Here we are… there are no shortage of challenging circumstances to navigate and process right now. Vata season has arrived (for my northern hemisphere friends), and even in a non-pandemic, election, crazy-town year, this seasonal shift can result in feelings of anxiety, anger, insomnia and overwhelm.
Vata is one of the three Ayurvedic constitutional types/doshas, with pitta and kapha making up the other two. We all have a unique mix of these three doshas. Our dosha is like our blueprint, and doesn’t change throughout our life, however, lots of factors influence our dosha balance and how it expresses, including diet and lifestyle, our age, the time of day, and the time of year.
As the fire of pitta season cools and the wind picks up, the vata dosha steps into the limelight, and is the dominant dosha until about mid-winter. When vata is in balance there’s inspiration, lots of creativity, quick thinking, expansive energy, and ready flexibility.
Whether there’s a lot of vata in your dosha mix, or just a little bit, during this time of year we all have the opportunity to attune to and celebrate these qualities of the vata dosha. We also all have the tendency to go out of balance in vata ways more easily.
Vata is made of the elements Air and Ether and is the energy of motion. Vata governs all motion – the movement of your arm, the beating of your heart, the transmission of nerve impulses, the flow of prana. When there’s too much motion, we find ourselves distracted, ungrounded and moving too fast. There can be muscle twitches, spasms and tremors, worry, anxiety and insomnia.
Let’s ground our vata together. Here are some ideas for your practice:
Postures to Mobilize the Respiratory Diaphragm
Breath: Profoundly relax abdomen; Slow and deepen; Elongate Exhalation; Pressure Chamber Breath; Chandra Bhedana; Left nostril breath
Postures: Intention of Sweetness and Ease/Sukkha, Soothing and Calming; Longer holds of postures; Forward Folds; Restorative; use lots of props including weighted props like a blanket, warm water bottle, or sandbag
Other tools: Downward Flow of prana/Apana Vayu practices; lowered gaze point/dristhi; Lower pitch and slower pace of chanting; Therapeutic shaking/bouncing practices; Chakras: root, sacral, navel; Elements: Earth, Water, Fire
I’ve been creating vata soothing sequences for all of my online public classes, and personalized ones for my yoga therapy clients, and will continue to do so as the season evolves. If you’d like support in calming your nervous system, soothing your heart, and quieting your mind, join me.
Email me to set up your yoga therapy appointment.
In service and in connection,