Try this practice for the kapha dosha, then sign up to delve deeper. Larissa Carlson and LifeSpa founder John Douillard will demystify yoga’s sister science in our upcoming Ayurveda 101 online course.
If you’re feeling congested, this sequence of detoxifying twists, energizing sidebends, warming inversions, and heart-opening backbends can help clear your lungs and brighten your mind. To get the most out of each pose, take deep breaths, evenly filling all facets of your rib cage. For an extra dose of heat and stimulation, pause at the end of each exhalation for a moment or two (unless you’re pregnant).
To prepare for asana, you’ll need a mat, two blocks, a strap, a bolster, an eye pillow, and a couple of blankets. Carlson recommends beginning with three to six slow, rhythmic rounds of your favorite Sun Salutation. Generally, all constitutions benefit from warming, soothing movements like Sun Salutations during the cold, dry vata season. While practicing, maintain a soft Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath) to enhance focus and introversion.
Teacher and model Larissa Carlson is the former dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, and a yoga teacher trainer based in Massachusetts. You can find her at larissacarlson.com.