Vinyasas for Vata
To piggyback on my last post, I’m going to start providing further information on specific Vinyasa Styles of Yoga for each Dosha, as I continue to learn it all myself. Never stop being a student of life! First up is Vata as that’s my dominant Prakruti, or main constitution, and where I have the most lived experience & wisdom within this to share thus far on my journey. Every single day I learn more about my Doshas and how to continuously juggle the plates in the air. Many factors lead to these plates falling off balance - environment, change, lifestyle, season, diet, unexpected world madness. The better I am able to know my imbalances from these factors however, the easier it is to return myself to an overall state of health.
According to Ayurveda, it's important to remember we are all born with parts of all 3 Doshas that make up our constitution, which is determined at time of conception. Most of us hold a primary Dosha, which is stronger than the others. Typically followed by a secondary Dosha, and then a third, less prominent. There are a few ppl however who are closely balanced in all three. Rare, but possible.
To understand your Prakruti, or Dosha, you must first take the Doshic quiz. I mentioned it in my previous post, but the best option is to take it directly from an Ayurvedic textbook as it’s much more thorough. But as is anything these days, you can perform it online as well.
Here’s a quick rundown on Vata from my 31 Days of Ayurveda:
In Balance, Vata is :
A great communicator
Imaginative, artistic & creative
Full of ideas & mentally quick
Idea & project thinker and initiator
A clear, clean elimination machine
Out of Balance, Vata can have :
Digestive issues - erratic appetite, irregular digestion, bloating & constipation
Bouts of depression, anxiety & restlessness
Trouble falling & staying asleep
Extreme dryness of body/hair and sensitivity to dry/cold weather
Suffer from cold extremities such as feet, hands & nose
Movement of air in/out of lungs
Movement of nerve impulses through the nervous system
Digestion & metabolism
Circulation of blood & lymph nods
There are many functions to assist in bringing Vata back into healthy balance. Here though, I am just going to concentrate on the Style of Vinyasa Yoga to perform and actual sequences. Even before I get to that, I’d like to bring up another quality of Vata in relation to my Yogic research that really spoke to me as I feel completely magnetized to the same areas in my life - Vata is drawn to the more Spiritual qualities of Yoga from honing their intuition, relaxing into effortless flow, craving energetic experiences and diving deeper into the function of the chakras.
In my research so far, and also speaking from my Vata experience, here are what I have found to be the most beneficial Vinyasa Style Yoga qualities :
Emphasis on postures that are slow, rhythmic and performed with a great amount of focus & concentration
Soft, flowing movements with trying to minimize the effort and extend the space in between the joints
Specific Vinyasa flow which concentrates on connection to rhythm of breath. A focus on this slow, steady breath will do wonders to connect mind & body - Ujjayi breath is recommended for these Vinyasa Flow sequences.
Concentrate on the seat & lower body areas of Vata students to create a feeling of groundedness, support & stability - helpful for the Vata who is constantly up in their head. This would include standing, balancing & stabilizing poses which emphasize grounding, support & strength to the base of the body.
Longer sequences can also challenge concentration and help to develop the mental focus needed for long seated meditation
A sequence that helps to build heat and circulate through the body & extremities
In my next couple of Instagram posts, I will begin to demonstrate specific Vinyasa Sequences for Vata created by Krishnamacharya, as told by Mukunda Stiles, pioneer in Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy.