Yoga therapist talks ayurveda with Cleveland Clinic

Yoga therapy seeks to understand the individual holistically and support them in a path toward health and well-being. One of the ways yoga therapists lend support is through the lens of ayurveda. 

In a recent article by the Cleveland Clinic, yoga therapist Renee Warren, C-IAYT, shares more about how we can use ayurveda to move toward healing.

“According to Ayurvedic philosophy, each person’s constitution is made up of three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha,” the Cleveland Clinic explains. “You can think of doshas as energy types: each of these doshas is believed to dictate your emotional strengths and weaknesses, the foods your body needs and wants, the exercises that might work the best for you and more.”

Yoga therapists may ask questions about sleep, stress, and lifestyle to understand more about a client’s constitution. This informs what recommendations they provide in a personalized yoga therapy program.

In the article, the Cleveland Clinic breaks down the doshas: 

“If you’re dominant in kapha, you may be comfortable sticking to a routine. Emotionally, you like to set expectations and hold to them .  . . If you’re dominant in pitta, you tend to be dominant in leadership, competitive, strong-willed, confident and focused. . . If you’re dominant in vata, you’re creative, flexible and quick to action. As you’re snappy, you also have the downside of worrying or feeling anxious when you have too much vata.”

Ayurvedic principles can inform the therapeutic yoga practice that best suits an individual’s constitution. One of these principles is “like increases like.” As Warren explains in the article, “Like increases like, so if you have trouble getting up and getting moving, you probably don’t want to do a restorative yoga practice in the morning if you need to build energy and get going. Instead, you might want to do some sun salutations where you’re not holding postures for very long.”

Get more insight into ayurveda and how it relates to yoga therapy by reading the full article here.

Find an IAYT-certified yoga therapist here.

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