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How Hatha Yoga Benefits Pitta, Vata, and Kapha

Updated on October 9, 2014

Hatha yoga can help to keep the doshas balanced

If you take a look at the ancient traditions of India, you will find that ayurveda and Hatha yoga go together. They compliment each other and work together in pursuit of the same goals, although yoga focuses more on the spiritual and ayurveda focuses more on the physical. In ayurveda, there are three different motivating principles that can be found, which are known as doshas. They are all necessary for living things and are known as pitta, vata, and kapha. Pitta represents bile, vata represents wind, and kapha represents mucus. Pitta deals with the metabolism, vata deals with movement, and kapha deals with the structure and form of the body.

When there is an imbalance of one of the three doshas, disease is the result. So, if you want to prevent disease and keep your health in good shape, keeping these doshas balanced is very important. While there are ayurvedic measures that can be taken to help keep these doshas balanced by using diet or herbs, Hatha yoga also can help to keep the doshas balanced as well. There are certain yoga poses that are best for people showing a pitta dosha, as well as specific practices that can help those who show the vata or kapha dosha as well.

The Pitta Dosha and Hatha Yoga

The pitta dosha is representative of bile and it has been described as liquid, sharp, sour, pungent, and hot. It is found in the regions of the small intestine, stomach, and liver; however, it can pervade the rest of the body as well. People who have a pitta dosha usually show signs of heat, perspiration, burning, itching, heat, inflammation, redness, and discharge. So, usually those dealing with inflammation are dealing with pitta. Of course pitta has effects on the mind as well, and is thought to be responsible for incisive thinking, discrimination, and more. If it is out of balance it can manifest emotions such as resentment, irritability, frustration, and rage.

So, you may be wondering, how can Hatha yoga be used to help balance this dosha and benefit people who are considered to have the pitta dosha? Well, first of all, the yoga practices that have a cooling effect on the body should be used for those dealing with the pitta dosha. There are specific practices that are designed to cool the body, and these can be particularly beneficial to those who are dealing with the pitta dosha. Also, there are Hatha yoga practices that help to take the organs and harmonize their functioning, which also helps to benefit pitta. So, since pitta is represented by bile and is located in the abdominal area, those postures which help with digestion and assimilation of nutrients can be important. It is important that those with a pitta dosha practice asanas that work on the upper part of the abdomen so they can benefit the way the stomach, liver, and duodenum work.

The Vata Dosha and Hatha Yoga

The vita dosha is representative of wind and the seat of it is in the colon and pelvis. Of course vata also resides in other places as well, including in the thighs, bones, bladder, ears, and sense of touch. Vata can be aggravated by a variety of things, such as pungent and bitter flavors, by fear, in the early morning, by excessive movement, and by cold and dry climates as well. However, those who are dealing with the vata dosha can find help and benefits from using Hatha yoga.

Hatha yoga can provide a variety of excellent benefits to those who have the vata dosha. Using slow asana practices can really help to balance out this dosha. Warming and stretching poses are excellent as well as backward bends, padmasana, shashankasana, and more. Mediation is also very important along with the poses of yoga to help those dealing with the vata dasha. Along with diet and other treatments, Hatha yoga can be a huge benefit to help balance this dosha out.

The Kapha Dosha and Hatha Yoga

The kapha dosha combines together water and earth elements. It is a dense, heavy, soft, oily, sweet, cloudy, and liquid dosha and is known to hold the entire body together. It helps with the development of the body, gives shape, protects, and also has to do with taste and smell. Kapha is representative of phlegm within the body and it resides in the head, throat, stomach, chest, nose, fat, lymph, and tongue, although it is primarily in the stomach. This dosha can be aggravated by salty, sour, and sweet flavors, in the winter, by a heavy diet, in cold climates, by greed, and laziness.

Hatha Yoga can also be helpful for balancing out people who have the kapha dosha as well. Movement and stimulation is needed by kaphas and while some poses may be difficult for kaphas because they are not as flexible, there are many poses that can help. Some of the best poses for kaphas include the sun salutation, breath of joy, warrior I, chair, angel wings, standing spinal twist, cobra, bow, and even spinal rolls. They benefit kaphas by helping to create warmth, stimulation, and buoyancy as well, not to mention they can aid with weight loss, which can be important for kaphas.

As you can see, Hatha yoga can be beneficial, no matter what dosha you are dealing with. From kapha, vata, to pitta doshas, there are great benefits that you can enjoy when you practice yoga on a regular basis.

Hatha Yoga Flow 1 -Easy Ground Work - Full 43 Minute Class

Hatha Yoga Demonstration


Submit a Comment

  • aparajita12 profile image


    8 years ago

    very nice information

  • ceholmes profile image


    8 years ago from Chicago

    you are so right about the vata dosha yoga poses and the importance of meditation. great hub, I am a fan.

  • multifunctions profile image

    Sanjay Sapre 

    8 years ago from India

    you have created a good page. its informative and simple

  • ebourne profile image


    10 years ago from Washington, D.C.

    This is a fabulous hub article. Thanks for commenting on my Chair Yoga article. I'm going to read your articles on Ayurveda because I am a veg, and I am always looking for info about healthy living/eating.



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