This weeks focus is on Vata Dosha.
The elements associated with Vata are Air and Ether (space).
Qualities – light, dry, rough, clear, active, cold and mobile
Associated with the nervous system.
The English summer is usually lovely for Vata – warm, sunny, a gentle warm breeze and with regular rainy days (the rain helps to keep up the moisture levels for dry Vata). However the current heatwave may be uncomfortable for Vata as the dryness will elevate their dry quality. They may get dry skin, feel restless or overwhelmed and experience digestive issues such as constipation.
How do you know if you are dominant in Vata. Here are some qualities, see how many you relate to:
1/ You are always on the go
2/ You are highly creative
3/ You have a slim, light frame
4/ Your body is agile
5/ You’re skin is very thin and you can see you veins easily
6/ You have fine and/or curly/wavy hair
7/ You have small features – small eyes, thin lips
8/ You have dry skin
9/ Your hands and feet are always cold
10/ Your digestion can be irregular leading to constipation
11/ You have arthritis
12/ Your joints crack
13/ You are intuitive
14/ You love new experiences
15/ You love to travel
16/ You have bursts of energy
17/ You have lots of ideas, lots of projects on the go
18/ You find it hard to commit to finishing your projects
19/ You are easily overwhelmed
20/ You worry a lot and sometimes have anxiety
21/ You are a very light sleeper, sometimes you have insomnia
22/ You have very vivid dreams and often remember them
23/ You love to chat and speak quite fast
24/ When you’re stressed you tend to loose weight
25/ You move a lot – twitches, fidgety etc.
How many did you relate to?
If you relate to all, or most, it’s probably safe to say your dominant dosha is Vata.
If you relate to some, this could be your secondary dosha.
If you relate to none, this is your third dosha.
Do you know of someone else who could be Vata?
When in balance Vata is energetic and creative and they are quick thinkers. Their light nature means they love to travel and experience new things, as mobility is another of their attributes, they are very active and flexible – they would be drawn to a vinyasa flow yoga class. Being associated with the Ether Vata has a clear quality making them very intuitive. They have vivid and surreal dreams which they often remember.
When unbalanced Vata can be easily distracted making them prone to procrastination and overwhelm. They worry so much that they can feel highly fearful and anxious. As they are associated with a light quality they’re head can be in the clouds which makes it hard for them to focus and commit to finishing the many things they have going on. Their dry and light qualities make their bones thin and prone to cracking, breaking, osteoporosis and arthritis. With so much mobility in their body, their flexibility can lead to hypermobility. Their irregular and airy nature means they tend to eat sporadically throughout the day resulting in irregular digestion such as constipation as well as becoming easily bloated, and windy.
Think the opposite to light, dry, rough, clear, active, cold and mobile: Ground your energy, increase moisture, move and think smoothly, slow down, stay warm and strengthen and stabilise.
Eat sweet, salty and sour foods. Avoid pungent, bitter and astringent tastes.
The Sweet taste is very grounding. This taste activates a downward moving energy making it very stabilising. A little sweetness also helps balance Vata's nervous system, helping to calm twitches and fidgets.
The Sour taste is associated with the earth and so has a grounding element. It also has a fire association which makes it all the things that vata needs - liquid, oily, moistening, and hot. This heat helps to awaken and bring focus to the mind.
The Salty taste is bold and brave and encourages confidence which counters vata’s tendency toward fear. Salt holds on to moisture and helps the dry Vata maintain water and electrolytes, salt is also very nourishing and promotes growth, muscle strength, and flexibility.
For more information on the tastes, check out this website https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/diet/six-tastes/vata-and-the-six-tastes/
And more can be found here on nutritional guidelines: https://chopra.com/article/understanding-vata-minimize-stress-and-feed-your-creativity
STUFF YOU CAN DO
Create a daily routine. Vatas airy nature means they find it hard to focus. By creating a routine, you can create stability and help keep vata balanced.
Practice self massage with heavy oils such as sesame or almond oil.
Strengthen and stabilIse your body through regular exercise such as pilates, dance, tennis, walking or a rhythmic form of yoga such as ashtanga.
Slow down and create some calm through practices such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yin yoga and meditation.
Mantra meditation is amazing for Vata – the repetition encourages stability. Yoga Nidra is also very balancing for vata since it is an inwards practice. Vata is very outwards and expressive, to maintain balance, regualr introspection is essential.
This week in my Facebook group, Soulful Self Care, I’m exploring Vata. Please feel free to join the group and join me for meditations, yoga and more.