A Vata Balancing Yoga Practice

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor

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The Vata Dosha is composed of space and air and holds the qualities of dry, light, cold, mobile, rough, and subtle.  When these two elements become imbalanced within the body and mind, we see their qualities in excess.

Typically, Vata imbalances manifest through fear, worry, anxiety, insomnia, bloating, gas, constipation, depletion, and aches and pains, specifically in the lower back and hips.

A yoga practice that will best cater to the needs of an aggravated Vata will be slow, warming, and grounding.  The practice should focus on building strength in the lower back and hips, where Vata tends to accumulate. It should focus on building heat and strength in the abdominal region. Building strength will help protect the lower back and building heat will help kindle Agni, promoting healthy digestion. In addition, both seated postures and twists are very beneficial.  All seated postures connect the body to the earth, promoting a sense of grounding. Twists stimulate the digestive organs, release excess gas built up in the stomach, and help maintain spinal health.

When practicing yoga to reduce excess Vata, how the practice is done is just as important as the postures themselves. Because Vata holds the quality of mobility, it is always moving. Movement is good, as we need it to carry out a number of other functions in our body, but when this movement isn’t controlled or balanced, yogis become more susceptible to injury and exhaustion. Slow and steady makes a happy Vata.

A good time to practice is in the morning, late afternoon or early
evening. Avoid practice mid-day.

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