Vata implies to blow like the wind. Vata is composed of the air and space elements. It manages all movements in the body and the mind. It regulates blood flow, the evacuation of wastes, breathing, and the movement of thoughts through the brain. Vata can be described as dry, cold, changeable, quick, subtle, rough, and moving.
Vata is considered the pioneer of Ayurvedic body types because Pitta and Kapha dosha cannot move without it. So, it is imperative to keep Vata at its optimum level.
Vata Dosha Characteristics
Vata dosha types can be best understood through its segments, its sub doshas. These are the five types of Vata or five types of movement.
Each sub dosha describes a specific direction of movement and controls actions within the body.
Correct Nutrition for Vata Prakriti Individuals
Individuals with Vata dosha should eat smaller meals, avoid mixing different foods. It is important to allow enough time to eat your food and to chew properly. This will allow the food to mix with the digestive enzymes from the saliva, which makes it easier to digest.
Vata dosha diet also requires you to drink in large quantities and regularly. Warm drinks are also necessary. It would be best if you had warm meals. Moreover, make sure to have well-cooked vegetables.
You must also avoid stimulating drinks if you are a Vata type. These include coffee, cola and black tea.
How to Optimize Vata Dosha Levels
1. Keep Yourself Nourished
Food is a significant factor that influences Vata. Cold food, frozen foods, large beans, dried foods, and foods that have bitter, astringent and pungent flavours also aggravate it.
However, you can optimize Vata dosha by eating sweet, sour, oily and salty flavours. You can also maintain healthy Vata levels by consuming food with a heating effect. So, understanding how different foods affect your constitution is essential.
2. Stay warm & Calm
You feel happier and lively when you’re relaxed. It would help to bathe in warm water. Vata Ayurveda also recommends massaging your body with oil to optimize Vata. You can either go for a traditional Ayurvedic body massage, known as Abhyanga or indulge in self-massage.
You can also use different steam and heat treatments to optimize Vata. Hot stones, steam chambers, and electric warming pads can also help in balancing Vata dosha. In ancient times, people would lie down on a large heated stone to maintain healthy levels of the Vata. Hence, there are many heat and steam treatments that can improve Vata levels in your body.
3. Find stability through Meditation
Meditation, along with various streams, heat treatments and massages, can help optimize and calm Vata. These life-supporting habits can help maintain healthy Vata levels and make minor aches and pains disappear.
Vata Dosha Symptoms & Aggravation Signs
A Vata dosha excess is a situation in which there is an excessive Vata within the body due to a shift in the optimum levels of vata dosha. This happens most often in autumn or fall seasons when the dosha is more prevalent.
These are the common signs of Vata dosha increase:
- Dry and occasionally changing complexions, hair, ears and lips.
Dryness in the internal organs that can cause gastric, constipation and bloating.
- Dryness in the mind can cause restlessness, delirium and giddiness, as well as insomnia.
- Cold symptoms include poor circulation, muscle spasms, constrictions, asthma, tightness, and pain.
- Too much movement can cause anxiety, fidgeting and agitation, as well as muscle twitching and palpitations.
Vata Dosha Treatment in Ayurveda
There are specific treatments available for nearly every Vata dosha body type. These symptoms can be described in terms of the ten opposite qualities. An experienced practitioner will create a treatment plan that brings together these opposite qualities once the patient’s condition and constitution are established. These characteristics provide the body with the vital energies and raw materials necessary to support healing.
Vata-dominant people should avoid fasting, strenuous exercise, chiropractic treatment, and working in an enclosed air-conditioned environment. If you are a Vata, you must also prevent dry, light, and cold foods along with foods with a bitter, pungent, and astringent flavour. You will also find Abhyanga or oil massage with sesame oil extremely beneficial. And if you are using any Ayurvedic remedy, make sure it’s aligned with your doshas.
Your body is essentially made up of seven components: lymph, bone marrow, muscular tissue, bone, fat tissues, reproductive fluids and blood. It becomes easy to address a body issue once you know which dosha is away from its optimum levels.