In terms of Ayurvedic medicine your constitution is predominantly one of 3 types: Pitta, Vata or Kapha. If you have established that you are a Vata type the chances are that you have a very busy mind and often find that you have difficulty concentrating on one thing at a time. Vata corresponds to air and space so you are most likely to be the type of person who constantly moves from place to place, thought to thought and task to task. You may well find yourself saying, or thinking, that you have other or “better” things to do than to spend time being still and meditating. However, as we all know, the practice of meditation brings so many benefits, both mental and physical, that we are all keen to master this process. Some people find it relatively easy to be still physically, which then makes it easier to still the mind. Others find that they struggle to quieten the body enough to give the mind a chance to relax into meditation.
The Benefits of Meditation for Vata
Vata types are often found among the latter, so any technique that enables you to bring your body under control, to a place of stillness and calm will immediately have a beneficial effect on your state of mental health. Vatas can be anxious types, often feeling overwhelmed by possibilities and “what ifs” to the point where they sometimes resort to prescription medicines or depressants such as alcohol simply to find relief from repetitive worries.
Vata types are prone to be affected by external distractions, such as background noise, incessant alerts from technological devices and the constant demands made upon their time by other people. Meditation is essential for Vata types who wish to safeguard their mental health, Daily practice will bring a sense of proportion to your life and thoughts, allowing your mind some much needed “me” time. It will give you the tools you need in order to exercise control over unmanageable, even unruly thoughts, bring relaxation and an easing of tension to all parts of the body, help to boost an overtaxed immune system and encourage a more light hearted approach to life in general.
Meditation will help a Vata to manage their distracted, “monkey” mind in a much more positive and beneficial way than through the use of drugs or other substances.
Meditation Tips for Vata Dosha
The best time of day for Vata meditation is between 2pm and 6pm
Mastering a meditation technique that works for you is vital if you wish to maintain a robust state of mental health. Of course, meditation also brings physical benefits but for Vatas it is the mind that requires most support in staying healthy.
Because of the Vata tendency to succumb to all kinds of distraction the first thing to do is to set aside a “clean” space for your meditation practice. Keep noise to an absolute minimum or use white noise as your background “music”. Avoid many of the usual “props” used in meditation, such as candles, flowers or crystals. Face a blank wall or keep your eyes closed during meditation and make sure that body is completely comfortable so that you are not distracted by discomfort of any sort. If you do need to move around to ease your body, do so in a conscious way, telling yourself that you are simply sinking even deeper into relaxation by removing sources of discomfort.
Now focus on your breathing. If necessary say “in, out” softly to yourself as you breathe. Deepen and slow the breaths after a few cycles, concentrating only on the words you are whispering to yourself. Move on to a point of focus in your mind. Imagine a pure white light spinning slowly in the center of your skull. Now imagine all of your thoughts, both big and small, being drawn towards this light. As it spins, it gathers those thoughts in and they become a part of the white light spinning slowly in the center of your mind.
In this way you will begin to train your brain to deal with distraction. You have only two things to concentrate on: Your breathing and the spinning white light in the middle of your mind.
End your meditation very slowly by wriggling toes and fingers, make small physical movements, still with your eyes closed and focus once more on simply inhaling and exhaling for a designated number of breaths (8 is usually good). Open your eyes slowly, touch the floor with both hands, and as you stand up consciously plant your feet very firmly on the floor.