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Intro to Ayurvedic Doshas: Vata

June 19, 2014

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Welcome back to our series on Ayurvedic doshas! Last week we covered the Pitta dosha, and this week we’re diving into our next dosha: Vata. If you are a Vata, this post will help you understand how to recognize when your dosha is out of balance and what you can do to bring it back to center. (P.S. Still don’t know your dosha? Take this short test from Ayurveda expert Deepak Chopra to find out!)

Vata is the most lively and energetic of the three Doshas. If you are a Vata, either in your body or mind, you are probably very energetic, and it may be hard for your non-Vata friends to keep up! The primary characteristics of are cold, light, irregular, dry, moving, and changeable. This is the foundation that the Vata mind and body are built on, and will allow you to recognize when you are out of balance, so keep them in mind as you read this post. 

Those with a Vata body are usually thin and light. They have plenty of energy, but it often comes in bursts. Vatas have skin that is on the drier side, and often have cold hands and feet. They sleep lightly and their digestion is very affected by their mood and current state of dosha balance. 

When the Vata body is not in balance, they tend to have less energy and more bouts of fatigue. Since they carry so much of their well-being in their gut, an out of balance Vata often suffers from digestive problems like constipation. 

To whip your Vata body back into shape, try establishing a regular routine for yourself that includes plenty of sleep and regular meditative exercise like yoga. This can be tough for an out-of-balance Vata, who seeks excitement and is prone to restlessness, but a steady routine is the number one way to get back on track.

Vatas are very sensitive to cold, so try to include plenty of heavy, warm whole foods in your diet, like roasted vegetables, as well as fatty foods like dairy. These foods will help the Vata to feel more grounded and less spacey. Regular meals, including breakfast, should also be eaten daily to fuel the Vata’s high energy. 

Like the Vata body, the Vata mind is nonstop! They are also very creative and can learn new things quickly, but often find themselves overthinking situations. Their high energy levels keep them active and focused for long periods of time. 

When the mind is out of balance, Vatas tend to get anxious, worried spacey, and agitated. They may also suffer from insomnia or even depression.

To soothe your worried Vata mind, follow some of the same steps you would to create balance in a Vata body. A daily routine is crucial to establish a sense of security and eliminate anxiety. Strenuous exercise, like running, should be reduced, and a calming yoga or t’ai chi practice should take its place. It’s also very important to take a few minutes at the end of the day to collect your thoughts and relax your racing mind. You can do this by meditating, stretching, or journaling!

If you’re predominantly a Vata dosha, whether in mind, body, or both, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below! If you’re not a Vata or Pitta, stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as we explore the Kapha dosha and see what it means to be a mix of two or even three doshas!