Vata Dosha - Understanding Your Body’s Symptoms
There are three main Mind-Body types in Ayurveda which are known as doshas. Vata dosha is the constitution of ether (space) and air (wind). Once you know what your dosha (Mind-Body type) is, you can work with it to bring more harmony to your life. To find out what type you are, take my free test.
Do you typically struggle with 𝐚𝐧𝐱𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲, 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐦, 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐧𝐢𝐚? Physically, do you experience dryness in your skin, 𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐬, and 𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐫, cracking in our joints, and constipation? Then you might have a Vata dosha.
The Main Qualities of Vata Dosha
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐕𝐚𝐭𝐚 𝐝𝐨𝐬𝐡𝐚 & these qualities 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐞:
Cold 》》》 Warm
Dry 》》》 Moist/Wet/Unctuous
Below is a breakdown of creating balance through the use of opposites.
Cold ----> 𝗪𝐚𝐫𝐦
Since Vata Dosha runs cold, we need to counter balance that with warmth. We can do this by eating warm, cooked food (no salads or raw foods), drinking warm/hot drinks, using warming spices when we cook like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, and curry blends, living in warmer environments or making sure to wear appropriate clothing for the season, taking hot baths, getting in hot tubs, saunas (especially steam saunas), and using hot water bottles to keep warm.
Light -----> 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐲
Since Vata Dosha is the lightest, most etheric Mind-Body type, we need to counter balance those qualities with heavy, grounding foods and practices. Heavier foods include root veggies, hearty soups and stews, grains, high quality dairy, sweet, juicy fruits, dates, nuts and seeds. Other ways to bring in the heavy quality to ground the lightness of Vata Dosha are to practice grounding yoga poses like Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, Warrior 1 and 2, and Forward Fold, Knees to Chest, and staying in Savasana for five or more minutes. Other lifestyle tips for bringing in the heavy quality are to use weighted blankets, take time for snuggling, massage that incorporates slow, heavy strokes with compression, and taking time to connect to the earth (Earthing).
Dry -----> 𝐌𝐨𝐢𝐬𝐭/𝐔𝐧𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐨𝐮𝐬
If there is excess dryness, this shows up in our bodies as dry or cracking skin, lips, and hair, cracking in our joints, and constipation. The way to counterbalance excess dryness is to bring in moisture. Drinking nutritive and demulcent teas like marshmallow root, slippery elm, milky oats, licorice, and cinnamon help your body to absorb and penetrate the dry tissues. Hydrating by drinking lots of pure water with minerals, eating stews, broths, soups for your meals, and using high quality oils--ghee, raw cold pressed sesame, olive, avocado, and coconut oils, are ways to get more moisture to your body.
Eating and cooking with seaweed, as well as using high quality salts (ocean and mountain salts, especially Celtic Sea Salt) will help your body get the minerals needed to absorb the moisture and to stay hydrated. Lastly, receiving or giving yourself warm oily massages daily (known as abhyanga in Ayurveda) will help bring moisture to your skin and keep your lymphatic system healthy so you stay hydrated and lubricated long term. Making these practices part of your daily life will help you feel amazing and you’ll glow from the inside out and the outside in.
Mobile -----> 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞
Creating stability is one of the most important parts of balancing Vata Dosha due to their mobile (wind-like) qualities. Stabilizing practices include creating routines that build structure into your day. Having a solid morning and evening routine creates “book ends” to your day. By setting up healthy stabilizing practices that involve self care routines, you begin and end your day with intention, balance, and harmony. See my Morning Rituals and Evening Rituals blog posts for suggestions on healthy routines.
Another way to build stability into your day is through eating and sleeping around the same time each day/night. Consistent mealtimes help stabilize blood sugar and help the body get into a healthy rhythm. Single-tasking and slow, intentional movements like yin yoga, slow flow yoga, or meditative walks are also great ways to help stabilize the nervous system.
Vata governs all the hollow organs in our body (this is the concept of ether or empty space)- the lungs, heart, small intestine, and colon. Vata also governs all movement in the mind and body (this is the concept of air or wind), such as thoughts moving through your mind, your inhale and exhale, blood flow, and elimination of waste.
When you align your diet and lifestyle to one that brings balance and harmony to your particular Mind-Body type, life becomes more enjoyable. You spend less time in pain and discomfort, and you have more time to do and experience the things you love. It really can be this simple.
Interested in getting one-on-one support with Ayurveda? Schedule a complimentary call with me.
If you want a deeper dive into Ayurveda, sign up for my 6 week course-- Ayurveda 101: Know Yourself, Heal Yourself where you will get the foundations of understanding your mind-body type, and how to make informed choices for YOU!