Monday, September 15, 2014

Vata Balancing

With fall right around the corner which starts on September 22 with the Autumn equinox followed by the winter solstice and the commencement of winter.  It is a very transitional time, bringing cooler, dryer, windy elements into our environment which also enhances the wind factor in our own bodies. Vata is the wind dosha in Ayurveda that very often gets unbalanced during this time of change.

Ayurveda’s mantra is: ‘Like increases like,’ while ‘opposites balance each other out.’ So if Vata is in abundance in the climate, we are reflecting it as well by feeling an excess of air and ether in our bodies, And if your constitution tends to have Vata in it anyway, like me, chances are you will get extra ungrounded and thrown off balance.

However we can stay centered during the climate transition by practicing the opposites to balance. We can stay warm, moist, steady, rooted and engaged. This can be accomplished with:
*nutrition: think warm soups with root vegetables, warm tea with spices, cooked veggies. Two of my favorites is squash soup and roasted veggies.
*meditation: to let your physical body rest and slow down. As well as steady and slow your mind.
*pranayama: breath exercises to slow down you mind, body, and nervous system. The paranayama technique I have been using most frequently is spinal breathing. I image an elevator or light starting at the base of my spine as I inhale and travel all the way up to the center of my forehead and slightly forward by the end of my inhale. As I exhale I breath and follow the light or elevator back down to the base of my spine and pause before staring my next inhale. Repeating this for 5-30 minutes is awesome. If you want to go a little deeper into this technique as you exhale and follow the light or elevator back down, at the same time engage your pelvic floor muscles to press the breath out of your lifted spine. It is challenging to follow one thing down from your third eye to your pelvis (which is grounding) while pressing your breath and lengthening up in the opposite direction.  But once you get it going it is so centering and stabilizing.
Yoga: use your practice to stay grounded during this vata season with longer help poses, use your muscles to stay steady, work on rooting into your foundation and with that connection to foundation expand up to the sky (only as much as you can stay rooted) and focus on your breath. Forward folds and hip openers are great to cultivate grounded-ness. But backbends, arm balances and twists done intelligently  are also awesome but require more intention and work to cultivate grounded-ness.
Other lifestyle: warm baths, lots of sleep, oil messages, slow deep massages, sitting by a fire

My Tuesday anusara public class:

Theme: stay grounded during the change of the season with timed longer held poses
Principles of emphasis: 1st, 2nd, 5th root to rise

Surya Namaskar 3x

1 min timing:
Hrl- tree- Standing quad stretch- standing pigeon
Active pigeon
L.L quad W2- rev
Hrl twist- mod. Parsvak
1/2 moon - standing pigeon- W1
1/2 moon- standing pigeon - W1

Tarasana uprights - fold
Baddha konasana upright- fold
Sirsasana - bakasana

Camel block
Pigeon Mermaid

Matsendrasana twist
Supta passive femur root

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Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...