a lot and should take water before, after and during the practice in fair amounts, though of course not as much that it disturbs the practice. Putting a little water on the top of the head before starting is very advisable. Since by nature they tend to be overly ambitious, they should avoid practicing too fast and too energetically. Especially they should not try any asana which they have not been properly taught. Emphasis should be on balancing solar and lunar currents and in relaxing the liver area and the diaphragm.

Kappha dosha dominated people : Kappha people should do asana in a way that requires a lot of effort and is making them sweat very strongly. In case of overweight, the practice should however start slowly with sitting asanas and heating pranayamas until they are warmed up. However, kappha people should not be allowed too much lying down and resting during the practice. They should put in a real effort and they should avoid drinking much. Emphasis should be on asanas that open up the chest area and promote digestion.

All asanas can be performed by all doshas or body types. But to decide which asanas to do on a regular basis it is best to keep your dominant dosha in mind (+ means advisable for the named body type, - means less advisable for the named body type, neither + or - means relatively neutral) :

 
Dosha

 

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Sitting yoga postures

Padm-asana

++

+

+

Vajr-asana

++

+

+

Simh-asana

+

-

++

Vir-asana

+

 

+

Standing yoga postures

Vriksh-asana

++

++

 

Trikon-asana

+

++

 

Ardha Chandr-asana

 

+

++

Virabhadr-asana

 

 

+

Inverted yoga postures

Sirsh-asana

+

-

+

Vipareetakarani-asana

+

 

 

Sarvang-asana

 

+

+

Adho Mukha Vrks-asana

 

 

++

Forward bows

Janu Sirs-asana

++

 

-

Pashimottan-asana

++

+

 

Adho Mukha Svasana

 

 

+

Urdha Mukha Svasana

 

 

+

Backward bows

Bhujanga-asana

++

+

 

Shalabh-asana

++

 

+

Navasana

 

+

 

Matsy-asana

 

+

 

Dhanur-asana

 

+

+

Hal-asana

 

 

+

Ushtr-asana

 

 

+

Twists

Bharadvajasana

+

 

 

Padasana

+

 

 

Ardha Matsyendr-asana

 

+

 

Horizontal yoga postures

Balasana

+

+

 

Parivrttta Janusir-asana

+

 

 

Kurmasana

+

++

 

Nav-asana

+

 

 

Yoga Mudra

+

+

 

Shav-asana

++

++

 

Surya Namaskar

+

 

++

Chandra Namaskar

 

++

 

 
 
 
 
Peter Marchand
 
 
   
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Aum Gang Ganapataye Namah Aum