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How to calm the pitta, vata, and kapha doshas and add them into your vinyasa yoga practice
Select yoga studios across the country are combining two great healers under one roof: Ayurveda and asana. Teachers assess students’ constitutions (the dominant doshas of pitta, vata, and kapha) and offer balancing poses, aromatherapy, and music during class to address seasonal shifts described in Ayurveda.
For instance, March is typically a transition from the airy vata season to the cool, wet kapha season in spring, says Alia Sebben, co-owner of Amana Yoga, an Ayurveda studio in Boulder, Colorado, that partners with VPK by Maharishi Ayurveda. “In kapha season, we’re focused on going inward, eating a lot more, and sleeping a lot more, so you want a more vigorous practice like power vinyasa that builds heat, and twists and forward folds to reset digestion as a spring detox,” says Sebben.
Pamela Quinn, founder of Elemental OM studios in Cincinnati, also adjusts her teaching based on Ayurveda. For example, students who are aggressive and pushing themselves hard in class are having a pitta day, and may need cooling Moon Salutations, says Quinn. She also chooses the class-soundtrack tempo based on students’ constitutions.