Adapt Your Yoga Routine to Bring You Into Balance

Updated: Nov 18


Yoga asana is a fantastic way to help bring balance to mind and body, and once you understand your unique constitution, you can tailor your practice to bring yourself into balance.


In previous articles, we have explored the constitution, and how specific foods can impact on the quality of our physical and mental wellbeing. With this expanded awareness, we can add in yoga asana or tweak our practice to suit specific imbalances.


Let's dive in.


Yoga Asana For Balancing Vata Dosha


Remember that Vata is air and ether, so asana that provides a strong foundation and grounding for the body will help to calm Vata. Compression asanas that help to shift excess air (gas) out of the body is also good for balancing the Vata Dosha.


Examples of asana that balance Vata are:

  • Standing forward bend

  • Seated forward bend

  • Wide legged forward bend

  • Child’s pose

  • Knees to chest,

  • Supine pigeon.

In Yoga asana, Vata is the initiating action of the movement. In each of the asana listed above, the initiating action is gentle and the initiating movement leads to a position that is grounding, has a strong foundation and includes a compression.


Practicing these asana in a flowing motion that links the breath to the movement helps to increase steadiness and flow; and bring calm to the mind, particularly if the yogi brings awareness out of the mind and into the body.

Asana Sequence for Balancing Vata Dosha


The following yoga sequence will help to balance Vata:

  • Tadasana - Mountain pose

  • Vrkasana - Tree pose

  • Uttanasana - Standing forward bend

  • Prasarita Padotonasana - Wide legged forawrd bend

  • Malasana - Garland pose

  • Dandasana - Staff pose

  • Paschimottanasana - Seated forward bend

  • Upavistha Konasana - Wide angle seated forward bend

  • Viparita Karani - Legs up the wall pose

  • Balasana - Child's pose

  • Savasana - Corpse pose

Each asana can be performed more than once and for shorter periods of time using Ujjayi Pranayama to link breath to movement.

Remember that Vata is air and ether, so asana that provides a strong foundation and grounding for the body will help to calm Vata. Compression asana that helps to shift excess air (gas) out of the body is also good for balancing the Vata Dosha.

Yoga Asana For Balancing Vata Dosha


Asana that help to balance Pitta will not raise the temperature too much. Forward bends can increase heat to the internal organs and inversion can bring heat to the head, so it’s important to only do these for a short period of time. Focusing on the exhalation and flow can help to cool the body while performing the movement. Twists and openers help to release tension and heat that is stored by Pitta types. Pitta should have fun with their practice and not take it too seriously.

Asana that help to balance Pitta doesn’t raise the temperature too much. Forward bends can increase heat to the internal organs and inversion can bring heat to the head, so it’s important to only do these for a short period of time. Focusing on the exhalation and flow can help to cool the body while performing the movement. Twists and openers help to release tension and heat that is stored by Pitta types. Pitta should have fun with their practice and not take it too seriously.


Rajas is the energy in yoga asana and it uses strength, concentration and cardio-vascular effort. Rajas is also seen as the crests in yoga asana. In our own lives, rajas is passion and the stimulation. It has a warmth and intensity that keeps things in motion.


Asana Sequence for Balancing Pitta Dosha

The following yoga sequence will help to balance Pitta:

  • Tadasana - Mountain pose

  • Baddha konasana - Bound angle pose

  • Bidalasana - Cat cow

  • 3 x chandra namaskar - Moon salutation

  • Virbhadrasana I - Warrior 1

  • Trikonasana - Triangle pose

  • Utthita parsvakonasana - Extended side angle pose

  • Parivrtta parsvakonasana - Revolved side angle pose

  • Ardha chandrasana - Half moon pose

  • Plank pose

  • Chaturanga dandasana - Four limbed staff pose

  • Urdvha mukha svanasana - Upward facing dog

  • Advo mukha svanasana - Downward facing dog

  • Bakasana - Crow pose

  • Dandasana - Staff pose

  • Janu sirsasana - Head to knee pose

  • Setu bandasana - Bridge pose

  • Balasana - Child's pose

  • Viparita karani - Legs up the wall pose

  • Savasana - Corpse pose

This sequence has sufficient challenge for Pitta without being overly stimulating. By holding each pose for just a little longer, the yogi can combine a sattvic quality with the rajas of motion.

Yoga Asana For Balancing Kapha Dosha

To balance Kapha Dosha, yoga asana that is vigorous and gets the body moving is the best. Kapha need to breathe more forcefully and move more lightly and nimbly on their feet. Kapha needs to warm things up, tone the body, and bring heat through the asana practice. They need an airy practice that flows and moves.

Tamas in yoga is the pause, the rest, and the restoration that comes from inertia.

Asana Sequence for Balancing Kapha Dosha


The following sequence of yoga asana will help to balance the Kapha dosha:

  • Tadasana - Mountain pose

  • Surya namaskar - Sun salutation

  • Utkatasana - Chair pose

  • Uttanasana - Standing forward bend

  • Ardha Uttanasana - Half forward fold

  • Plank

  • Chaturanga dandasana - four limbed staff pose

  • Urdvha mukha svanasana - Upward facing dog

  • Adho mukha svanasana - Downward facing dog

  • Virabhadrasana I - Warrior I

  • Viparita virabhadrasana - Reverse Warrior

  • Virabhadrasana II - Warrior II

  • Plank Pose

  • Chaturanga dandasana

  • Urdhva mukha svanasana

  • Advo mukha svanasana - Downward facing dog

  • Dandasana - Staff pose

  • Navasana - Full boat pose

  • Savasana - corpose pose

Pitta Kapha Balancing Yoga

Pitta is the combination of fire and water; and Kapha is the combination of earth and water. This means that a Pitta Kapha dominance has opposing qualities with Pitta being characterised by heat, intensity, and fluidity and Kapha being characterised as cold, dullness and heaviness. Aggravation in either dosha can lead to an imbalance in the constitution and a yoga practice that balances both doshas requires a little more care.

Choosing Asana for Pitta Kapha

Having a dominant Pitta Kapha Constitution, I wanted to explore Asana for Pitta Kapha. The opposing nature of these doshas means that choosing appropriate yoga asana can be a little more difficult. It will also be necessary for the yogi to be more aware of their body as they practice the asana and notice the intensity, the flow, and the shift between generating heat and the coolness that comes from stillness. A balanced practice will consider the blend of movement, breath, and rest.

Since Pitta accumulates in the abdominal area and kapha tends to accumulate in the chest, the following types of asana should be included:

  • Asanas that stretch the abdominals and the chest,

  • Twists, bends and standing asana that require more movement, and

  • Appropriate stillness that can help balance heat and inner fire.

Although kapha benefits from heat, too much heat can aggravate pitta. The intensity of the asana practice should be moderated with fluidity between the movements. Holding the poses for a longer time can both increase heat, focus awareness on the body and provide respite in restorative poses. Adapting the length of the hold can help to increase or decrease the intensity.

An example sequence for pitta kapha follows:

  • Tadasana - Mountain pose

  • Surya Namaskar - Sun saluation

  • Virabhadrasana I - Warrior I

  • Trikonasana - Triangle Pose

  • Parivrtta Parsvakonasana - Extended side angle pose

  • Chandra Namaskar - Moon salutation

  • Uttanasana - Standing forward bend

  • Ardha Uttanasana - Half forward fold

  • Plank Pose

  • Chaturanga dandasana - Four limbed staff pose

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward facing dog

  • Urdhva mukha svanasana - Upward facing dog

  • Bhujangasana - Cobra pose

  • Ustrasana - Camel pose

  • Dandasana - Staff pose

  • Janu Sirsasana - Head to knee pose

  • Setu Bandhasana - Bridge pose

  • Dhanurasana - Bow pose

  • Balasana - Child's pose

  • Navasana - Full boat pose

  • Matsyasana - Fish pose

  • Savasana - Corpse pose

It should be remembered that asana that involves inversion of the head such as adho mukha svanasana can aggravate pitta and should only be held for a short period of time.

Each individual’s yoga practice will be unique and one should be mindful to respect the limits of your own body. Resist the temptation to push your own limits too far since an injury can lead to unnecessary time away from your practice.


Tim is a certified RYS200 hours Yoga Teacher. He certified as an Advanced Breathwork Instructor and currently studies Ayurveda with Yoga Veda Institute.


When combined with his experience as a life and leadership coach, Tim can help people make dramatic changes in thier overall wellbeing.


To learn more, book a call with Tim at http://book.timsnell.co



#ayurveda #ayuredayogatherapy #asana #yoga #doshabalancingyoga #wellness #fitness

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