Ayurvedic Tips for Increasing Your Energy

Ayurvedic Tips for Increasing Your Energy

As a holistic wellness philosophy, Ayurvedic medicine strives to alleviate bodily ailments by eliminating their root cause. In order to achieve positive energy and physical vibrancy, we must first eliminate the behaviors that negatively impact the mind and body. Thus, Ayurvedic tips and remedies for increasing energy primarily entail dietary and behavioral modifications that prevent fatigue in the first place. The objective is not to artificially stimulate the body. Rather, Ayurveda seeks to remove that which leeches our true inner energy, or ojas.

The Root of Fatigue: Overuse, Misuse, or No Use

Ayurvedic philosophy holds that exhaustion is the result of the overuse, misuse, or lack of use of the mind, body, or emotions. For many of us, fatigue is the result of overusing all three—mind, body, and emotions—day in and day out.

The modern lifestyle demands a lot of energy. When we devote all of our innate, divine energy to mundane and taxing actions like stressing about work, family, and other obligations, running around trying to complete a never-ending to-do list, and worrying about the stability of finances and the future, we inevitably tax our energy reserves and end up feeling depleted.

However, misuse or overuse can also result in exhaustion. For example: if you are a sensitive vata type, performing lots of intense cardiovascular exercise amounts to the misuse of the body, and can be incredibly draining. Refraining from exercise altogether, too, can result in tiredness.  Spending time wallowing in your worry or anger in relation to professional relationships and finances constitutes a misuse of emotion. And failing to use your emotion by isolating and numbing yourself can be just as depleting as excessively expending your emotions.

The Role of Doshas

Why is it that overuse, misuse, or lack of use result in low energy? Any improper expenditure of energy can disturb the delicate balance of your doshas. Imbalanced doshic energy, in turn, hinders the ability of the body and mind to function optimally. Thus, Ayurvedic tips for increasing your energy are predominantly geared toward balancing the doshas.

The concept of the dosha is integral to Ayurvedic philosophy. The three doshas—pitta, vata, and kapha—are the three essential forces that lend us our unique physical and mental properties. We are each born with a unique balance of the three doshas that differentiates us from other life forms. However, excessive work or stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, trauma, and other physical and mental ailments can disturb this delicate balance, leading to low energy.

Balancing the Doshas

If you are experiencing low energy or chronic fatigue, there exists an energetic imbalance in your body. Physical fatigue is associated with imbalanced kapha; mental fatigue with imbalanced vata; and emotional fatigue with imbalanced pitta. Thus, one of the primary Ayurvedic tips for combatting fatigue is balancing the doshas. And there are several ways you can do that.


To eliminate your problems at the source, you must identify and avoid the behaviors that are causing the doshic imbalance. Carefully examine the way you use your body, mind, and emotions. Are you overusing or misusing them? Are you trying not to use them out of fear or lethargy? Being honest with yourself about how you expend your energy is the first step in balancing your doshas.

There are several lifestyle alterations you can make to balance your doshas as well. To determine which alterations will help you, you should schedule an Ayurvedic consultation to ascertain your dominant dosha and determine which of your energies are excessive or depleted. Once you know your doshic makeup, you will know which doshas require stimulation and which need pacification. For example: excessive vata may necessitate mindful relaxation and regular sleep. Kapha, on the other hand, will benefit from regular exercise. Adopting a lifestyle and diet to compliment your doshic energy will go a long way in restoring your long lost energy reserves.

Strengthening Agni

The buildup or depletion of doshic energy is often the result of poor agni, or digestive fire. When agni is too strong or too weak, you may experience improper elimination and digestive distress. The failure to assimilate or excrete doshic energy can lead to doshic imbalance. Strengthening and nourishing the digestive fire is thus a surefire way to restore doshic balance. Plus, strengthening agni also ensures proper nutrient absorption, preventing deficiencies and, by extension, fatigue.

There are several simple ways to ignite the digestive fire. The first and most important is to consume clean, whole, unprocessed foods that compliment your dosha. If you are particularly prone to constipation, warm and oily foods may help restore normal digestive function. Drinking warm water with lemon and consuming stimulating spices like ginger and cumin also strengthen agni.

Eat regular meals, and try to consume your largest meal in the afternoon, when digestion is strongest. Stick with light foods for breakfast and dinner, but don’t skip meals; doing so can destabilize blood sugar and depress your metabolism. Finally, reduce your consumption of coffee, soda, caffeine, and sugar, which can disrupt the body’s delicate circadian rhythm and thereby disturb digestion and sleep.

Bodily Support and Care

There are a few strategies that are universally suitable for promoting doshic balance and combatting fatigue. The first and most critical is to reduce inflammation. Of course, reducing inflammation at the source by cleaning up your diet, changing your exercise routine, and other lifestyle adjustments, is the best way to do so. But consuming anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, ghee, and ginger will provide additional support.

Ayurveda is not big on pills and prescriptions. But there are a few herbal supplements that Ayuredic practitioners typically recommend to their clients. Ashwaganda is an adaptogenic herb that coordinates the HPA axis to modulate the stress response. Brahmi protects the brain from the negative effects of cortisol secretion. And Triphala encourages healthy elimination, moving toxic waste out of the body. Together, these supplements tame and combat the negative effects of the stress response, reducing inflammation and preventing energy depletion.

Finally, never underestimate the power of a consistent self-care routine. Establishing rituals that nourish the body and soul, like journaling or taking a bath, help to revitalize our energy. Specifically, self-care boosts our ojas, our inner sense of vitality. Pranayama is perhaps one of the most beneficial elements of a self-care routine, as it supplies prana, or life force, to the entirety of your being.

The Right Yoga For Your Dosha

The Right Yoga For Your Dosha

In our post Understanding Your Dosha: Diet and Lifestyle Suggestions, we introduced and began to explore the concept of the Ayurveda dosha. The doshas, in Ayurvedic philosophy, are the three life force energies that comprise and characterize all earthly life. The three doshas–vata, pitta, and kapha–each possess their own unique set of gunas, or qualities. It is the unique ratio of the three doshas that each one of us possesses that in turn determines our unique physical and mental properties.

Determining your Ayurveda dosha, ideally through an Ayurvedic consultation, is critical for personalizing and thus rendering more effective your diet, exercise routine, and lifestyle. Our individual doshic makeup determines our characteristics and, by extension, demands unique attention and care. Thus, no lifestyle is universally suitable to those with differing life force energies.

One of the best ways to achieve balance and nurture your body is to practice yoga. But like all other things, no yoga practice is universally suitable to the many different Ayurveda dosha types. To reap the greatest possible benefit from the time you invest in your yoga practice, you must adopt poses and styles that compliment your Ayurveda dosha. Today we will explore the most beneficial types of yoga for each of the three doshas.

Yoga for Vata Dominant Individuals

Vata is the dosha of air and ether, and is thus a turbulent and unstable energy. Vata dominant individuals therefore tend to experience anxiety, racing thoughts, and insomnia more than other Ayurveda dosha types. If Vata is your dominant Ayurveda dosha, you must be cautious not to overstimulate your sensitive and already turbulent nervous system. By extension, you should avoid strenuous or fast-paced yoga, like Bikram or Ashtanga. Vata types benefit from a soothing, grounding practice, slow in pace and light in effort, like gentle Hatha or Yin yoga.

Tree pose and mountain pose are staples of a classic Vata yoga practice. Both poses require you to plant your feet firmly on the ground to achieve stillness and stability. Warrior poses imbue Vata types with a sense of strength, power, and stillness to quell feelings of helplessness and insecurity. Poses that require the compression or contraction of the abdomen are highly beneficial for constipation-prone Vata. Consider reading about yoga for digestion if your excess Vata energy is causing sluggish elimination.

Vinyasa yoga is excellent for the Vata Ayurveda dosha, but only if performed properly. A rapid-paced Vinyasa sequence with a Hatha-like emphasis on asanas may be overstimulating for a sensitive Vata. Instead, Vata dominant individuals should only practice a slow and methodical Vinyasa sequence. For Vatas, it is critical to focus on staying mentally present and embracing the transitions between asanas. The fluidity of a slow-paced Vinyasa practice has a soothing and spiritual effect that is quells Vata energy.

Yoga for Pitta Dominant Individuals

Pitta is the fiery dosha, loud, proud, and prone to anger. Like Vata types, Pitta types benefits from a soothing and grounding practice, but for different reasons. Whereas Vata benefits from soothing yoga for stress reduction, Pittas should adopt an easy practice for the sake of taming their competitive tendencies and cooling their fiery minds.

Pitta benefits from a Vinyasa practice similar to that which benefits Vata. Those of Pitta constitution, however, are less physically sensitive. Pitta types can therefore sustain more difficult poses and should not be bound solely to gentle yoga practices. They should, however, avoid fast-paced and heating practices, like a rapid Vinyasa sequence or Bikram. They should also avoid Ashtanga, as the emphasis on inversion creates heat in the head, as do inverted Yin sequences.

Poses that open the chest and hips allow heat to flow from the body, cooling and countering the Pitta Ayurveda dosha. Pigeon, cobra, fish, and bridge poses all effectively open the chest to release heat. Poses like warrior, half moon, and any pose that incorporates lunging are also great for Pitta types.

Yoga for Kapha Dominant Individuals

Unlike Vata and Pitta types, the Kapha Ayurveda dosha benefits from invigorating exercise to counter its grounding earth and water energies. Thus, rapid Vinyasa, Ashtanga, or Bikram sequences are great options for countering Kaphas slow and cool nature.

Kaphas possess great stamina. They are therefore capable of holding difficult, standing poses for longer periods of time. Kapha, like Pitta, also benefits from poses that open the chest, which propel the circulation of prana through the body. An energizing pranayama practice is also great for Kapha for the same reason, as Kapha is prone to low energy. An early morning practice, preferably between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m., will energize Kapha throughout the day, preventing lethargy and depletion.