Restorative Yoga is one of my favorite classes to teach and this amazes me. I am a Vata girl to the max. The Eastern Medicine system of Ayurveda posits that we are born with usually one or two doshas (body types), dominant. My dominant dosha is Vata, or the air element.
Vata people need to move. And movement is a good thing for people with this body type, however, as is usually the case in life, we need to find balance and there is a tendency toward too much movement for us vata folk. We can move so quickly that we don’t feel what’s going on in our bodies. Movement becomes a means to avoid. Vata people need to slow down enough (I’m not saying to a halt; stop and go energy exacerbates Vata – at least this Vata) to feel our bodies, to feel our emotions and get connected.
When the Vata dosha is out of balance we are disconnected, ungrounded — frantic, even.
Being a movement prone person, I rarely attended Restorative classes or slower moving classes, and would feel frustrated in yoga classes that began very slowly and sleepily. I wanted to get going! (That is also my pitta/fire speaking, which is my secondary dosha). So, I wink at the universe because of course I am a Restorative teacher. I think I get as much from teaching these classes as the students get from taking them. We all leave class calmer, lighter, and more grounded.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone, no matter what your primary dosha is, can benefit from time to just be. And although it is hard for most of us, especially Vata and Pitta souls it is vital for health. There is a growing field of research on the benefits of this type of practice.