With the fall season comes colder weather, beautiful colors and the unstable Ayurvedic element of wind. In Ayurveda, wind aggravates the vata dosha which can make us feel ungrounded, scattered and exhausted. There are many things that can help calm the vata in the body including eating root vegetables, self massage with warm oils and keeping covered with scarves and hats in windy weather. Our asana practice can also be a great tool for working with vata. So here is a A grounding practice to move through the vata of the fall season:
1. Begin in a set of mediation. Contemplate the breath. Silently chant “Ma” on the inhale and “Om” on the exhale. From meditation move into nadi shodina (alternate nostril breathing) for 1-2 minutes.
2. Begin your asana practice with an intention and chanting 3 om’s.
3. Come to Tadasana (mountain pose). Bring your awareness to the breath. Inhale from soles of the feet to crown of the head, exhale from crown of the head to soles of the feet.
4. Move into join rotations working your way up the body. Complete rotation in each area 8 times in each direction:
5. Come back to Tadasana for three breaths. Then begin a series of 8 sun salutations (half or full).
6. Come back to Tadasana and close the eyes and observe the breath.
7. Bring the feet to wider than the the mat, toes in line with knees. Inhale and circle the arms out to the side and up over head till palms meet. Exhale and bring the palms through mid-line as you come into a squat. Complete this series 8 times.
8. Come to Tadasana. Imagine roots growing down from the feet into the floor.
9. Complete the next series completely on one side and then move to the other. Start by stepping the left foot back.
– Warrior I
– Warrior II
– Exulted Warrior with straight leg
– Pyramid Pose
10. Finish in Tadasana with eyes closed. Imagine roots growing down from the feet into the floor.
11. Come to hands and knees. Complete 8 rounds of Cat/Cow chanting “Om” as you exhale.
12. Press back into short prostration. Reach as forward as possible with fingertips, as far back as possible with sit bones. Watch the breath.
13. Come to kneeling and then over to one side so that you can extend the legs forward. Draw the soles of the feet together in Baddha Konsana (bound angle). Lengthen spine and fold.
14. Draw knees together and come to lie on your back. Draw the knees into the chest and do two rounds of flowing twists on each side. Following the second round hold on each side.
15. Once the twists are complete draw the knees back to the chest and find Happy Baby Pose.
16. Release Happy Baby and extend the legs with soles of the feet flexed toward the ceiling. Slide the hands, palms face down, underneath the low back for lumbar support. Lower the legs as close the ground as you are comfortable on the exhale and raise them back to 90 degrees on the inhale. Complete six times.
17. Draw the knees back into the chest and lower the feet to the ground. Heel toe feet to mat’s width and drop knees together in knock knees. Rest here for 5 breaths and then windshield wiper the knees form side to side.
18. Heel toe feet all the way together and drop knees wide in Supta Baddha Konasana. Close the eyes. Take the left hand to the belly the right hand to the heart. Watch the breath. Begin to lengthen the inhale by one count and exhale by one count. Remain her for approximately 2 minutes.
19. As you are ready start to extend legs into Savasana (corpse pose). Remain in savasana for 5 minutes.
20. At the end of 5 minutes slowly bring movement back to the body and return to your seat of meditation. Reflect on your intention. Complete your practice with 3 oms.