Yoga asana to calm vata dosha

The practices of Ayurveda and Yoga were given to us to work hand-in-hand. Understanding how the three doshas work in your body will help you tune into the changes that result from changes in diet, how you live and the environment around you. This information is meant to guide you in your practice of Yoga, including asana, so that you can feel your best on and off the mat.

It might be surprising to know that many modern Yoga asana classes can actually cause imbalance for vata dosha. That is because the fast pace of classes designed for exercise increase vata’s mobile and light properties. A sattvic home practice is a much better way to calm vata and support the connection that Yoga fosters. 

The keys to success in beginning a home practice are to create a designated space (it doesn’t have to be much bigger than your mat), a regular time to practice and a commitment to doing it with consistency

Even if you have not attended a Yoga teacher training, you can easily learn to sequence your home practice in a way that keeps vata calm and balanced. Use our free posts on Yoga asana tutorials to learn the progression of common Yoga poses, or work from one of the sequences below.

Tips to calm vata through Yoga asana

​The most important thing you can do in a Yoga asana practice designed to calm vata dosha is to focus on longer holds of 20 to 25 breaths. This builds heat in your body to warm vata’s cold quality, while bringing stability to its mobility. 

Only a few poses are necessary to build your sequence, especially when you focus on longer holds. Avoid music or other distractions while you practice as vata can be aggravated by sensory overuse. Use ujjayi breath to guide your movement in and out of poses and practice within your capacity. Avoid pushing or forcing your body for the best results. 

Vata-calming Yoga asana sequences

Sequence 1

This is a longer sequence for when you have about 30 to 45 minutes to devote to your practice. 

  1. Butterfly: Hold for 1 to 3 minutes. Keep your body still, including your drishti.

  2. Surya namaskar (sun salutations): Do two rounds, but hold each pose for 3 to 5 breaths. Practice fluid movement with intention.

  3. Sit down/stand up: This simple practice cultivates connection to the lower body, which invites grounding.

  4. Virbhandrasana A (Warrior 1): This pose is grounding and warming to vata. And the soft backbend gently moves the energy of fear that closes down the chest and upper back. Practice twice on each side.

  5. Vrksasana (tree pose): Practice once on each side to find balance in the face of imbalance.

  6. Legs up the wall: This pose is greatly rejuvenating and calming. It’s lovely to do by itself after a long day.

  7. Salabasana variations: Practice one of each of the variations we’ve included in this post.

  8. Balasana (child’s pose): Go within and release all tension.

  9. Pawanmuktasana (wind-relieving pose): One of the first ways vata dosha imbalance appears is through gas in the colon. This pose, by its very name, relieves gas and strengthens digestion.

  10. Jathara parivartanasana: Practice one twist on each side.

  11. Savasana: Stay here for up to 10 minutes.

Sequence 2

Use this shorter sequence when you have about 10 to 15 minutes to practice.

  1. One minute of conscious breathing in vajrasana or a comfortable seated position to find your center.

  2. Sit down/stand up

  3. Virbhandrasana A (warrior 1) once on each side.

  4. Vrksasana (tree pose) once on each side.

  5. Salabasana once

  6. Balasana (child’s pose)

  7. Pawanmuktasana once on each side

  8. Savasana for at least five minutes (more if you have time)


​If you are interested in learning how Yoga and Ayurveda can work together to calm vata dosha and bring in a more meaningful life, apply for our 200-hour Yoga and Ayurveda teacher training. We share the tools of these sister sciences and prepare you to teach, all while being immersed in a sattvic and serene setting.

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