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Yoga for balancing Vata and Pitta

Dominik2010-07-04 18:44:41 +0000 #1
Hello,

I was wondering what kind of yoga practice(s) would be best suited for balancing out elevated Vata and/or Pitta? Is there a specific series of postures and/or approach to practicing that balances out both of these doshas at the same time?

I don't have access to an Aryuvedic physician, but using different sets of questionnaires (books and online) I consistently come up as mixed Vata (primary) and Pitta (secondary). Pitta seems to dominate Vata only in the mental aspects of my constitution.

I suffer from moderate IBS-like symptoms (intestinal gas, bloating, relatively frequent/loose stools, and undigested food in stools) and some chronic joint/muscle pains (right body side only, even though my joints in general do a lot of clicking and popping). Thorough medical examinations haveexcluded serious health issues, even though there appears to be low level intestinal inflammation. Unfortunately I don't have access to an ayurvedic physician for proper diagnosis, but it seems these problems would mainly be due to elevated Vata (possibly also Pitta)?

I think I've got a pretty good idea about what changes I need to make in general lifestyle and nutrition, but how best to adjust my yoga practice? Currently I practice Iyengar yoga, 1x/week in class, about 2-3x/week at home.

Are there any specific series of postures and/or approach to practicing that balances out both Vata and Pitta at the same time? Or would anyone recommend a more specific approach towards only one of these doshas, given the above, and how so?

Many Thanks, Namaste!


Nichole2010-07-04 18:52:58 +0000 #2
You may want to invest in Mukunda's new book, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy: www.lotuspress.com/1BK/1BK990509.html , if you are interested in doing this work alone.

Kind wishes,
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 19:33:17 +0000 #3
I find the Ayurvedic work to be more subtle. Not to question you specifically Dominik but it is not uncommon for human beings to get very wrapped up in these sorts of things - self-diagnosing this and that and actually using the practice to further deepen their own neurosis or dysfunction.

It is the same with anatomy. We get easily engaged in which muscle does this and which does that and which is the antagonist and which is the reciprocal inhibitor etcetera. The same is also true with things like Samadhi and meditation. We get so wrapped up in showing how evolved we are that we miss many of the main points of a mindful evolution.

There are some ways to engage the vatta-pitta-kapha student in a practice and Nichole has provided a path for pursuing that. I prefer to direct students to a teacher who is both skilled and well-trained. Many times a teacher that resonates with us is one that subtly meets our doshic nature without our conscious knowledge.
Nichole2010-07-04 19:27:31 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete



I prefer to direct students to a teacher who is both skilled and well-trained.

I need to be clear--Do you mean rather than direct them to a book?

Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete



Many times a teacher that resonates with us is one that subtly meets our doshic nature without our conscious knowledge.

I agree very much with this point and IA phrased it beautifully for us here--thank you.

*
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 19:18:24 +0000 #5
Generally speaking I do not like to direct students to books just as I do not like to direct them to DVD's. Of course there is a difference between the two mediums. And books do serve a purpose - I mean please do read, read, read.

I simply do not find the topics of Mudras, Chakras, Pranayama, and the intricacies of Ayurveda to be well-conveyed in the written form (without a significant dose of teacher to student interaction commonly called "contact hours").

But as we well know, there are some visitors that wil only practice with a TV, only learn from a book, can't or won't afford a teacher, can't or won't get to one yada yada yada. So I suppose we must serve them too.

But "yes", rather than direct them to a book, generally speaking.

In this case however it was exactly what the Op asked for.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nichole



I need to be clear--Do you mean rather than direct them to a book?
Dominik2010-07-04 19:47:32 +0000 #6
Thanks to you both for addressing my questions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete



It is not uncommon for human beings to get very wrapped up in these sorts of things - self-diagnosing this and that and actually using the practice to further deepen their own neurosis or dysfunction.

I do actually get your point here InnerAthlete, and it's a good one. But how would you suggest for someone to avoid using their practice in such a way?

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