Vata is easily aggravated by fast activities, so slow, gentle, strengthening forms of exercise are best. Walking, hiking, swimming, biking, yoga, and tai chi are good choices. The best times of day to exercise are from 6-10am and 6-10pm. Ideally exercise at about 70% of your capacity, breathing through your nose the entire time. Remember to balance your activity with plenty of rest, relaxation, and sleep so your tissues and your brain can rejuvenate properly.
Yoga is a wonderful, calming form of exercise during Vata season. Your intention for your practice should be to incorporate a sense of warmth, grounding, stability and focus to your practice. Your breath should be deep and fluid throughout your practice. Always warm up slowly, taking time to rotate your joints. Take advantage of grounding your hands and feet into your mat whenever possible and avoid jumping between postures. Gentle flows like sun salutations are perfect for Vata. Standing poses like tree and mountain pose will increase stability and strength. Take advantage of various poses where multiple points on your body connect with the ground, like cat/cow, cobra and child’s pose. Gentle inversions that are restorative, like legs up the wall pose are best for Vata. Finish your practice with a long corpse pose, covering yourself with a blanket to keep yourself warm.
If you are performing outdoor activities like walking or biking, make sure to wear enough layers to keep yourself warm throughout your exercise. Pay special attention to keeping the wind out of your ears and down your neck. Make sure your hands and feet are warm.
Have you read our other Vata-related posts on how the seasons affect you and how Ayurveda can help, what to eat as you navigate the Vata season and an Ayurvedic daily routine to help balance Vata season?
About the Author
Rochelle Barcellona is an animal-loving, family-and-friends-embracing, yoga-meditation-and-ayurveda-teaching, happy red-headed yogi who owns Nourish Mind Body & Spirit in Northern California. You may learn more about Rochelle here. Rochelle may be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and 916-353-5200.
(Photo of Rochelle courtesy of Bella Barcellona Photography.)