Vata, the dosha that moves things

This insight into the Vata dosha is part of a series of articles, available on the Yoga n' Ride blog, which deal with the fantastic world of Ayurveda.

If you haven't already done so, I suggest you take a look at the article: Ayurveda: what it is, how it works, and how to put its teachings into practice >

Vata is the dosha composed of the elements Ether and air and literally means “wind”, or that which moves things.

Vata represents the energizing force of the body and mind, and is responsible for our mental and physical adaptability.

According to Ayurveda, when the dosha Vata is in balance, it is easier to be coordinated in movements and thoughts, feelings and actions. Our ambitions become clearer to us and we feel spacious, creative and full of energy.

When our Vata is in balance, our breath supports our nervous system.

The movement of our life force (prana) is regulated by Vata, and this function allows us to inhale and exhale with ease.

Characteristics of a Vata type person

Since the main element of Vata is air, according to Ayurveda people of this type have a tendency to move and must constantly do something.

The light, quirky and whimsical nature of it doshaleads Vata type people to often be very creative, studious and curious.

From a physical point of view, Vata type people tend to be either very tall or very short, generally thin, with a light bone structure.

They also tend to have always cold hands and feet, very visible veins, very long fingers, with fragile nails that are often bitten by the typical nervousness that accompanies them.

They like to change often, and for this reason they sometimes have a poor aptitude for resistance, and demonstrate difficulty maintaining daily routines or making long-term commitments.

Areas of the body and biological processes

According to Ayurveda, the dosha Vata is related to the lower part of the body, from the pelvis down, so to speak.

The main physical site of Vata is the colon, but this dosha and is also present in the empty spaces of the body, in the joints, in the skin, ears, large intestine.

Additionally, Vata is responsible for the following features:

  • nervous system
  • breath
  • movements of muscles and tissues, including the heart and brain
  • circulation
  • elimination of organic waste (urine, feces, sweat)
  • sexual pleasure
  • Menses
  • part

Examples of Vata disorders dosha out of balance:

When Vata is aggravated, i.e. in excess or in a state of imbalance, disorders or pathologies related to the areas of the body and biological processes for which Vata is responsible may appear in the body.

Here are some examples:

  • Constipation, constipation
  • Excess gas in the intestines or stomach
  • Nervous tics
  • Fame nervosa
  • Migraine
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Stiff muscles and joints
  • Creaking joints
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Amenorrhea
  • Difficulty processing thoughts
  • Dry skin
  • Dry cough

Diet Tips for Vata

Foods that are great for balancing Vata are, in general: sweet, acidic and salty.

This is due to the fact that, according to Ayurveda, the sense of taste is a natural guide towards correct nutrition, and that much of the awareness necessary to know how to choose the appropriate food “rests on the tip of our tongue”.

In fact, our taste buds do much more than simply identify flavors; Indeed, they represent the first element of the entire digestive process.

To aid the digestive process, people of this type of constitution should favor the intake of hot drinks, lukewarm or room temperature water and cooked foods.

Below I give you some examples of foods, suitable and not suitable for the Vata constitution, taken from the book: Ayurveda, the science of self-healing, by Vasant Lad.

If you want to delve deeper into the topic, in this book you will find very interesting tables that identify foods for each type of constitution, the actions of tastes, the properties and actions of foods.

Buy on Amazon >

Foods that favor Vata, to be consumed freely

  • Vegetables: asparagus, chard, carrots, cucumber, garlic, onions (cooked), green beans, potatoes, courgettes
  • Fruit: apricots, avocado, bananas, cherries, coconut, figs, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, mango
  • Cereals: oats (cooked), rice, wheat
  • Meat- fish: beef, white meat (chicken, turkey), eggs (fried, scrambled) fish
  • Legumes: tofu and red and black lentils
  • Dairy products: all dairy products are fine in moderation

Foods that aggravate Vata, to be consumed in moderation

  • Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, aubergines, mushrooms, peppers
  • Fruit: dried fruit, apples (raw), blueberries, pears (raw), persimmons, pomegranate, watermelon
  • Cereals: barley, buckwheat, corn, millet
  • Meat-fish: lamb, pork, rabbit
  • Legumes: all legumes except tofu and red and black lentils
  • Dairy products: all dairy products are fine in moderation

Lifestyle tips for balancing Vata

Below are some suggestions that you can adopt in your daily life, and which can help balance your dosha Vata.

Spend time having fun with friends, smile often.

Vata type people tend to be very introspective, sometimes they take themselves too seriously or they like to stay with their head in the clouds, so to speak… in their bubble.

Spending time with friends, indulging in moments of leisure and entertainment are activities that help on the one hand to stay in the present moment, and on the other to not take life too seriously.

Smiling often, however, is the best medicine to keep your spirits high. 🙂

Meditate daily

Meditating is good for any type of Ayurvedic constitution, but especially for Vatas, who, as we have said, often have their minds bombarded by a thousand thoughts.

Meditating, as well as taking long walks in nature, helps restore mental calm and tranquility.

Take a warm bath with ginger or cinnamon essential oil.

Vatas often have cold hands and feet and will find great benefit from a hot bath which helps reactivate circulation especially in the peripheral parts of the body.

The essences of ginger and cinnamon have warming and relaxing properties, while sesame oil has a warming and emollient action, and is excellent for relieving chapped or dry skin typical of Vata.

Take a 30-minute nap later in the day

Precisely due to the “mental” nature that characterizes Vatas, this type of constitution tends to get stressed easily. Resting, even just a few minutes, will be of great benefit to the Vatas.

It is now scientifically proven that an afternoon nap helps relieve the stress accumulated during the day, with positive effects also on mood.

Turn off the television and phone 30 minutes before going to sleep

It is increasingly known that light sources, magnetic and electrical waves interfere with sleep-wake rhythms, resulting in hyperactivity of the brain and a decrease in deep sleep.

For this reason, especially for Vatas, it is important to reduce brain activity before falling asleep by avoiding any activity, including reading.

Better instead to opt for a good meditation or a guided relaxation practice such as Yoga Nidra.

Yoga to balance Vata

Vata type people generally have light bones and particularly delicate joints. They can be very flexible, or, on the contrary, also very rigid.

For this reason, for Vatas it is important to adequately warm up the body before practicing yoga, practice without haste, do not overexert yourself and drink adequately before practice and, if necessary, also during practice.

Vata is located in the lower part of the body, in the pelvic region, and for this reason the main areas to work on are the hips, the lower part of the abdomen and especially the lower back.

Seated positions (for example: diamond position, Vajirasana) and standing ones (tree position, Vrikshasana) are excellent because they increase stability and develop calm.

Vata type people should worry about maintaining the flexibility of the spine, for example using the cat position, or even twists, accompanied by wide and deep breaths.

Forward bends (for example the pinch position, Pashimottanasana) and backward bends (cobra position, Bhujangasana) are very useful, but must always be done delicately and slowly.

At the end of a yoga session, Vata type people should feel a feeling of stability, warmth, calm. The mind should be calm and the emotions under control, firm and stable.

Ayuryoga, yoga according to Ayurveda

If you want to put into practice the theory we have talked about so far, on Yoga n' Ride you will find a special Yoga playlist, which includes a series of specific yoga lessons for each Dosha and for the 5 elements.

Playlist Ayuryoga

Click here to discover Yoga n' Ride's Ayuryoga playlist >

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