Loving this post from Well+Good (apparently we’re not the only ones on a major ayurvedic kick). Please tells us in the comments 1) what your dosha is (if you know it) and 2) what kind of exercise you do. Let’s see who’s balancing and who may be increasing like with like! We’ll start.
Lots of things explain why you love insanely hot, slow Bikram sequences, while your best friend would rather be running the city streets on a 40-degree day.
But from an Ayurvedic perspective, the workout you’re most drawn to may be the one your body needs the least. (Bummer!)
“Like increases like,” says Ayurvedic expert Monica Bloom, author of the blog, Hey Monica B. “So, if you’re a fiery, competitive person (a Pitta constitution in Ayurveda), you’re going to want to literally race. But that will just add more fire. What you really need is to slow down, to create balance.”
And certain times of year can really set off your dosha. Fall, for example, is Vata season according to Ayurveda, so you may feel more scattered and need some grounding yoga sessions. (And put your iPhone down more often.)
So what types of workouts do you and your dosha need? (You can find out your dosha here.) These are Bloom’s workout recommendations for each dosha:
Monica Bloom, the Ayurvedic expert behind the blog, Hey Monica B.
1. VATA What you’ll want to do: Run, cardio What you should do: Barre, Pilates, restorative yoga, strength training
“Vata people are go, go, go,” says Bloom. So, stop. “They don’t eat a lot and don’t have great endurance, so what’s good for them is a routine that’s not too intense and is grounding.” The concentrated, precise movements of a focused barre class, as opposed to running laps, for instance. Yoga is great for Vatas’ characteristically tight muscles and creaky joints.
2. PITTA What you’ll want to do: Competitive sports, triathlons What you should do: Bike riding, running, swimming, yoga
Pitta people are fiery and competitive, and Bloom says if you’ve ever passed out from exercise, you’re probably one of them. (Most of us are way too lazy to take it that far). “Pittas should do something that’s cooling and that they can enjoy alongside their more competitive sports,” she says. “Riding a bike with the wind in their face or swimming without clocking your time are great options.” Important: Don’t. go. to. hot. yoga. (Spontaneous combustion may occur.)
With so-called swimsuit season looming, the magazines are churning out their seasonal fodder about the best beach bods, along with recommendations for body firming creams.
Here’s what we think about those creams: Take $50 bucks, drop it down the toilet, now flush. That’s about the same result you’ll get—a lighter wallet, not more toned thighs—from one of these overpriced, and definitely over-promisey products. Not to mention the cheap chemicals most contain.
As we sadly discovered in the book, there is no cream to get rid of cellulite, which is a combination of genetics and lifestyle—and is highly common in women. Most of us have some to complain of. What does help is increasing muscle and reducing fat—generally a pretty healthy endeavor—through exercise, healthy eating, lots of water, and all that good (tough) stuff. Oh and a tan, real of fake, can help a sister out too (and a little vitamin D on the legs is a good idea for some, though not if you’re a burner).
In the last year I’ve become more into—and more consistent—about exercise than ever before in my life. Ever since I discovered Piloxing—a hybrid of pilates, boxing, dance, and Rihanna—I’ve been pretty good about going regularly. It’s definitely helped me feel more toned, stronger, and generally more comfortable and happy in my body (even as I quietly bemoan years past when I could blink and lose five pounds—goodbye twenties!). Lucky for me, the founder of this unique and super-fun class teaches just down the street. If you’re in LA, I highly recommend you come check it out.
If you don’t think you have time for exercise—making you even more tempted to reach for a body firming cream—think again. The new science on exercise actually says intensity, and not time, may be the trick to getting fit fast.
Have you heard about HIIT (high-intensity interval training)? It’s a trendy subject these days in the health world that claims even a few minutes of super-high intensity training (the kind that makes some people want to puke, mind you) can have huge impacts on health.
And if exercise science is something that you find interesting in general, Gretchen Reynolds, who writes the New York Times Phys Ed column, has recently come out with a book called The First Twenty Minutes. I just started it, and find this stuff fascinating! Book club with me?
So let’s hear it: Have you ever bought a body firming cream? (I have! It was a hoax! And a fortune!) And are there any exercise routines you love, interval or other, that you can share with fellow readers?
We totally screwed the pooch on this one! We never announced the winner of our “It’s Not Exercise, It’s Fun” Challenge—and not for lack of participation on your part. We’d picked our favorite stories (there were several), and then we… um, forgot. And theeeen we got a little embarrassed for waiting so long! But we know better than to have shame in front of you guys at this point: It’s not like we haven’t all shared some of our dirtiest secrets (remember this and this?).
So, thank you to Beka for reminding us in the comments a few days ago. Might we add that Beka was actually shortlisted as a winner for her hilarious exercise experience. A little excerpt from the email she first sent us….
Due to finances and lack of childcare, I couldn’t do any fitness classes, so I had to find dvds I could do at home. I started with Netflix’s instant watch and found “The Situation Workout” featuring none other than the Situation (from Jersey Shore?). I gave it about 10 minutes of a try but just couldn’t do it…”
“Call me crazy, but I can’t take an instructor seriously when he says “look how my girl is bent over… that’s just how I like her!”
Ah-mazing. But since Beka already happened to have won the earlier Clean Makeup Challenge (by random selection), we decided to award Jessica of Stockbridge with the MiBra prize. Jessica opted for a belly dancing class and it sounds like she (and her husband) got a real kick out of it. Also the bra—which features a secret pocket for your iPod—will be perfect if she wants to practice at home without disturbing anyone with her tunes. There’s some bi-winning for ya.
Funnily, just this weekend a friend of mine introduced me to a new workout—a little exercise class called Piloxing. Yeah, it sounds silly—it’s a dance, boxing, pilates hybrid—but I had the best time doing it. Also, the class was so positive and full of supportive female energy that there was no room for embarrassment. Who knew that I’d get so into jumping around to club music while throwing air punches and learning basic dance choreography. Also, who knew I could sweat that much. A far cry from my usual hatha yoga at home!
Have you ladies stuck to the exercises you tried for the challenge? Has anyone tried something new they love of late?
Hellooooo. Are you guys doing this new challenge or what? I have signed up for an antigravity yoga class this Saturday at Om Factory in New York and I’m completely giddy with excitement. What are YOU doing?
Salut les ami(e)s! Inspired by best thing we’ve ever seen in our whole entire lives and all these new trend pieces about how everyone is a ballerina again, we’re going to try something a little different. It’s another challenge, but this one is physical. Consider it as a way to break out of your rut! Plus, there’s nothing more pretty than the glow of health, and also: There’s a prize.
In the next two weeks, we want you to do something physical that you’ve never done before. Always wanted to try rock climbing? Upside-down yoga? Boxing? Dancing at a salsa club with attractive strangers? A step class (LOL)? Anything you want—but get creative, and get moving.
Rules: Spend one hour in the next two weeks doing something physical that you have never done before. If you’re a ballerina who wants to take a barre class or a treadmill person who’s never run the biggest park in your city, we’ll take it—but we’d rather the ballerina run the park, and the runner hit the barre. You get the idea: We encourage you to get as creative as possible and go outside your comfort zone…because that’s what makes it FUN.
Instructions: Send us a brief description of what you did, and if you liked it or not. Shoot it over to nomoredirtylooks (at) gmail (dot) com, with DOUGIE in the subject line. It can be short, like: “I hated hot yoga and I’m never doing it again!” or it can go into a little more detail. Your call, but keep them under 200 words, please.
Also, please include your first name and the city you live in. (People always forget their city. Don’t forget your city!) We need all emails by end of day, Sunday, May 29th.
Prize: One of you girls gets a bra! An amazing 90% organic bra, no less, from MiBra, which has a handy iPod pocket in it, and is made with organic cotton! We sampled these puppies and we like them very much! We will pick a winner and then MiBra founder Caroline Baker will send you a bra.
Pretty please: Help us spread the word! Tweet it, Facebook it, scream it from the rooftops, and tell your friends to get on board with you. This only works if you guys are game. So be game, please.
The reason for the challenge: Maybe you hated gym class as a kid, or maybe you avoid going to the gym because it feels like a chore, or you feel awkward, or you think the treadmill is trying to kill you. Or maybe you diligently do get in your exercise, but, well, you’re all diligent about it—and you always do the same thing. What we all have in common, we’re guessing, is that somewhere along the line, most of us forgot that exercise can and should be FUN. So have fun, people, and if you already have a good idea or three for what you want to do, tell us in the comments. It may help inspire the others!
So who’s in?