Yoga Poses to Balance the Vata Dosha

October 9th, 2011

yoga certificationBy Faye Martins

Ayurveda is a sister science to the practice of Yoga. Both of these systems of healing and spirituality arose approximately 5,000 years ago from the Vedic cultures of India. Ayurveda is known as the wisdom of how to live life well and healthfully. The healing system of Ayurveda describes human nature in terms of three fundamental energy patterns. These three doshas or mental and physical compositions are known as Kapha, Pitta and Vata. Kapha is related to the earth element, Pitta reflects the fire element of the cosmos, and Vata is related to the wind element.

Each dosha or characteristic type of a person is a blend of his or her emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical make-up and proclivities. One of the main goals of Ayurvedic practitioners is to balance the person’s dosha in order to create optimal health and well-being. This balance is achieved through a combination of massage, medicinal herbs, dietary recommendations and cleansing treatments. The practice of Yoga postures, meditation techniques and breathing exercises are also highly recommended by Ayurvedic doctors for restoring and maintaining health and balance.

If the Vata dosha is most pronounced in your body and mind, your basic nature tends to be very light, spry, energetic and highly changeable, just like the wind! In order to balance, settle and ground the Vata energy, a Yoga practitioner is best served by creating a Yoga practice that is steady, smooth and slow. In addition, it is very nurturing to a Vata Yogi or Yogini to create a practice that is warm and nourishing.

The Yoga poses that are best suited for creating a nourishing, warm and grounding Yoga practice are standing poses such as Warrior Pose, Triangle Pose and Eagle Pose linked together by a slow and steady vinyasa sequence. Standing postures such as these will help to strengthen and ground your energy. Restorative backbends and forward bends are also very relaxing and nourishing. Ultimately, the poses that you choose to practice in order to harmonize and balance the Vata dosha are not as important as the way you perform the asanas and breathing exercises.

If your Yoga practice is steady, slow and rhythmic and you move from your center, the Vata energy will become less anxious and more balanced. Lengthening your inhalation while you practice the postures will also help you to relax and ground. Do not practice to the point where you deplete your energy. Vata people can easily become exhausted. A Yoga training seaaion that is most suited for balancing the Vata energy is one that is slow, steady and nourishing with a strong connection to the earth and a long shavasana or final relaxation posture. This type of nourishing practice will leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and more grounded.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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One Response to “Yoga Poses to Balance the Vata Dosha”

  1. Tara says:

    Thank you Faye,
    This article was helpful to me since I am 80% Vata! Your recomendations reflect what I have already discovered for myself – that I enjoy most to practise a Vinyasa Form of yoga in a slow and flowing way. I noticed, in the past, when I practised Ashtanga or Bikram I got more exhausted and felt less energised- maybe too strong for me? So I have trained as a Vinyasa Flow teacher and love the focus and concentration breath and asana- this nourishes me.

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