Optimizing Your Vata Dosha Levels: Everything You Need to Know

January 13, 2022 | 15024 views

Vata Dosha Treatment: How to Remove Excess Vata From the Body?

Your life is often brimming with stress-induced health concerns that are exacerbated by a lack of time and attention to your whole self. We understand it is difficult to address your mind, body, and spirit as a whole with life’s demands constantly on your doorstep, but smaller health concerns are the body’s way of tugging at your attention before they, perhaps, morph into larger concerns.

Something as inconsequential as a common cold  may arise, or even a larger health concern that has evolved over time.  Your  health is vulnerable to various health challenges throughout life, and Ayurveda approaches these challenges from a holistic approach.

How exactly does Ayurveda approach overall health and wellbeing?

Ayurveda approaches health very differently than traditional allopathic medicine. Your overall well being is held in the highest regard, above the aim to eliminate superficial symptoms induced by a health concern. Ayurveda traditionally considers the three doshas to determine a person’s state of health and their overall personality. The doshas are a primary concern within Ayurveda when addressing your health since they encapsulate strong tendencies aligned with nature herself: space, wind, fire, water, and earth.

Vata is one of the three doshas (tridoshas) that Ayurveda attends to. For a better understanding of all three doshas, let’s  look at their brief definitions so that we can better understand their respective roles, including how to reduce vata in your body.

What are the Three Doshas? Definition, Function!

The basic idea behind Ayurveda is that the human body is composed of five elements, namely, water (jal), earth (prithvi), fire (teja), air (vayu) and space (aakash).A combination of each of these elements gives rise to the different doshas, known as vata, pitta, and kapha.

The levels of these doshas, or tendencies toward movement, stagnation, excess energy, etc. generally vary from person to person. For example, in some people, vata may dominate as the dosha, while in other people, kapha or pitta may be the dominating doshas.

Depending on the dominating dosha, your  Ayurvedic constitution can be determined. A professional Ayurvedic practitioner can advise you correctly on the type of dosha dominating in your body. Based on the same information, you can take health measures and improve your health. Ideally, the doshas are in balance so that no one element is ruling your entire being.

What do the Doshas do?

Let us take a deeper dive into the three doshas so we can understand what roles they might play in influencing human health.

1. Vata

Starting with vata, this dosha is known as a combination of air and space elements. As a result, vata is also known as the airy dosha and is generally described as cold, rough, dry, flowing, and spacious.

People with a vata dominance may be more creative than others. They often tend to think out of the box, are energetic and in most cases. They may also have a slim body.

Despite these qualities, people with vata dominance may be easily distracted, with their moods often influenced by the weather and people around them, or the food that they eat.

As Ayurveda suggests, people with vata dominance should maintain a daily routine, manage stress through meditation and breathing exercises, and avoid consuming cold foods or drinks.

2. Kapha

Kapha dosha is based on earth and water and is said to be steady, stable, heavy, slow, soft, and cold.

Just like in the season of  spring, most parts of the world move out of hibernation. This is also known as kapha season.

People with a kapha dominance are known for being strong and caring. They may be good at handling challenges  and managing their mind without much difficulty. As a result, people with kapha dominance may rarely get upset.

Apart from this, kapha dominance may also mean a higher bone density, leading to thicker bones.

3. Pitta

Pitta dosha is based on fire and water. This one is also known to associate with a tenacious personality. The common characteristics of this dosha are heat, sharpness, oiliness, liquid nature and lightness.

People with pitta dosha dominance are generally known to have strong builds, may be athletic and are often great leaders. While people with pitta dominance are usually self motivated, positive and competitive, they may have an aggressive approach toward their goals. This can often come off as rude to the people in their company, even when their intention is to be direct in the communication.

People with pitta dosha dominance are intelligent, curious, and quick learners, but may often end up in arguments or conflict if this dosha is not in balance To lead a healthy and normal life, it’s best for those with pitta dominance  to focus on work-life balance and stay away from extreme heat sources like hot weather, and hot and spicy food.

How to Optimize Vata Dosha?

Coming full circle, let’s look in detail at vata dosha. There are many ways that you can  reduce vata dosha levels in your body.

But first, it’s crucial to maintain optimum levels of vata dosha. Here’s why:

Why is it important to maintain optimum vata levels?

 When vata levels in the body shift from their optimum, they may lead to health concerns including insomnia, anxiety, spaciness, dry or  rough skin, headaches, fatigue, asthma, constipation, hypertension, and other undesirable effects.

Of course, the factors above would certainly have several other impacts on your lifestyle depending on  higher or lower vata levels. This can make your day-to-day life more challenging and problematic with vata dosha shifts and can result in larger health concerns.

To overcome these challenges, it’s crucial to maintain optimum vata levels. So let’s understand how to remove excess vata from the body.

Vata Dosha Balance in Ayurveda

If you have identified a vata excess or lack in your body and want to optimize the vata levels, follow these steps:

1. Maintain a daily routine

Although vata dosha is generally associated with high creativity, in  excess, vata may often make you  vulnerable to distractions. As a result, daily tasks may take longer to be accomplished, leading to anxieties induced by procrastination, and similar stresses.

One of the best things you can do to avoid this is to maintain a healthy routine and stick to it.

Whether it is a consistent wake-up time each morning, the habit of taking a bath every night,  the time you consume  your first meal, or when you answer your professional calls, it’d be best to tick off tasks in a routine and categorical manner.

This will help you minimize distractions, naturally helping to lower the vata influence.

2. Set bedtime to 10 PM

While sleep is one of the most crucial human processes, high vata influence can adversely impact your sleeping cycles.

As mentioned in the sections above, excess vata can lead to anxiety, loss of sleep, and insomnia. Also, these health concerns are not limited to their respective symptoms, and can  also give rise to a variety of other health challenges like indigestion, poor metabolism, and a busy, restless mind.

To keep these health concerns at bay and to reduce vata symptoms, people with a vata dominance should set their bedtime to 10 PM, not later.

This may also help maintain a daily routine, eventually aiding to avoid distractions.

3. Keep warm

As vata is an airy dosha, it deeply relates to space and wind. This means that people with a vata dominance may be unusually sensitive to cold. As a result, if the vata levels in your body are far from optimum, you may catch a cold easily.

To prevent this, it is best to keep yourself warm by consuming warm foods and drinks.

Apart from this, you can perform self massages like Abhyanga. In fact, oil massages are known to be one of the most effective methods for optimizing vata levels.

Other activities like saunas and workout sessions may also help to optimize vata levels in your body.

4. Meditate

Anxiety is also one of the vata disorders that may crop up when vata levels are far from optimum. And of course, anxiety can also cause several distractions hindering your  daily routine.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways for helping you stay calm and composed even during highly anxious situations.

By performing meditation and breathing exercises each day, you can remove vata symptoms from your body.

Through a regular meditation practice, you may observe improvements in your body and mind. This happens as vata symptoms are optimized inside the body.

5. Maintain a healthy diet

One of the major factors influencing vata levels in the human body is your diet.

From your mental wellbeing to your physical fitness, the food that you eat influences  everything.

For example, if you consume spicy or hard-to-digest foods, you may often feel heavy or burning sensations in your gut. Similarly, when you eat foods that are light, minimally or not at all processed, you may feel light, clean, and healthy.

Food does not just limit how heavy or light you are feeling. Frequent consumption of cold or spicy food items or drinks can give rise to increased vata levels in your body. As a result, the vata may not be optimized which may lead to various other vata disorders.

Consider consuming the following as a beneficial diet for pacifying overactive vata dosha:

  • Warm beverages
  • Warm, freshly prepared food
  • Food cooked in sesame oil, ghee, butter, olive oil or coconut oil
  • Cut down the consumption of raw, gas-forming vegetables like broccoli
  • A glass of warm milk before bed
  • Avoid consuming alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and chocolateOne of the major factors influencing vata levels in the human body is your diet.From your mental wellbeing to your physical fitness, the food that you eat influences  everything.For example, if you consume spicy or hard-to-digest foods, you may often feel heavy or burning sensations in your gut. Similarly, when you eat foods that are light, minimally or not at all processed, you may feel light, clean, and healthy.Food does not just limit how heavy or light you are feeling. Frequent consumption of cold or spicy food items or drinks can give rise to increased vata levels in your body. As a result, the vata may not be optimized which may lead to various other vata disorders.

    Consider consuming the following as a beneficial diet for pacifying overactive vata dosha:

    • Warm beverages
    • Warm, freshly prepared food
    • Food cooked in sesame oil, ghee, butter, olive oil or coconut oil
    • Cut down the consumption of raw, gas-forming vegetables like broccoli
    • A glass of warm milk before bed
    • Avoid consuming alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and chocolate

6. Plan Your Meals

The time when you consume your food can largely determine your dosha levels. To maintain vata or to reduce vata symptoms or problems, it is recommended to have your breakfast, lunch and dinner at the right time. Also, you must ensure that all your meals are rich with the right nutrients.
Refer to the meal and diet suggestions  below:

  • Breakfast: The best time to have your breakfast is before 10:00 AM. Consider adding the following:
    – Avocados, buttered toast, sauteed vegetables.
    – Cereals like oats, porridge, etc.
    – Breads with maple syrup, honey, almond butter, cinnamon or ginger.
    Based on your eating preferences, you can also consider adding eggs to your breakfast.
  • Lunch: According to Ayurveda, lunch should be your heaviest meal of the day. To keep your vata levels optimized, consider having lunch between 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. For better results, you can add the following ingredients to your lunch:- Steamed rice, cooked vegetables, green gram lentils (mung dal), etc.
    – Pesto, pasta, potato leek soup, cheese, baked tofu, pine nuts, or walnuts can also help maintain vata
  • Dinner: Optimally, have dinner before 6:00 PM. This gives your body enough time to start digesting food before you go to bed. As a result, this helps you maintain a healthy digestive system.
    Try to include the following ingredients:- Carrot soup, potato soup, mushroom soup, tomato soup. Or any other vegetable soup that you like. Preferably, it’s best to avoid eggplant as it may increase tamas levels, which may eventually shift the vata from optimum.)
    – A light potato dish. You can consider baked or sweet potatoes.

7. More Practices

Apart from the suggestions  mentioned above, here’s a list of a few other practices that can help you to optimize vata levels.

  • Pranayama: Breathing techniques like pranayama can help maintain a healthy breathing pattern, which can further optimize vata dosha
  • Moderate workout: Moderate workout is a practice that can help with a large variety of health concerns. A brisk walk for around 30 minutes or a mild workout session may help maintain vata levels inside your body.
  • Nasya: Nasya is a kind of a Panchakarma therapy that is used for body cleansing. It can help optimize vata levels inside your body.For good results, consider practicing Nasya twice a day – once in the morning, and once in the evening.

Vata dosha is one of the three doshas of the  human body. When it is out of balance, various health concerns can arise. Now that you understand more about  vata dosha in detail, you’re empowered to regulate imbalances and to experience greater health, vitality, and mental clarity.

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