Whoever is engaged in Ayurveda and integrates this ancient teaching into everyday life, usually starts with a Dosha test: How is my very personal constitution? We all carry all three Doshas in us, only in different weighting. Just as every color consists of the three basic colors, the ratio of the three doshas in us influences what physical and character traits we have. Knowing your own mixing ratio has numerous advantages – feel free to read more about it here and here.
Depending on one’s own constitution or possible imbalances (one dosha dominates excessively and thus causes discomfort), there are tips for every area of life to stay in balance and to prevent such imbalances from occurring in the first place: Exercise, sleep patterns, diet, and even hobbies. All, really all aspects of our life influence the doshas – so it is not surprising that leisure activities increase one dosha and reduce others.
Here is an overview of which hobbies are especially good for you based on your dosha dominance.
The “cozy” Dosha stands for grounding, security, stability – all good qualities, which, however, can lead to lethargy, stagnation and melancholy when Kapha is in excess. To keep the energy flowing, mentally and physically stimulating activities are super. So, hobbies that are rather sluggish and lack exercise, such as fishing, for example, are not so good. Dancing is a great sport for people with dominant kapha dosha. Dancing gets you moving not only physically, but also mentally, as you have to remember choreography and movement patterns. But meditative exercise like hiking is also good for Kapha types, as you get to move in the fresh air and benefit from the endurance typical of Kapha.
The “fiery” dosha can often use cooling down. If you have a dominant Pitta dosha, you often live out your ambition and competitive spirit on the job. On the one hand, this is great, because the qualities of Pitta are used optimally; on the other hand, an imbalance can arise here if there is also competition in private life. Everything that relaxes is well suited here: Swimming, yoga, painting, gardening, hiking. To balance the fire element, water activities are great. For outdoor hobbies, be sure not to spend too much time in direct sunlight and generally provide adequate sun protection so as not to further fuel Pitta heat.
The “airy” dosha is creative, enthusiastic and eager to move, but often needs stability and grounding so as not to fall into restlessness. Painting and drawing appeal to the creative streak of Vata people, hiking and running satisfy the need for movement and at the same time bring the mind to rest due to the regularity of movement and being in nature. Dancing is also great, as it combines movement and creativity – but debauched club nights should better be skipped by Vata people. Flashing lights and crowds make Vata shoot up extremely and can thus lead to an imbalance, which can result in restlessness, nervousness or even anxiety.
For all doshas and all constitution types, the general rule is that the leisure activity of your choice should be a balance to your job. So if you sit in front of the computer all day at work and then play chess in your free time, i.e. you practice a hobby without exercise, then there is no real balance.
Are you one of those people who don’t really have a hobby, but just sit in front of Netflix in the evening? Then think about whether there might be something you really enjoy doing – just looking for it can be a lot of fun!