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Ayurvedic Guidance & Yoga for Vata Dosha

Vata Personality Profile

Vata—Your ability to imagine new ways of bringing ideas to life is what lights you up!
 

You’re a beam of shimmering energy who enjoys meeting new people, exploring new places, and engaging with the ever-evolving facets of the world.

Vata people have high energy and lots of enthusiasm; you revel in asking questions and quickly digest new information. Your ease of discovering and engaging with new ideas tends to get lost in the ether, as you are just as quick to forget all that you’ve learned.

A passion and zeal for music and dance lend an ear for harmony. Vata delights in the imagination; the creative spark glimmers in every interaction where the real meets the fantastic. Vata loves languishing in warm baths, oils, and foods; group activities and work inspire Vata and keep this personality on track.

Vata Body Type

The mind is swift and active in Vata personalities; moods change quickly, and you’re affected by how you feel and react to stressors by becoming anxious or over-excited. In terms of body type, Vata tends to be finer-boned and long-limbed. Vata has trouble putting on weight and is weaker at the joints. Cold feet and hands, dry skin, and constipation or gas are requisites for the Vata constitution.

Vata Imbalance

Vata tends to be disorganized; energy comes in bursts, and when it fizzles out, Vata needs to ground to replenish—which is hard for Vata to do. Vata loves being around people; this personality recharges through being with others and is easily excited. Vata has trouble sleeping; waking frequently is not uncommon with intense and vivid dreams.

Vata In Harmony

Vata, in harmony, appears grounded and calm as the mind seeks and soars, exploring new ways to create and contribute to the world. Restorative and Yin are two styles of yoga that help ground Vata when out of balance. Gardening walks in the forest, meditation, and Qi Gong are other activities that help ground Vata.

Unbalanced, Vata is anxious, fidgety, and restless; in this state, Vata forgets to eat and listen to the body. Sleep and stomach issues ensue as a result. Anxiety is a condition of Vata if imbalances are left unresolved.

Classes that ground the over-excitement and angst associated with Vata.
 
  • Ganesha Mantra
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Quick Chill – Restorative Yoga
  • Back Release – Hatha Yoga
  • Get Ready for Bed – Yin Yoga
  • Stay Low – Hatha Yoga
  • Mudra Meditation

Vata Nutrition Handbook 

Suggestion for Vata dosha in terms of what to eat, when to eat, and the foods to avoid to best serve your constitution. 
In this booklet, you’ll find:
  • Personality profiles for you to see which dosha you align with the most.

  • Activities such as yoga to achieve balance

  • The foods to eat and foods to avoid.

  • Dietary considerations. 

 

 

A Brief History of Ayurveda

For more information, read The Beginner’s Guide to Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient Vedic practice and one of India’s oldest medicines, originating more than 5,000 years ago. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means ‘The Science of Life’ and is the sister science to yoga. Also called the Mother of Healing, Ayurveda’s practice is rooted in the prevention of illness through balance and reflection on each individual’s diet, thoughts, relationships, environment, and activities. 

Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, each person has a particular pattern of energy—an individual combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics—which comprises their constitution. This constitution is determined at conception by a number of factors and remains the same throughout one’s life.” – Dr. Vasant Lad, The Ayurvedic Institute. 

The ultimate aim of Ayurveda is to seek, create, and maintain balance; when we’re in a state of equilibrium, inner harmony is achieved. Observing and attuning our sleep patterns, diet, exercise, relationships— all the ways we consume and come into contact with the world—in such a way that strives for balance maximizes our potential to feel good and take care of ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we’re better able to take care of others and the world around us. 

Many factors contribute to the individual’s overall health, including environment, seasons, relationships, diet, exercise, habits, trauma, work, and stress. These factors affect our constitution and how we feel; they can create balance or disorder. Each constitution is unique based on the lifestyle and life choices of the individual. Balance and disorders depend based on the constitution of the person. A person’s constitution is made up of three unique energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. 

The Three Energies of Ayurveda

Ayurveda focuses on three energies that make up everything we see and every living being. In Sanskrit, these energies are called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The three energies are composed of the five great elements: air, ether, fire, water, and ether. Each person has a unique blend of these three energies.

Vata: air and ether, governed by movement, creativity, flexibility, vision, space, and sound. In harmony, Vata is inspired and inclusive. Out of balance, Vata is anxious, fearful, and flighty.
Pitta: air and fire, governed by digestion, metabolism, direction, absorption, assimilation, and intelligence. In harmony, Pitta is a leader and advocate. Out of balance, Pitta is angry, resistant, and jealous.
Kapha: earth and water, governed by structure, stability, patience, compassion, nurturance, and immunity. In harmony, Kapha is loving and vulnerable. Out of balance, Kapha is lethargic, withdrawn, and greedy. 

Each person is born with a specific Prakriti, or constitution, based on the conditions when born. Prakriti translates from Sanskrit as true nature. 

A person’s constitution is dynamic and changes depending on many variables, including age, environment, mood, diet, activities, and relationships. Understanding the three energies and how they’re present in each person provides insight into how to take the appropriate action to come back into harmony with the self. 

 The doshas, or energies of Ayurveda, are governed by specific elements and activities. To create balance and come back to a state of equilibrium, Ayurveda holds: like attracts like, and opposite heals. If the person has an over-abundance of one of the doshas, activities and diet opposite from the primary constitution create balance. For example, Pitta’s heat and intensity would choose cooling foods and slower-paced activities to settle the fire. 

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Ayurveda Playlists on Practice with Clara

Classes to soothe the intensity of Pitta while gently stimulating the inner fire.
 
  • Beauty Within & Without – Vinyasa
  • Ocean Meditation
  • Fluid Power – Vinyasa
  • Creative Flow.- Vinyasa
  • Saraswati Mantra
  • Go with the Flow – Vinyasa
  • Keep it Moving – Vinyasa
Classes to stimulate the inner flame and digestive fires to clear stagnant energy and lethargy.
 
  • Ignite – Vinyasa
  • Fire Flow – Vinyasa
  • Shiva Mantra
  • Space through Strength – Slow Flow
  • Super Duper Power – Vinyasa
  • Pranayama Meditation
  • Unfurl Your Peacock Tail – Vinyasa

Interviews with Ayurveda Therapists

We interviewed three Ayurveda Therapists and one Japanese Acupuncturins who provided recipes, tools, and simple practices, to help you learn more about the body’s physical and subtle energy systems.
 

In this interview with yoga teacher, author, and Ayurveda Therapist Ali Cramer, you’ll discover more on: 

 
 
  • The five elements and how they relate to the doshas.
  • How to nourish the doshas and rules for living Ayurveda.
  • Aligning with the seasons and Yama Damstrao
  • Why we seek things that throw us out of balance.
Listen / Watch / Read 
 In this interview with yoga teacher and Ayurveda Therapist Insiya Finn, you’ll discover more on: 
 
  • Comfort foods versus nourishing foods.
  • Ayurveda to heal from postpartum.
  • Dinacharya; honouring ritual through Ayurveda.
  • Simple practices to do every day to be in optimal health.
Listen / Watch / Read 

In this interview with yoga teacher and Ayurveda Therapist Maria Garre, you’ll discover more on: 

 
 
  • Tips to stay healthy during covid.
  • Ways to strengthen our digestive fire and optimize gut health.
  • Cooking for various constitutions; a Tridoshic perspective on meals.
  • Teas to drink every day to pacify each dosha.
Listen / Watch / Read 

In this interview with TCM Practitioner and Japanese Acupuncturist Alix Jean, you’ll discover more on: 

 
  • Traditional Chinese versus Japanese Acupuncture.
  • Fascia; what it is and why it’s important.
  • How emotions correspond to the body’s organs.
  • Common injuries related to stress.
Listen / Watch / Read 

Additional Resources

  1. Cleansing Recipes by Ali Cramer, including Tridoshic recipes if you’re cooking for multiple people!

  2. Maria Garre’s Nasya technique. Nasya is an Ayurvedic practice of massaging oil inside of the nose. Nasya also supports mucosal immunity.

  3. Maria Garre’s recipe for Trikatu with equal amounts of dried ginger, black pepper, and long pepper.
    Combine those three ingredients in equal proportions and make a mixture.
    Take a little Trikatu with honey on a spoon during the rainy season and put it in your mouth with a bit of warm weather to wash it down. It’s great to take after you eat as a little dessert, which will burn anything in the GI tract.

  4. Insiya’s simple practices to start the day:
  • Splash the face with cold water.
  • Scrape the tongue to remove the previous day’s accumulation of toxins from the tongue and stimulate the digestive system.
  • Drink a cup of warm water with lemon.
  • Light abhyanga massage with sesame oil. 
  • Yoga practice, even if it’s five sun salutations or seated poses, twists, something to get the energy moving. 
 

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Join me for an experiencial practice!

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New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

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The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

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