Practicing the right type of yoga and postures for vata will help you to relieve forms of coldness, dryness, stress, nervousness, fear and anxiety.
It is especially important to practice this type of ayurveda yoga therapy during the full and winter months when it is cold, windy and drying.
This type of yoga is also helpful for digestion and can be soothing for the bones, nerves and joints. Below are some tips to get you started on your Vata yoga practice
Ayurveda yoga therapy tips for a vata reducing yoga practice.
1. You should never try to rush or hurry into asana practice.
2. You should always do gradual warm- ups for the body first that improves circulation and loosens your joints.
3. You should practice postures that are grounding and give you stability and strength. Yin yoga is a good example.
4. You should practice gentle flowing movements without fast jerky movements.
5. You should practice postures that emphasize the pelvic region and colon – the main sites of Vata.
6. You should practice postures that aim at releasing the tension from the hips, lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints
7. You should practice in a hot or warm environment and if possible, where you can connect with the earth.
8. You should breathe deeply and slowly and completely in all your yoga postures.
9. You should practice postures that create strength and stillness in the lower abdomen.
10. After your yoga practice,you should make sure that you rest and relax thoroughly and not end your practice abruptly to engage in activity that disturbs your mind and body.
Types of yoga postures for Vata dosha
Sitting postures – All types but especially Lotus pose (Siddhasana), Diamond pose (Vajrasana), Tortoise (Kurmasana) and Lion pose. They are very grounding and provide suppleness in the hips when stiff and rigid.
Spinal twists – All types but especially lying twists are excellent for removing vata from the nervous system. Twists should be held only as long as your breath is full otherwise vata increases.
Forward bends – All types are great. Especially head to knee forward bend (Janu Sirsasana) and full forward bend (Paschimottanasana). They release stiffness and tension in the back where Vata accumulates.
Backbends – All types but especially cobra and locust that provide flexibility to the spine and massages the colon. They also have a warming and heating effect. They should be done with slow controlled movements.
Standing postures – All, but especially Tree pose (Vrksasana), Triangle (Trikonasana) and the Warrior postures (Virabhadrasana). They develop overall strength, stability and balance.
Sun Salutations can be done slowly and consciously to increase your internal fire and your mind’s focus.
Corpse pose should be relaxing and comfortable – at least 10 minutes
Note: Special postures and attention should be given to Vata constitution where they may suffer from scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, sciatica, SI joint problems, fused bones, brittle bones and osteoporosis. It may be beneficial to seek an experienced Yoga Therapist or Yoga Instructor.
Key points for the body, breath and mind
Body: Keep your body calm, centered and relaxed. Do your postures slowly and gently without any sudden use of force or abrupt movements.
Prana & Breath: Keep your breath deep, calm and strong, emphasizing on inhalation. In General keep your postures firm, even and consistent.
Mind: Keep your mind calm and focused – in the present moment.
When practicing try to hold your poses for at least 10 deep breaths (especially standing poses because they help to ground Vata).
Before you begin your exercises or yoga practice
Focus on grounding your energy down to the earth; grounding the feet in standing poses really allows yourself to feel the earth energy coming up your feet and into the body. This will ground vata (reduce your ether energy). Try this type of practice 2 or 3 times a week. You can even go for a slow walk barefoot in the sand or grass.