Ayurvedic Approach to Working Out

January 18, 2022

Ayurveda

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I'm an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, 500 HR Yoga Teacher & seasonal living mama. I'm all about embracing stillness, slowing down,  and connecting to your inner wisdom.

I'm Andrea - your Seasonal living guide

Ayurvedic Approach to Working Out

Ayurveda originated in India over 5000 years ago and is a wellness system that teaches you how to find your balance. You might have heard of the term doshas in which there are 3- vata, pitta & kapha. We have all 3 in us in unique amounts that make up our prakriti and vikriti.

Prakriti what we are born, vikriti any imbalances we are currently experiencing.

When we look at exercise we are looking at what your current state is at just like in the western philosophy. If you're new to exercise you wouldn't start a 5-6 day a week program that doesn't make sense. Most of us in the west are over exercising and breaking down tissue that can't always be repaired though.

Let's dive in..

 Ayurvedic Principles before your workouts

  • You want to do abhyanga before you exercise especially doing circular motions around your joints to warm-up the body. Sesame is the universal oil to use.

 

  • You want to workout fasted if possible. If you need something to eat have 2 dates or soak 5 almonds overnight and peel them and enjoy those before your workout.

 

  • If thirsty they recommend peppermint tea.

 

  • You also want to try and workout in the kapha time of day 6-10am is ideal to help move the kapha sluggishness.

Goal= Gentle Muscle Building

*Vata dosha

A weekly routine might look as follows:

Monday- Stretch

Tuesday- Strength

Wednesday- Rest

Thursday- Gentle Cardio

Friday- Stretch

Saturday- Strength

Sunday- Rest

 

What does stretch mean?

  • Yin Yoga
  • Holding longer stretches
  • Your morning asana practice.

What does strength mean?

  • Barre Class
  • The Class (bodyweight exercises)
  • Light strength classes with weights

 

What does gentle cardio mean?

  • Walking outside
  • The Class
  • Getting your heartrate up but coming back down after a few minutes

Moderate Muscle Building

*You want to be here in your 30's and where most of the population wants to be for their average weekly routine

 

A Weekly Routine might look as follows:

 

Monday- Stretch

Tuesday- Strength

Wednesday- Rest

Thursday- Stretch/Cardio

Friday- Strength

Saturday- Rest

Sunday- Light Stretch

What's the difference?

These are guidelines suggested by Nidhi Pandya that she got from the ancient Ayurvedic texts. In general compared to the western approach the main difference is more is not always better.

  • You don't want to workout until you are sweating profusely that depletes your ojas (vital energy)
  • You adjust your workouts to the seasons and listen to your body. If you need rest you take it.
  • Less focus on aesthetic and more on maintaining body tissue and ojas vs how much muscle one has or looks like wearing a tank top.

Seasonal Component

Fall & Winter

  • Best time to workout as it's colder outside and calming to the vata and kapha doshas

Spring

  • Great time to do more cardio to shake off the kapha dosha (cardio doesn't mean run a marathon in Ayurveda either)

Summer

  • Stretch, walk or take it easy. The summer is the hardest time to workout as it's pitta season and people are already running hot so be cautious that you don't deplete yourself leaving you feeling burnt out heading into the Fall season.

My Own Experience

I have been lifting weights consistently since I was 16 years old. In August I stopped lifting as I had Covoid and didn't have the energy to workout at all for 6 weeks. When I got back into my routine I started with The Class. It is a combo of cardio, strength and stretch. It has been all I've been doing since September.

 

When we think about doing something different I think we believe we will gain weight (I didn't) diet matters more than a workout. We might lose muscle tone (I did) since I hadn't been lifting heavy weights. Does that concern me? A little if I'm being honest. As I'm approaching 40 I know I need to make sure I lift weights and not just do bodyweight workouts. Even Ayurveda says that. I'm going to be tweaking my routine next week as I'm currently battling my second round of Covoid 🤪 so taking it easy vs deciding to go all out when my body isn't quite ready for that yet.

What about working out with your cycle?

To me this is my sweet spot. I can implement the Ayurvedic approach which I plan on doing and tweak it around my cycle. Rest is best during your menstrual cycle and something I've been practicing for years now. I always can do more when I'm in my Follicular and ovulatory phase of my cycle through the start of my luteal.

If we all learned how to listen to our bodies working out would feel easier

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explore the blog

Ayurvedic Pregnancy 

How to do a Castor Oil Pack

You'll also love

search the post index

MORE ABOUT ME

I'm an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, 500 HR Yoga Teacher & seasonal living mama. I'm all about embracing stillness, slowing down,  and connecting to your inner wisdom.

I'm Andrea - your Seasonal living guide

Work with me

I'm a mom and wife who specializes in seasonal living and women's hormones.  I help you heal your period pain, and prepare for perimenopause & find your balance during the menopausal years for the past 15 years. 

I host a weekly podcast, Peaceful Power Podcast and wrote a cyclical living book in 2021- Divine Body Wisdom and am currently writing a second book coming out in the Spring 2023!  

My other interests are playing tennis, watching Golden Girls, and enjoying my morning oatstraw & raspberry leaf infusion! 

I'm an Ayurvedic counselor, 500 HR Yoga Teacher & Wild Woman Circle Leader 

I'm Andrea — your Ayurvedic & wellness mentor.

Learn what practices are best to live in alignment with the winter season. You will also receive a yoga asana practice and a winter guided meditation. 

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