ayurveda and exercise

Peak Fitness High Intensity Exercising – Less Time exercising for better results!

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Anyone Interested in Exercising for less time and more results!  I’ve recently added this to my routine, and will let you know how it works for me.  (This is courtesy of Dr. John Douillard)


Choose a form of cardiovascular exercise to practice using the 12-Minute Workout prompts below.
This can be walking, jogging, riding a bike or using a cardio machine. It can also be jumping jacks, running
up and down stairs, jumping on and off a curb.

12-Minute Workout
Step 1: Warm Up
Exercise slowly for 2 minutes while breathing deeply in and out through
your nose.

Step 2: Sprint
Start exercising faster, like a mini sprint, for 1 minute. Using the nasal breath
during the sprint will keep you from overexerting yourself. Don’t push it here.
Start slow and build yourself up to a faster sprint over time. Try to do a sprint
pace that you can maintain for one minute. In a couple of weeks, you’ll be
sprinting like a pro.

Step 3: Recovery
Slow the exercise down to the warm-up pace for one minute, maintaining
the nasal breathing if you can.

Step 4: Second Sprint
Start another sprint for one minute. Make this a little faster than the first
sprint if you can.

Step 5: Second Recovery
Recover from the sprint with one minute of deep nasal breathing at the
warm up pace. If you cannot maintain nasal breathing during the recovery,
it’s an indication that the sprint was too hard. With each sprint, it will get

Step 6: Continue Sprints and Recoveries
Continue sprints and recoveries for a total of 4 sprints and 4 recoveries.
Follow the nasal breathing if you can.

Step 7: Cool Down
Repeat Step 1. Exercise at the warm up pace, gradually slowing down, for
2 minutes.

More details:

The 12-Minute Workout is based on the principles of heart rate variability – which aims to strengthen
the heart by increasing the difference between the resting heart rate and maximum heart rate during
If you don’t yet have an established exercise routine, the 12-Minute Workout is a fabulous start.
Here are some of the benefits:
􀁴 Increase fat metabolism
􀁴 Calm the nervous system and mind
􀁴 Support healthy glucose and insulin levels
􀁴 Increase calorie burning
􀁴 Boost energy
􀁴 Create a sleeker, stronger, and more toned physique
􀁴 Enhance sex drive
􀁴 Improve lymphatic drainage, leading to healthier skin and detoxification
􀁴 Amplify exercise endurance and performance
􀁴 Raise human growth hormone – which may be responsible for all of the above

Ayurveda’s Take on Exercise

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Ayurveda’s Take on Exercise

I’ve always been a big fan of exercise, and can be found hiking, riding my horse Bella, doing yoga or chi gong, or something almost every day of the week!  I think exercise is important not only for a healthy body, but for a balanced mind as well – I know it helps to keep me sane.  That said, Ayurveda offers some basic principles to follow in order to optimize the benefits that we get from moving the bod.

WHEN to Exercise:

According to Ayurveda, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. is the “Kapha” time of day, and when our bio rhythms are best suited for exercise.  Kapha’s qualities are heavy and grounding, so by exercising and moving during this time, we are creating balance in the body (opposite qualities create balance).   The second best time is EARLY in the evening, around 5 or 6, but not too close to bed time, otherwise, it may affect your sleep.

When not to exercise

  • when you are exhausted
  • when you’re sick
  • When you are overly hungry or thirsty
  • Right before or after meals, except for  taking an easy walk after a meal, which helps your digestion
  • According to Ayurveda, and I have a difficult time with this one, women should exercise only lightly or not at all during menstruation, pregnancy, and for some time after childbirth.

Here’s another principle that Westerners don’t always adhere to:

50% of one’s capacity = maximum benefit
Too much exercise can be just as unhealthy as too little. Yet what is the right amount for you? Most medical experts recommend exercising up to 75-80% of one’s maximum heart rate. But Ayurveda gives a simple rule of thumb: when you begin to sweat profusely, or when breathing begins to be heavy or labored (when you can no longer breathe through your nose but must instead breathe through the mouth) – at that point you should stop or slow down.

Exercise should above all contribute to maintaining the inner balance of the physiology as a whole, strengthening all organs and making the immune system more resistant to disease. Exercise enhances well-being, and should reduce rather than increase stress. Over time, this is more enjoyable, and in the long term is healthier than pushing one’s body to the limit. After exercise you should feel better and more energetic than before. According to Ayurveda exhaustion is a sign of “unhealthy” exercise.

I’ll write more on this later, but at least you’ve got some food or movement for thought!

*Some of this material is sourced from Maharishi Ayurveda