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 one or two doshas, or 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) to feel our bodies, to feel our emotions and get connected. When the Vata dosha is out of balance we are disconnected, ungrounded, frantic.
Being a movement prone gal, 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! So, I laugh with 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.
We need to allow ourselves the time to slow down, to just be, so that we can come back into a place of balance. And although it is hard, especially for us Vata souls (and I think for most in today’s world), to stop “doing,” it is vital. There is a growing field of research on the benefits of this type of practice.