Vata - Air and Space



The concept of doshas is one of the foundational Ayurvedic principles used for diagnosis, treatment, and understanding the world around us. There are three different doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha has particular attributes and functions both on a physical and a mental level. In Ayurveda, we use doshas to describe imbalances, lifelong tendencies, seasons, and even times of the day. Once you understand the traits of each dosha, you can apply this knowledge to so many aspects of your life. You will understand yourself better, your triggers, your strengths and your weaknesses. What is more, you will begin to get a grasp on how to balance them with the help of diet, a few herbs or lifestyle changes.


Air and Space


Vata is composed of the elements space (Akash) and air (Vayu), and you will see this airy quality in the physical and mental aspects of a Vata person.


Vata-dominant individuals tend to have the following qualities:

  • Slimmer build, lightweight, either very tall or short

  • Thinner skin and hair, prone to dryness

  • Oval, narrow face and smaller eyes

  • Irregular appetite, tendency towards constipation

  • Lower stamina with bursts of activity

  • Light sleep, possibly interrupted, dreams full of movement

  • Quick-moving mind and actions

  • Spontaneous, tendency to do many things

  • Drawn to creative activities, dance and travel


The qualities of Vata are dry, light, cold, subtle, and moving. If you experience an uncomfortable level of these qualities in your body or mind, you probably are in the thicks of a Vata imbalance.


Each dosha governs certain functions in the body. Vata is responsible for all movements in our body, like respiration, nutrient transport, emptying bowels, and menstruation. Any imbalance in these functions will be related to Vata.


Signs of imbalanced Vata

  • Dry skin, hair, ears, or lips

  • Internal dryness: bloating, gas, constipation, dehydration, weight loss, cracking joints

  • Mental dryness and lightness: restlessness, dizziness, feeling ungrounded, poor concentration, fuzzy brain

  • Cold: poor circulation, muscle spasm or constriction, aches and pains, tightness

  • Roughness, especially skin and lips

  • Anxiety, fidgeting, agitation, muscle twitching, palpitations



How to balance Vata


To balance Vata, remember its qualities and incorporate foods, spices and activities opposite to these qualities. Focus on warming, grounding and nourishing your body and mind.


Diet

  • Eat unctuous, easy to digest foods (think soups and stews)

  • The Vata balancing flavours are sweet, sour and salty, moderate bitter, astringent, and pungent tastes.

  • Some Vata balancing foods include pumpkin, sweet potato, beets, carrots, courgette, avocados, dates, figs, lemons, limes, papayas, grapefruit and grapes.

  • Use our Vata Spice Blend in your cooking or sprinkle over your finished meal.

  • Other Vata balancing spices are: fennel, ginger, cinnamon, chamomile, cumin, cinnamon, salt, cloves, dill, ajwain, asafoetida, nutmeg


Lifestyle

  • Avoid excessive exercise, favour calmer sports like yoga, dance, horse riding, swimming.

  • Adopt a calming, centring and grounding yoga practice (check out our yoga mats made from natural materials and completely biodegradable for the extra peace of mind)

  • Incorporate a daily meditation practice

  • Try to have a regular schedule. While your unsteady nature will find this difficult, a routine will bring a sense of balance and security to your life and help you to stay grounded.

  • Practice abhyanga, or self-massage at least a few times per week. Oiling your body has an especially calming effect on Vata. You can use plain sesame oil or oils infused with Vata balancing herbs.

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