The Vata dosha is a combination of the Air and Space (Ether) element, which means the properties of Vata is very similar to these two elements like cool, dry, mobile. Also in the ancient text of Ayurveda, Asthanga Hridayam describes the property of Vata as follows:
Vata: Dry, Rough, Light, Cold, Subtle, Mobile.
Vata controls all movement in the mind and body such as blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind, etc. It also gives motion to Kapha and Pitta.
Quality and Personality
Qualities of Vata nature people: Feeling cold, dry hair and skin, their bodies tend to be light, their bones thin, and their skin. They often move and speak quickly.
Personalities of Vata nature people: They tend to be talkative, flexible, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative. When they get out of balance they become easily confused and overwhelmed, facing difficulty in focusing and making decisions and suffering from the sleeping problem. This happens more when they are under stress. Emotionally they are challenged by cool emotions like worry, fear, and anxiety.
Types of Vata
There are five types in Vata dosha:
Prana Vata: The leader of all 15 categories of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, the senses, enthusiasm, creative thinking, reasoning.
Udana Vata: Movements of thought, memory, quality of voice.
Samana Vata: Movement of food through the digestive tract.
Apana Vata: Sexual function, elimination of wastes, menstrual cycle.
Vyana Vata: Perspiration, blood flow, sense of touch, heart rhythm.
Symptoms of Vata Imbalance
If your Vata dosha is imbalance then you may notice these following symptoms in your body and mind :
- Dry, rough, thin skin.
- People with Vata imbalance may experience underweight.
- Overactive mind.
- Increasing stress, nervousness and tension.
- Too much worrying, restlessness.
- Body pain and joint pain.
- Dry coughs, earaches, sore throats.
- Constipation, fatigue.
- Gas, intestinal cramps, poor assimilation, weak tissues.
- Sleep problems, difficulty in breathing.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Lack of concentration.
- Poor blood flow, stress-related problems.
If you are suffering from these symptoms, then you need to balance Vata.
Reasons for Imbalance in Vata Dosha
Basically, a bad lifestyle and habits always causing problems in our life and body. In this case, our day to day bad habits causing an imbalance in our body( Vata dosha) which includes:
- Eating an excess amount of food which increases the level of Vata in our body.
- Consuming your meal with an anxious or depressed mindset.
- Eating food in a hurry or when you are walking or running.
- Remain hungry or eating less food most of the time.
- Drinking cold drinks, coffee, alcohol or black tea
- Irregular daily routine.
- The habit of sleeping late at night
How to Balance Vata Dosha
- Use Vata reducing product in your daily life.
- Abhyanga (daily ayurvedic massage with sesame oil).
- Do gentle physical exercises like swimming, yoga, walking, or tai chi.
- Warm temperatures.
- Eat warm and cooked foods (less raw foods).
- Favor warm, oily, heavy foods. Include sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
- Avoid dry, cold, light foods. Also stay away from pungent, bitter and astringent tastes.
- Regular daily routine.
- Meditate daily.
- Avoid stimulants.
- Go to bed on time.
- Regular, daily elimination.
- Keep yourself warm in cold, windy weather.
Diet for pacifying Vata Dosha
- Increase your food intake, but not more than you can digest easily.
- Dairy products are Vata-pacifying. Drink warm milk, always boil it before you drink. Don’t include milk with your full meal.
- Sweeteners are also good (in moderation) for pacifying Vata.
- Add rice and wheat in your daily meal. These are very good for pacifying Vata.
- Reduce the intake of corn, millet, barley, buckwheat, oats, etc.
- In fruits, sweet, sour, or heavy fruits are very good Vata pacifying, such as oranges, bananas, avocados, grapes, cherries, peaches, melons, berries, plums, pineapples, mangos, and papayas. Avoid dry or light fruits like apples, pomegranates, pears, cranberries, and dried fruits.
- In vegetables, Beets, carrots, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes are good. Cook them before eating. The following vegetables are also acceptable in moderate quantities if they are cooked with oil or ghee and Vata-pacifying spices: peas, cauliflower, celery, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and potatoes. Avoid sprouts and cabbage.
- Spices. Cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cumin, mustard seed, cloves and you can also include small quantities of black pepper.
- All nuts are good.
- Avoid or reduce all beans, except for mung dhal and tofu.
- Include oils in your daily meal. All oils reduce Vata.