By Atul Vyas
Vata controls cell division, formation of cell layers, the differentiation of organs, and activities of the heart, lung, stomach and intestines. It also guides the impulses the brain and spine receive from the senses, and initiates the activities of tactile organs (the motor organs), evacuates waste material such as stool, urine, perspiration, and secretions such as menstruation, semen and the fetus.
Vata is the driving force of all human activity.
The hypo-activity of vata results in sensation of heaviness in the body, and sluggish, insufficient blood circulation. While hyperactivity of vata leads to dehydration, increased stool, etc. This happens while grieving, over exhaustion, and during anxiety attacks, etc.
To control, balance and regulate vata, yoga is only the way and there are many interventions in yoga to calm and balance the vata. One of them is Janu Sirsasana – touching the knee with the forehead. A sitting posture without any physical movement is known as ‘Janu Sirsasana’.
- Sit in dandasana and bring the right foot up the left thigh, while resting the sole against the inner surface of legs
- The outer right thigh remains stationary against the floor without any assistance of the arms
- Raise the arms upwards, and salute with palms together
- Extend the torso forward, leading with chest, lowering the hands to a comfortable place along the left shin
- Now raise the chest, and arch the mid back while pulling the shoulders backward
- Lower the head between the arms
- Ensure that the torso is fully extended over the left leg, with the forehead close to the shin
- Hold for five seconds then come back to normal
- Repeat it on other side with other leg
- Balances vata
- Corrects functional disorders of gastro-intestinal tract and helps to improve the function of digestion and assimilation of food by the body
- Stimulates appetite
- Corrects lethargy and nervous debility
- Helps in cases of sciatica radiation
Note of Caution
People suffering from hypertension should avoid this pose.
Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.