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Ayurveda & ExerciseAyurveda & Exercise

Excerpts from Maharishi Ayurveda and Vedic Technology: Creating Ideal Health for the Individual and World,

Revised and Updated from The Physiology of Consciousness: Part 2 by Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, Dharma Publications, 2016 available at Amazon Click Here

One of the most visible signs of the growing trend towards self-improvement in health is the fitness craze. Particularly in the United States during the past decade or so, more and more people have been taking up jogging, aerobics, or body building, or are involved in some type of diet or physical fitness program. There is a steady stream not only of diet, but also of exercise and fitness books. One can’t help but see this as a healthy sign. People are at least waking up and remembering what it’s like to get outside, breathe fresh air, and get the body moving again. The only trouble is that like many other things we do in America, we overdo. What started out as a positive direction of improving health has turned in many cases into a compulsive and overtaxing burden on our bodies.

 

It’s remarkable how much damage can be caused to the body from something as simple as jogging. Studies have made it clear that all kinds of bone, joint, and back problems can result from excessive, incorrect, or compulsive jogging programs. Other fitness programs as well can produce bad side effects, primarily because of our over-enthusiastic desire to immediately become fit, or because we are not physically prepared or capable of doing them.

 

Maharishi Ayurveda again emphasizes the need to structure any exercise program according to age and body type. Up to the age of 25, moderate to vigorous exercise on a regular basis is prescribed for all body types. Over the age of 25, Ayurveda generally advises more moderate exercise for all types, with the following specific recommendations for each type.

 

Kapha types are the best suited for vigorous exercise, and it is essential that they exercise regularly. Otherwise, they will gain weight and tend to become lethargic. Pitta types are often strong, muscular, and well-suited for exercise. For them moderate exercise is prescribed on a regular basis. Pitta people, like Type A individuals, have a tendency to overdo it. When exercising, they should not allow their competitive and sometimes driven spirit to push their physiologies too far, well beyond their normal capacities. This holds especially true for team sports. The vata type is more suited for very moderate exercise maintained on a regular basis. The vata type, in particular, needs to be careful about engaging in a fitness program that might be too strenuous. For vata types some of these programs could be detrimental, causing exhaustion, rather than beneficial.

 

Walking is one exercise recommended for all body types. Other specific exercises are also recommended for all body types. The most well-known of these are the Yoga asanas, a series of easy postures that stimulate the body in a systematic and natural way. Specific asanas can be recommended by Maharishi Ayurveda physicians to enhance the treatment of particular disorders.

 

The goal of all exercise in Maharishi Ayurveda is to rejuvenate the body and create bliss. Exercise should not be a strain to the physiology. The saying “no pain, no gain” is replaced by “gain without pain.” For athletes, Maharishi Ayurveda prescribes effective training programs for optimizing performance without causing the physical discomfort and negative side effects characteristic of so many other programs. For both the average exercise buff and the professional athlete alike, Maharishi Ayurveda considers all aspects of the individual to create “a sound mind in a sound body.”

 

Excerpts from Maharishi Ayurveda and Vedic Technology: Creating Ideal Health for the Individual and World,

Revised and Updated from The Physiology of Consciousness: Part 2 by Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, Dharma Publications, 2016 available at Amazon Click Here

 

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