vata yoga

Yoga practice that is grounding, warming, relaxes mental and physical tension, and soothes anxiety and fear is balancing to vata dosha.

Practice should be regular, both in terms of the time of practice and number of practices during the week.

Vata responds well to closed chain postures where both your hands and feet are connected to the ground.

Create support in postures by linking the bones and tuning them into gravity. Avoid overworking the muscles, particularly in the arms, because this creates residual nervous tension that gets trapped in the muscles and joints and results in coldness, stiffness, and agitation after the asana practice.

Emphasize a practice to promotes warming, circulation, and downward movement of energy. Include slow, graceful Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar), squats, and backbends that engage the legs such as Warrior I (Virabhadrasana 1), Camel (Ustrasana) and Bridge Pose (Setubandhasana). Holding standing poses for 3-5 breaths will both ground and strengthen the vata type without exhausting them.

Finish with some warming inversions that place both the hands and feet on the ground such as Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and modified forearm balance (Dolphin Pose) followed by seated shoulder openers to release any built up tension in the upper back. Also include seated and lying twists to release tension from the spine and balance the flow of Prana in the body.

Take a longer Relaxation Pose (Savasana) (10-20 min.) to provide ample time for grounding and deep relaxation. Use blankets and props to make yourself warm and extra comfortable. Relaxation can be enhanced by staying focused on bodily sensations and imagery such as being held in a warm, womblike environment. Avoid rushing after you finish practice.

Breathing Practices
During asana practice emphasize an even rhythm of inhale and exhale. A slow, smooth Ujjayi breath is the best way to keep Vata balanced and ensure good circulation of prana, heat, and fluids in the body and a calm mental and emotional state.

Any form of meditation that is useful for harnessing an active mind, developing concentration, and reducing anxiety and fear.