Day 11.

Day 11 of 40 days of yoga.

I was very inspired today by my (re)discovery of the Ayurvedic doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) and by my realisation that yoga can be used as a tool to balance those dosha (or elements) within ourselves.

I love the idea of balance – my libran moon demands it, and I don’t feel right unless I am striving towards balance within some part of my life. I am also very attracted to techniques and disciplines that give insights and tools to help me do this – things like astrology, numerology and homeopathy, as well as yoga and Ayurveda.

So today in my yoga practice, I took my own advice  (I know!), and incorporated some kapha balancing techniques. I moved at a faster pace, challenged myself by holding positions for longer and doing more repetitions (increases pitta), kept my gaze high and sharp and tried to imagine that I was light and graceful 🙂 (increases vata).

I have noticed since I have embarked upon the 40 days, that my appetite is less. Or rather, that I have let go of my ideas of when I should eat food, and just eat when I am hungry. I eat breakfast later, about 9 a.m., and lunch later too – about 3 p.m. I am not particularly fussed about dinner, although I sit down and have a small portion with the family because it’s the one meal that we all eat together. People who have a kapha dominance should eat widely spaced meals because their digestion is slow, and they should definitely not snack between meals.

I thought I would talk a little bit about the Vata dosha today, for all of you lovely airy people that have this dosha dominant within yourselves. My blogging friend Rufina, who is vata dominant, sent me this link yesterday to an amazing yoga teacher who has overcome a physical deformity that she was born with through yoga. If you want to know what vata looks like, check her out.

The qualities of vata are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle and mobile.

Dry and Rough: Excess vata can manifest as dry skin and hair, constipation and a feeling of being emotionally ‘dried up’.

Light: People who have dominant vata are naturally slim. In excess, vata can manifest as being under weight, light bones, insomnia and a feeling of being un-grounded.

Cool: Vata people always feel the cold. In excess, vata has cold hands and feet, feels colder than everyone around them and has a craving for warmth.

Subtle: Vata subtlety can manifest in introversion, creativity, psychic abilities and having an active imagination.

Mobile: Vata people are flexible and great at multi-tasking. In excess, vata energy can result a feeling of being scattered, poor concentration, fidgety and anxiety.

If you have vata dominance, you can use yoga to balance your doshas by increasing your heat (pitta) and becoming more grounded (kapha):

Tree Pose - grounding for the vata type
Tree Pose – grounding for the vata type
  • Focus on calming and grounding poses – the tree and mountain poses are particularly good for you, as they encourage you to feel connected and rooted to the earth.
  • To reduce your anxiety and stress, you need to move deliberately and slowly. Fast paced yoga sequences can be aggravating. Pay particular attention to the transition between poses rather than rushing into the next pose.
  • Keep your gaze low.
  • Forward bends are very healing for vata.
  • End your yoga practice with a long, deep savasana (corpse pose) of at least 15-20 minutes.
  • In contrast to kapha, vata dominant types should eat often. Because they are cool and dry, they should look to eat warm, moist foods. Raw foods and crackers are not particularly appropriate for vata energy.

For more information, go here. It’s a wonderful site, with heaps of information on all things Ayurvedic.

Pitta tomorrow!

Have a lovely day my friends 🙂

7 comments

  1. I purchased the book The Yoga Body which introduces the doshas. I am a Kapha wich has truly helped me with my practice and my eating habits. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Hi, nice to meet you :). I see from your blog that your have been doing yoga every day for 18 months – how wonderful! I must go and look at The Yoga Body, it sounds wonderful.

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  2. So interesting about these doshas, Sara. I did not know anything about this, so thank you for making me want to learn even more. I also look forward to learning about the third dosha, Pitta. From the beginning, I am with you all the way on this 40-day journey, and I I find the combination of doing the physical yoga, studying from books like “Living Your Yoga” and “The Untethered Soul”, and then reading and reflecting on your blog is all very grounding for me! I’m off now to go stand in Tree Pose 🙂

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    • om 🙂 I did the tree pose today too – but I concentrated more on reaching for the heavens rather than grounding into the Earth (which is so easy for me). It was wonderful :). I wonder if I’ll be sick of yoga after all this?

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  3. Reblogged this on Being Rufina and commented:
    Day 11 of 40 Days of Yoga. I’ve learned by reading Sara Foley’s blog that I am Vata dominant. To be the first to know when 40 Days of Yoga – Breaking Down the Barriers to a Home Practice by Kara-Leah Grant will be released – and to go into the draw to win a free copy, click here to register.

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