Vata Dosha – Responsible for all Movements of the Body
Vata Dosha governs movement in the body, the activities of Nervous System and the process of elimination. First, if Vata becomes imbalanced for long enough and sufficiently enough, it can also cause the other two doshas (Pitta or Kapha) to become imbalanced.
Elements – air (vayu) + ether (akash) Qualities - dry, light, cold, mobile, rough, irregular, moving, quick, changeable Season - fall through mid-winter Nature wind Main Location colon
Vata dosha is the most important of all doshas. Without vata, pitta and kapha can not move. Every movement of the body, eyes blinking, heart beating, talking, jumping, circulation, elimination, are all because of vata.
Vata Personality and Body -
Those with a predominance of Vata dosha are usually have a thin, light frame and excellent agility.
Their energy comes in bursts, and they are likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue.
Vatas typically have dry skin and hair, cold hand and feet.
Bones are prominent.
Face is oval in shape and eyes are small with teeny lashes.
Fingers are long and nails are brittle with a tendency to split.
They sleep lightly and their digestion can be sensitive.
They are fast, changeable and often love any kind of movement, change and travel.
They get easily bored when they stay too long at one place, be it a job, apartment, hobby.
They work on multiple projects at once, but often don’t finish them, as another, even more interesting, idea inspires them.
On the other hand, they are quite flexible (physically as well as in their minds), creative (often with amazing artistic talents), and can easily adopt to change.
Imbalanced - When out of balance, their moods change like the wind, they are unstable, fearful, worried, experience lack of energy, and feel exhausted. They can experience lower back pain, joint pain or headaches. Gas, bloating, and constipation are also often present.
If you notice early symptoms of Vata imbalance like anxious, worried, anxiety, insomnia. You may start skipping meals, it will be difficult to sit still and relax, your skin and hair will become dry, start experiencing gases, bloating then slow down, take time to meditate, don’t skip meals, and get to bed earlier. A regular lifestyle routine helps ground Vata.
Try to get to bed before 10pm, awaken by 6am, and eat your meals at regular times.
Avoid becoming chilled. Wear adequate clothing appropriate for the season and keep your head covered when the weather is cold.
Perform a daily (self-abhyang) massage using warmer, heavier oils like sesame and almond.
Meditation, yoga practice, and pranayama are all wonderful for bringing some grounding and nourishment to vata.
Be certain that your bowels move regularly on a daily basis.
Favor soothing, calming music.
Vata Balancing Diet
According to Ayurveda, it is important to eat foods that have a balancing effect upon the dominant dosha or that will pacify (stabilize) a dosha that has become excessive or aggravated. Since Vata is drying, cooling and light, favor foods that are oily, warming, or heavy. The best tastes to pacify Vata are sweet, salty and sour. Minimize foods that are pungent, bitter, or astringent.
All sweet food pacify Vata and may be taken in moderation.
Fats and oils are beneficial in the digestive system and help reduce Vata. Use up to 2 teaspoons daily of ghee (homemade ghee is best) or extra virgin olive oil.
Milk is easier to digest when warm or heated.
Rice and wheat are the best grains for balancing Vata. Reduce the amount of barley, corn.
Favor sweet, heavy fruits such as: bananas, avocados, mangoes, apricots, plums, coconut, figs, orange, lemon, papaya, peaches, pineapples, kiwi, dates, nectarines and dried fruits.
Eat fewer dry or light fruits such as apples, cranberries, pears, and pomegranates. To ease digestion, fruits are best eaten lightly cooked or eaten alone. Fruits should not be eaten after meal.
Cooked vegetables are best. Raw vegetables should be minimized.
Beans, Sprouts and cabbage tend to produce gas and should be minimized.
Spices that pacify Vata include cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, basil, asafetida, cilantro, fennel, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme, and black pepper.
All varieties of nuts are recommended.
Always eat cooked and warm food.