Vata dosha is characterized by the qualities cold, mobility, lightness, and expansiveness. If you have a vata constitution, or imbalance, this video demonstrates how you can customize your yoga practice to encourage the opposite qualities that naturally bring vata back into balance. By adding the qualities of warmth, stability, grounding and focus to your practice, you can reestablish your natural state of health and well-being.
A yoga practice for a vata individual should be one creating warmth, serenity and nourishment. Vatas can cultivate this by following some basic guidelines:
- Practice at a slow, smooth and steady pace.
- Explore fluidity in your poses. Use gentle movements such as spinal and pelvic undulation, rotation in the joints, counter-poses, and flexion and extension.
- Hold each posture for a short amount of time, but do multiple repetitions.
- Draw into and move from your power center or hara. The hara is the area below the navel and above the pubic bone.
- Focus on the foundation of the pose to create stability.
- Internally rotate the femurs and press into the outer edges of your legs.
- As you move, imagine you are moving through a substance like warm water or warm mud.
- Focus on lengthening your inhalation.
- Stay connected to the earth. Ground down through your big toes.
- Fix your gaze below or at the horizon.
- Engage your entire body by hugging your muscles to the bones.
- Do not over extend or deplete yourself. Your practice should be strengthening, not draining. Vatas easily exhaust themselves and when the vata imbalance becomes severe, a restorative practice is best.
- Be present in your practice.
- Stay warm.
- Conclude your practice with a long relaxation.
The poses shown below are vata-pacifying poses that can be done individually or as a sequence.