From an Ayurvedic perspective, we consider health to be the practices and habits we cultivate to maintain balance in the mind and body. There are 5 main pillars to great health, some of which we are exploring over this 10 week series. One important one is to include exercise or movement into our daily routine.
This isn’t new. The benefits beyond body ideals are well documented and undisputed; whether that be physical, psychological or emotional. Exercise improves strength, flexibility, basic body functioning, memory, creativity, concentration and more. Our minds and bodies are connected; physical stimulation creates mental stimulation. When we open the channels of our bodies, we open the channels of our minds and we benefit from improved physical and mental wellbeing – think less stress, anxiety, depression, improving outcomes for all kinds of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer. Through the simple action of moving our body, we have the possibility to build vital immunity that protects against disease.
And while it is important for research to define the precise impact of exercise on health, we don’t need to wait for the scientists to tell us what we know. When we move our bodies every day and build heat, we feel better. Our circulation, endurance and body composition improves, digestion improves, elimination improves, we reduce chronic inflammation, oxygenates our cells, we look better, we feel better and we live longer.
Movement is an opportunity to tune in, to notice sensation, to enjoy the feeling of knowing you have a body that supports you. It is so simple and yet so profound.
If you are reading this then you already know how easily you can change your state and mood simply by your yoga practice. It is the reason we show up on our mat day after day. But did you know that from the Ayurvedic perspective not all movement is created equally? As a general guide, Ayurveda advocates to exercise daily to half of your capacity, which is until sweat forms. However it says more than this, in fact Ayurveda says that the way and type of exercise you need is dependant on your dosha – both your Prakriti, the Doshic combination you were born with, and your Vikruti, the Doshic combination you have today according to your diet and lifestyle.
Join us on Instagram this week as we explore how we can optimise our movement practice to create more balance in our body.
Author: Lisa Clegg