In assessing what the ideal practice for you is on the day, take into consideration your personal type and how circumstances may be affecting you today. You will soon come to recognise the usefulness and application of Ayurveda in your choice or creation of yoga sequence. Can you identify any doshic imbalance? Put in simple terms: are you feeling and acting spacey (vata), fiery (pitta) or heavy (kapha)? How would you like to be? What mindset and energy level would be useful to you now? Please remember that the benefits of fitness, weight-loss and greater inner calm are not just limited to the time you are doing your practice or directly afterwards, but more important are the deeper developments that affect the way you live your life.
If VATA (air) prevails, you need to focus on grounding and strengthening. Excess vata makes it difficult to concentrate; one feels spacey and often anxious. You may be a vata-type or an imbalance in this field may just be a result of unsettling circumstances, such as a move, travel, a break-up or even just a windy day. The extremities often feel cold and special attention should be paid to safeguarding ankles and wrists. Standing balances and any postures that posit an altered foundation and therefore challenge one’s relationship with gravity are very useful. The breath is often shallow and needs to be deepened and lengthened through such pranayama practices as nadi shodana. Recommended sequences: GET DOWN, BIRDS, INFINITY TREES.
Prevalence in PITTA (fire) manifests as an excess in heat in the body-mind. You may be feeling hot-tempered, hyperactive and angry or the body may feel tense and restless. This energy needs to be harnessed and channelled. The focus in a pitta-regulating practice is on expending the energy evenly and awakening one’s capacity to fine-tune the senses. Impatience and pushiness can lead to injury and a feeling of depletion after the body has been “punished” through excessively vigorous practice. The practitioner needs to realise that being kind to oneself does not mean slacking, but rather directing the effort toward refinement of movement, which ensures correct alignment and smooth transitions. The exhalation is often much stronger and longer than the inhalation and therefore the inhalation needs to be supported and made conscious through such pranayama practices as veloma or bhastrika with antar kumbhaka. Recommended sequences: COOL IT, HEROES, BEAUTY.
Imbalance in KAPHA (earth-water) manifests through sloth, turpor and a lazy feeling of heaviness. Before vigorously kick-starting the body in the dynamic flow, make sure to prepare by bringing the awareness to the feet, strengthening the core and ensuring pelvic stability. Kapha types often hold tension in the hips and thus supporting the body’s ability to safely open up this region is especially important. Any arm-balancing inversions and back-bends are intensely invigorating and thus very useful. To keep things moving is the main motto here. The inhalation is often longer than the exhalation. Thus the capacity to release and let go on the exhale needs to be supported through such pranayama as bandha triyam in bhaya kumbhaka. Recommended sequences: MOVIN’ ON UP, LOTUS MANDALA, LEAPING SALMON.
Note: CAPRICIOUS SHIVA, the Quantum Master sequence stands alone, i.e. was not designed to regulate any specific dosha. The assumption is that once the yogi has reached this level of practice, balance has already been established.
Remember that all three doshas always co-exist and that the most important aspect of your yoga practice is ensuring a state of balance. Cultivating deep awareness and responding intuitively to the feedback that you are getting during your practice is key in supporting an inter-active approach. Using the Quantum Grouping and Sequencing laws, you will be able to direct this ongoing dynamic towards self-realisation.