DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DOSHA TYPES
Usually tall or very short frame, thin and little muscle development, hard to hold weight, dryer skin and thin nails, thin face, lips and nose, small and beady eyes, appetite is light. They usually lack buttocks and little muscular development. Vatas are fast moving in yoga postures and sequences.
Psychologically: Mentally indecisive and quick, often fearful, uncertain and anxious, creative, sensitive and ungrounded. They like change. Forgetful, quick at attachment and detachment. Fast thinkers and talkers.
Medium build with moderate muscle development, very symmetrical body, red or flushed complexion, warm skin texture with freckles, medium sized facial features. Strong appetites, pittas are motivated and goal seeking, great concentration and persistence. They can enjoy competition and sports and aim to be the best.
Psychologically: Often argumentative and good debaters, aggressive; have a sharp memory, great concentration, very neat and organized, irritable and a tendency towards anger, temper tantrums; quick to be emotional but would never admit to it. While they can be great friends, they can come across as cruel or shrewd.
Stout and well developed bodies, tendency towards obesity, pale complexion, thick and soft skin, large facial features, attractive eyes and lips. Appetite is constant but low, hesitate to be active, physically strong with good endurance but low speed. Strong immune systems, great memory, emotionally calm, hold stable relationships and are loyal.
Psychologically: Many friends, strong sense of community, culture and faith; like to share love and romance but on the negative side can be greedy and not always capable of change; travel less as they enjoy a sense of home; are easily attached and struggle to let go of the past. They are very slow to move and get things done.
It is important to understand that no one dosha is better than another. The key is balance. We are all made up of the same elements.
AYURVEDIC YOGA PRACTICE NOTES
Vata (Air) – Approach postures carefully and slowly, have a gentle attitude and practice towards feeling grounded and stable in each pose. Take time to set up and settle in to each posture, never rush. Avoid over exertion and falling out of postures repeatedly. Deepen and expand the length of your breathing by using the nostrils only. The aim is to release tension from the hips and the lumbar spine where Vata accumulates.
Pitta (Fire) – Perform postures without tension and in a way that is relaxing and soothing. Never force your practice but find a steady rhythm. Take rest when necessary and practice moderation and even mindedness. At times when the practice is intense it is important to alternate breathing between the nose and mouth to keep from over heating. Always end with a soothing touch. The aim is to release tension from the mid abdomen where Pitta accumulates.
Kapha (Water) – Motivation and quickness are key to your practice. Do more than preferred and work to heat the body and create a good sweat. Postures should not be held long and more standing postures are preferable. Rest should be short and breathing should be done more rapidly to create heat. The aim is to open the chest and lungs where Kapha accumulates.
*Remember that all the Dancing Shiva classes are generally beneficial for all types, but with an Ayurvedic understanding and approach you ultimately make your practice more specific, efficient, balancing and rewarding.