by Dr. Virender Sodhi

Breathe to the Beat of Your Own Dosha, MASSAGE MagazineThe ancient sages from India recognized the breath as important for balancing and de-stressing one’s body, mind and spirit.  

Considered the “healing side of yoga,” Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old healing science from India that provides a natural, balanced approach to optimal health according to each individual’s natural constitution, or “dosha.” Here are some stress-reducing breathing exercises for every personality.

Ayurvedic Breathing Exercises

Kapha balancing–for those of the Kapha dosha, or during spring

(Kaphas may feel sluggish, often experience respiratory conditions and gain weight easily.)

  1. Bring your chin toward your chest and inhale deeply through your nose.
  2. Extend your head back and exhale through your mouth.
  3. Repeat this exercise 16 times, twice a day.

Pitta balancing–for those of the Pitta dosha, or during summer

(Pittas tend to run warm, get easily irritated and impatient and experience heated digestion.)

  1. Open your mouth to form an “O” shape. With your mouth in this position, form a funnel with your tongue and place it between your lips.*
  2. Slowly inhale through your tongue and feel the breath reach your heart.
  3. Relax the tongue and mouth, and then exhale through your mouth.
  4. Repeat this exercise 16 times, twice a day.

* If you cannot form a funnel, bring your teeth together and inhale through your teeth instead.

Vata balancing–for those of the Vata dosha, or during fall

(Vatas can be anxious and absentminded and experience flatulence and constipation.)

  1. Inhale through your nose, filling your lungs to full capacity.
  2. Hold the breath for three seconds, followed by a slow mouth exhale.
  3. Repeat this exercise 16 times, twice a day.

Tridosha balancing–ideal for all doshas, any time of the year

  1. Turn your head to the left and slowly inhale through your nose, filling your lungs to full capacity.
  2. Turn your head to the right and exhale through your mouth, repeat 16 times.
  3. Repeat the process starting with your head to the right another 16 times.
  4. Repeat this exercise twice a day.

Dr. Virender Sodhi is an Ayurvedic medical doctor, naturopathic physician and co-founder of R-U-VED , a manufacturer of Ayurvedic herbs based in Redmond, Washington. For more details on doshas and Ayurveda, click here. For information on balancing herbal formulas, visit