Very interesting. But all this makes me wonder: What would the Yoga Sutra have to say to type A people? Of course, in posing this question, I may be assuming that being type A is a bad thing. And it's not always clear that the personality traits associated with being type A are necessarily always destructive ones; maybe there are times when being ambitious, businesslike and competitive are desirable and useful traits to have.
However, as many of us know, one of the yamas or ethical precepts of yoga is aparigraha or non-grasping. If being ambitious, businesslike and competitive are associated with grasping, then it seems that a person who has less of a grasping nature (and thus, less type A) would be more able to observe aparigraha, and would be more likely to live a fulfilling life.
Yoga Sutra 1.2 says, "Yogas Chitta Vrtti Nirodhah", which is usually translated as "Yoga is the cessation (nirodhah) of the fluctuations of consciousness (Chitta)." At her Yoga Sutra lecture at her recent Richmond workshop, Kino brought up something interesting about this sutra. While "nirodhah" is commonly translated as "cessation", this is not, strictly speaking, correct. The goal of the practice isn't so much to stop our minds from working as to direct our minds in a different direction. Specifically, the point of practice is to direct the mind so that its gaze is directed inward and becomes connected with purusha, or True Self, and away from prakruti, or phenomenal experience. According to yoga philosophy, suffering and delusion arises when one confuses that which is ephemereal and impermanent (prakruti) with that which is authentic and true (purusha). To liberate oneself from this confusion, one needs to turn one's attention away from all things in the world and the psychological reactions that they evoke, and turn inward and seek out purusha, which is eternal. The practice, especially the tristana, encourages the introspection which is necessary for such an endeavor. The person who is proficient at such introspection is one who lives in the phenomenal world, assumes all the tasks and responsibilities associated with being a person of this world, and yet, being one who is devoted to the contemplation of purusha, is able to enjoy freedom from attachment to the outcomes of these tasks and responsibilities.
In light of this, we can see that the practice, if done consistently and properly, has the power to free one from the bondage of excessive attachment to outcomes of our actions in the world. Or, to put it in the terms with which I started this post, it has the power to free one from the tendency of excessive grasping, and in this way, alleviate type-A-ness.