Yoga For Your Dosha

Yoga For Your Dosha

12 May 2021 13:05PM by Char Holmes, Yoga Activist

mat team yoga

Starting Yoga can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you believe that you need to be able to touch your toes and stand on your hands. That’s quite ironic; yoga really is the most forgiving practice of them all since it teaches you to lower and, when possible, lose the idea of expectation and ego driven standards.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is believed to have developed in ancient India and was a spiritual development practice to train the body and mind to self-observe and become aware of its own nature. Its purpose was to cultivate discernment, awareness, self-regulation and higher consciousness. 

Sadly, these days yoga has translated in the West as an overly complex web of varying styles of movement practice in which individuals twist, turn and bind themselves up into knots. (Ashtanga to Jivamukti, Ariel to Hot, Sivananda and Mandala and Hatha and Rocket and Yin… so many types - send help!)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if no matter what time, day or state you are in, there was a type of yoga practice that would guarantee to consistently bring your whole self back into balance? With Yoga at Virgin Active we aim to do just that with Ayurveda Yoga. Not another type I hear you cry! Allow me to explain why this concept is the way forward…

What is Ayurveda?

The ancient holistic science of Ayurveda dates back over 5,000 years and says that everything we can see, hear, touch, taste and smell, including our own selves, is made up of the five elements — Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Space. The balance (or imbalance) of these elements within us is what is known as our “Dosha” or constitution. It is all about maintaining wellness with an emphasis on preventing illness and injury. It’s based on the belief that health is maintained through a delicate balance of body, mind and consciousness (soul).

Yoga and Ayurveda

Yoga is Yoga and Ayurveda is Ayurveda. But, if you start to think of the two concepts more like sisters who support and guide each other to create a deeper self-understanding as well as physical, mental and emotional harmony, the real question is; why wouldn’t we want to bring these two ancient systems of practice together? 

Our Dosha, when in balance, is our unique imprint that we are born with. It can’t be changed. However, it often shifts due to our environment. Things like stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and other life choices can cause our Dosha to come out of balance. Ayurveda looks to bring us back to our unique constitution. 

What is a Dosha?

There are three types of Dosha. Once you’ve determined your dominant Dosha (which is usually a mix of two - I am Pitta & Vata), this knowledge can help you understand your physical, mental and emotional balance and lead you to choose the type of yoga that best suits you in that moment.

The types of Dosha are characterised as follows:

Pitta

Characterised by the element of fire, with a small amount of water. These types of people tend to be of muscular build, organised and charismatic but can be direct and controlling. 

Vata

Characterised by the elements of air and space. These types of people tend to have a lighter physical frame. They are creative, artistic and light hearted in nature but can be anxious.

Kapha

Characterised by the elements of water and earth. These types of people tend to have a larger physical frame. They are relaxed and steady by nature but can lean towards laziness and find it harder to let go. 

These three Doshas directly correspond to the three styles of classes under the new Virgin Active Ayurveda Yoga programme. Balance the Kapha Dosha in our Flow Yoga. Balance the Vatta Dosha in our Align Yoga and balance the Pitta Dosha in our Calm Yoga.

The Benefits of Ayurveda Yoga

Gone are the days of doing yoga because you feel you should. No matter how you feel that day, no matter your mood or energy level, you’ll be able to find the Ayurveda Yoga class that is going to bring you back to - well - you!

  

You may have previously found that you were naturally drawn toward a certain type of yoga but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best style to balance you out. In fact, you might find that the style you’re drawn to could bring you more out of whack!  

Practice the style of Yoga that will give your Dosha the greatest opportunity to move back toward balance. This is where we truly feel the benefits of Yoga and Ayurveda. 

The three classes:

Yoga Flow

Your one stop shop for dynamism, energy and athleticism. A faster paced class with breath-to-movement sequences, seamlessly created to challenge you both physically and aerobically. Increase flexibility and strength, support muscle development and clear your mind.  

Recommended to balance the Kapha Dosha.

Yoga Align

A foundational class to help get you out of your head and into your bodies. Think precision-focused postures held for several breaths. An emphasis on muscle engagement through standing balance helps to build strength and a solid understanding of the postures.

Recommended to balance the Vata Dosha.

Yoga Calm

A deeply grounding practice that sees poses held passively for minutes. This mainly floor based class has an emphasis on letting go and releasing, long steady holds and a cooling breath practice. This practice is great for increasing self-awareness and reducing stress because of its meditative nature.

Recommended to balance the Pitta Dosha.

 


Ayurveda Yoga at Virgin Active is here to demystify the practice of yoga in 2021. Whether you’re new to yoga or not, this really is yoga for everybody and every body. So, whether you’re practicing with us in our clubs, at home via our App or on TV through Virgin Media, you can practice the right yoga for you with your favourite teachers in the comfort of wherever you choose.

Don’t forget to follow myself @misscharholmes and my yoga team Evelyn Adams (@evelynadams) & Charles Balogh (@charles_balogh) on Instagram to stay up to date with where you can practice with us. Look forward to seeing you on the mat soon! 
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