Ayurveda says that everything is made up for five elements: air, fire, water, earth and space. These five elements unite to form the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. The different ways our bodies respond to various things is governed by these three doshas. Today, we will talk about Vata dosha and how it could affect your health and body.
Vata governs movement. It is a force of propulsion. It controls muscle movement, nerve impulses and your thoughts. The word Vata means “wind”. It is a very subtle doshathat can easily fall out of balance. Vata people can often suffer a depletion of nutrients in their bodies. When they are in balance, their behavior is often creative. However, when they are out of balance, their behavior is often erratic and dispersed. Vata is the body’s element of ether and air. Ether is a very space-like quality and air features movement. Hearing and touch are the senses of Vata.
Do you need to balance Vata?
Motion and flow within the body is governed by Vata dosha. To find out if you need to balance Vata, answer these questions:
- Is your skin rough, think and dry?
- Is your weight lower than normal?
- Is your mind constantly in a flurry of activity?
- Do you worry all the time?
- Are you almost always agitated or restless?
- Do you get occasional or frequent constipation?
- Do you have trouble sleeping?
- Do you suffer from vaginal dryness?
- Do you sometimes forget things?
- 10. Do you have pain or discomfort in your joints?
- 11. Do you get fatigued easily?
- Eat larger amounts of food. But amounts that you can easily digest.
- Eat plenty of dairy. Dairy foods pacify Vata. Boil milk and drink it warm. But don’t drink milk with a full meal.
- All sweeteners are good if eaten in moderation and will pacify Vata.
- Rice and wheat are excellent grains to eat. However, you should reduce your consumption of barley, millet, buckwheat, corn, oats and rye.
- Try to eat sour, sweet or heavier fruits like oranges, avocados, bananas, grapes, peaches, cherries, melons, plums, berries, mangos, papayas and pineapples. Reduce intake of lighter and dry fruits like pears, apples, cranberries, pomegranates and dried fruits.
- Vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, beets, asparagus and sweet potatoes are excellent. They should not be served raw, but cooked. You can eat these vegetables in moderate amounts if they are cooked, especially with Vata reducing spices: green leafy vegetables, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, zucchini, celery and potatoes. Try to avoid sprouts and cabbage.
- Try to use the following spices: ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, salt, mustard, cloves and small amounts of black pepper.
- All types of nuts are good to eat.
- Except for tofu and mungdahl, reduce all bean intake.
- Oils. All oils reduce Vata.
- Your daily activity will start to make you feel out of control if too much stress in your life leads to your Vata force becoming imbalanced. Your mind may have a thousand thoughts a minute, which will contribute to anxiety and insomnia. You may begin to skip meals, or eat less in each meal. This will lead to weight loss and irregular digestion. If you experience these symptoms of Vata imbalance, take some time to rest, slow down and to meditate. Don’t skip meals or eat less food. Go to sleep earlier at night. Keeping your lifestyle routine regular will help to balance Vata.
- Vata is light, irregular, dry, cold and always changing. In order to balance Vata, you have to make choices that bring warmth, consistency and stability into your life. Eat your meals at regular times. Go to bed and wake up at regular times.
- Avoid getting cold or chilled. Wear enough clothing, appropriate for the season, so you don’t get cold. Keep your head covered when the weather is colder.
- Use heavier oils like sesame and almond oils to perform a daily self-massage.
- Fresh ginger root is quite beneficial and can be frequently used. During cooler weather drink ginger tea throughout the day.