Yoga for your Dosha Type

By May 24, 2017SPA

In Ayurveda there are three main mind and body types known as doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, derived from the five elements of air, space, fire, earth, water. Your individual dosha type gives insight into your physical, mental, emotional and behavioural characteristics.

Before our Scarlet Spa Journeys we offer individual consultations which explore your dosha type so that we can tailor our spa treatments and massage techniques to you. You can always book an Ayurvedic consultation with us at the spa, and we can do phone consultations too.

Each individual is unique in Ayurveda, governed by a mixture of dosha types, but usually one or two dosha types is dominant. The key to Ayurvedic practice is keeping your dosha type in balance through appropriate nutrition, lifestyle and exercise, so there are specific yoga practices for each dosha type.

Here is our guide to tailoring your yoga practice according to your dosha type:

Yoga to awaken Kapha
Heat, trust, lengthen

Kapha takes care of the structure and fluidity of your body with water and earth being the driving elements. Dense, heavy and slow so balance with a strong yoga practice focused on movement. Go for stimulating asanas to generate heat and a dynamic, brisk flow to avoid stagnation. Finish with a light, clear mind and body.

Commit to daily movement and to shaking up your routine. Challenge yourself to try new things even if at first you are not keen.


  • Be strong and vigorous
  • Practice between 6am and 10am or 6pm and 10pm during Kapha time
  • Invite heat and mobility with 12 rounds of Sun Salutations
  • Keep yourself warm
  • Be enthusiastic, wakeful and focused with an upward gaze
  • Open your chest
  • Focus on Ujjayi breath (ocean sounds) – keep it rhythmical
  • Warrior II, Triangle, Upward facing dog and Tree
  • Enjoy a short resting period between postures
  • Focus on your alignment
  • Challenge yourself
  • Don’t give up!

Yoga to cool Pitta
Pause, smile, let go

Balance the elements of fire and water for a happy pitta dosha, rather than a heated, explosive pitta. Create a cooling practice, full of acceptance, compassion and relaxed effort. Be gentle with yourself and ease up on the rigidity and ambition to feel more relaxed.

Go a little slower take on a little less. Be present in every moment and give yourself a rest.



  • Be moderate, patient and cool
  • Have fun, stay below 80% effort
  • Gaze towards the horizon or close your eyes
  • Find freedom, creativity and diversity
  • Less is more, trust the body switch off the mind
  • Breathe with the flow of movement
  • To be, rather than to do
  • Keep it fluid and breathe between series
  • Find postures that cool, Moon, Child Pose and a free flowing Cat Cow
  • It will cool any anger and frustration
  • Remember, yoga is not a competition

Yoga to warm Vata
Slow, gentle, balance

Vata’s elements are air and space (ether), think cold, light, mobile, changeable, vata is all about movement. A yoga practice to balance vata creates stability, warmth and focus through grounding, a slow pace and a warm and serene environment.

Plant your feet into the earth, ground yourself with poise & grace. Strike a balance to unwind and gently slow your pace.



  • Be slow, steady and gentle in your practice
  • Feel your toes connected to the earth. Fix your gaze low
  • Keep yourself warm
  • Choose to work within your energy levels
  • Find equality with your breath
  • Hold postures for longer, synchronised with the rhythm of your own breathing
  • Draw into and move from your core
  • Focus on the foundation of the pose to create stability, imagine roots growing into the ground
  • Choose asanas that work on your balance
  • Slow flow, with equal attempts on each side.
  • Work with the digestive system in forward and back bends, twists, wind-relieving pose.
  • Thighs, pelvis and lower back are vata’s main areas.
  • Embrace sun salutations slowly
  • Close your practice with the corpse pose for a long deep rest