Owning Your Vata Dosha

By on June 16, 2014
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Swift as a deer, cold as ice. The coldness of the harsh winds against the variegated sands of the desert nights- such is the nature of Vata.

-Maya Tiwari, A Life of Balance

“What’s your dosha?”

Thanks to famous ayurvedically influenced health gurus like Deepak Chopra, Dr. Vasant Lad, and Dr. John Douillard, Ayurveda is in and it’s depth, complexities, and benefits are seemingly endless.

Dosha is a sanskrit term that literally translates to that which comes out of balance, and generally refers to an individual’s constitution (mind/body type). If you haven’t taken a dosha quiz in the past three months, I invite you to take this Ayurveda body type quiz before reading further. Taking this quiz seasonally (about every three months), can start to give you a new perspective on your personal constitution, as each dosha is always fluctuating based on internal and external environmental factors.

Ayurveda translates to “life knowledge” in sanskrit. It is a science that is over 5,000 years old that utilizes the rhythms of nature, the subtle energetics and qualities of herbs and food, yoga asana practices, pranayama, visualization, and meditation to cultivate awareness of a person’s true nature and purpose. Ayurveda is not only the science of physical life and health, but it is also the means for uncovering overall dharma or individual purpose for this lifetime.

Ayurveda operates on the principle that each person has his or her own constitution made up of the primary doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). In order to thrive and fulfill dharma one must use their constitution as a tool to achieving their goals and aspirations and a means for self study. Your dosha is not meant to provide a ‘quick fix’ solution for ailments and behaviors, but as a means to go within and uncover your talents, gifts, and overall purpose for this lifetime.

Positive manifestations of Vata dosha:

Tapped into creativity, positive outlook and engagement with activities and other people, interest in spiritual growth

Negative manifestations of Vata dosha:

Easily exhausted, feelings of being scattered; overwhelmed, inability to focus

Practice for Vata dosha:

The night before, sit down and write your schedule for the next day. Stick with the same times for each practice to build consistency in your schedule. For example, wake up at the same time each day, eat meals at the same time each day, and any other daily practices.

Grounding meditation for Vata dosha:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.
  2. Once you are settled, bring your attention to your pelvic floor.
  3. Notice where you attention falls. This is the location of your muladhara chakra, the chakra associated with grounding and earth energy. Typically, this is at the base of the cervix for women and at the perineum for men. Hold your attention in the space of the muladhara chakra.
  4. Then, imagine a cord coming from the base of your muladhara chakra and rooting down into the center of the earth.
  5. With every inhale, imagine light building at the muladhara chakra, and with every exhale send this light down to the center of the earth through your grounding cord.
  6. Continue with this technique as long as you like (I recommend anywhere from 5-15 minutes).
  7. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the visualization of building light at your muladhara chakra on inhale, and sending the light down your grounding cord on exhale.
  8. When you are ready to come back to the space around you, gently disconnect your grounding cord and allow for it to return to the earth.
  9. Deepen your inhales and exhales and come back to the space around you slowly and gently.

About Kayla Anderson

Kayla is a yoga teacher based in Chicago, IL and was introduced to the practice in 2008 in a body movement class. During that time, she used yoga in the context of clearing the mind and preparing the body for rehearsal or performance as a stage actor and director. As she began to deepen her yoga practice, she noticed the positive changes in her day-to-day life and overall perspective. Yoga has allowed for her to become more clear, strong, and focused; acting as an outlet to experience and work through what is not serving her in a healthy and productive way. It is her intention to share yoga’s power to release tension in a way that is both a mindful and holistic approach to working with the body, breath, mind, and spirit. http://kaylamaeanderson.com/

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Owning Your Vata Dosha – Everyday Ayurveda | Growing The Guru

  2. anjewa@gmail.com'

    Mr. Anje' Waters

    June 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I just need to respond to the suggestion for Vata people to write a schedule for the next day. I have an immediately strong negative reaction to this advice. Perhaps because I have a fair amount of Pitta too. I do tend to be overly Vata with daily headaches or a migraine now for over 25 years.
    So here is my gripe: I have always hated that suggestion of making a goal or plan. I do make lists of things that I want and need to take care of but I only do this so I won’t forget to do them. As to when I do them, that is a day to day decision. I would hate to feel that I need to make a list of what to do the next day and then expect myself to do them.
    That would only make me feel worse emotionally and guilty if I didn’t do them. For me, I need to have as little pressure on myself to be a doer. Instead, I need the freedom to do things in the present moment or not do them in the present moment.
    I hope I am being clear.
    I don’t daily grounding and yoga in the morning. I try to eat in ways to pacify my Vata and Pitta.
    Anyway I do appreciate your efforts to help people and thought that maybe my experience may be helpful for others who need Vata pacifying.
    In peace, Anje’

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