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Owning Your Vata Dosha
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:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.
- Once you are settled, bring your attention to your pelvic floor.
- 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.
- Then, imagine a cord coming from the base of your muladhara chakra and rooting down into the center of the earth.
- 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.
- Continue with this technique as long as you like (I recommend anywhere from 5-15 minutes).
- 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.
- 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.
- Deepen your inhales and exhales and come back to the space around you slowly and gently.