As it is well known nowadays, one of the main pillars of good health is physical activity, which allows the body to express and develop its physical, mental, and emotional potential through activities that use our physical body as a medium.
A comprehensive understanding of it is vital so that its use is a support on our path to health, and not a self-imposed obstacle. Both the lack and excess of physical activity are harmful, as well as the approach we give to that training.
Next, I will briefly develop some important aspects to take into account when carrying out a physical activity that serves our health, which differentiates it from the mere movement of our physical bodies.
First of all, we must set the right goal. If our intent is health, then the characteristics that I will mention are critical to achieving this, but if our intent is muscle building, weight loss, or competition, then the path will probably lead away from health as the goal, but integrating some of these tips will help us recover, alleviate or reduce the damage caused.
Secondly, it is essential to set the appropriate physical movement characteristics to train in our particular case. How do we manage to define this? At this point, Ayurveda gives us tools through its wisdom.
Depending on our constitution or imbalance, we have particular needs. Those with a predominance of the Vata dosha should focus on activities that increase their strength and resistance, and that focus them on the present moment. In turn, if necessary, it is advisable to have a person who encourages them to be constant since they tend to constantly change activities. Also, they must manage to have fun to achieve constancy.
People with a predominance of Pitta dosha can work any of the variables, but they must control the intensity with which they carry it out. Moderation is the weak point to strengthen in their case. Following a routine that is demanding and at the same time moderate will bring out the best in these people.
Finally, Kapha dosha-dominant people should engage in fast-paced activities, get them moving energetically, and ideally in a team that keeps them moving.
In addition to general characteristics given by the constitution, there are specific needs in areas of your physical body that require more focus than others. Some physical, mental and energetic issues and/or injuries condition us to develop our physical body in one way or another.
This is how, for example, we find people with a lot of fear or anguish, or blockages in the fourth and fifth chakra, who usually have the upper-crossed syndrome, a body posture characterised by a sunken chest with tight and weak pectorals, or people with negativism, frustration, or blocks in the lower chakras (first, second and third), characterised by a leaning back posture, by weak hip flexors, and very stiff extensors.
Finally, listening to your body is fundamental. Health is achieved with the balance of life, which could be expressed simply as “a regulation between movement and inertia”. However, being composed of various planes of consciousness and existence, it becomes a complex task to carry out, but not impossible.
In this sense, for example, if at a certain amount of physical activity, you feel that your mind is very restless or off, very much in the future or in the past, that it is difficult for you to hold on to the present, then you should regulate your physical activity to recover your vital energy since it is necessary to keep us focused on the now.
And in this sense, moderation and rest are fundamental variables to take into account in a training plan, as well as the stiffness that has to occur due to lack or excess of activity, and must be worked through stretching or body therapies.
I have mentioned here several of the principles to take into account when we want to exercise for health, which integrated with other principles coming from the Ayurveda pillars of life (digestion, sleep, and sexuality) will help us to achieve a better life. I hope you find it useful. NAMASTÉ.
Dr Silvestre Gonzalez
Ayurveda orientated physician