Vata Dosha: Air & Space
Updated: May 14, 2019
It’s important to remember that there are 3 doshas/energies. They are Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. Each are unique but they sometimes share similarities, as well. Below you will learn about the Vata Dosha. As you read about the other two doshas (Pitta and Kapha) you will notice that some of the traits overlap and mirror one another. You may even notice that they are sometimes complete opposites!
Vata in Nature:
Carbon Dioxide (air)
Space- where all matter exists.
Fall (when the air starts to dry up and get colder and the leaves dry up and fall)
Early Winter (when it’s cold and windy)
Cold, rainy weather
Hurricanes and tornadoes (extreme winds)
Vata Time of Day:
2-6am: best time for dreams and rising with sun
2-6pm: best time to be creative
Vata Time of Life:
From menopause or age 50-60 for men until death.
Vata’s role in the body:
(especially the movement of “breath”)
5 Subdoshas of Vata:
Prana Vata/Vayu- primarily located in the chest and head, responsible for the inward movement such as inhalation, swallowing, and taking in perceptions to calculate thoughts (disturbances can lead to dizziness, palpitations, and confusion)
Udana Vata/Vayu- primarily located in the chest and throat, responsible for the outward movement such as exhalation, coughing, burping, sneezing, and talking (disturbances can lead to excessive burping, talking, vomiting)
Samana Vata/Vayu- found in the stomach and intestines, responsible for peristalsis, expanding and contracting of stomach to blend food (disturbances can lead to constipation, gas, bloating)
Apana Vata/Vayu- found in the intestines and pelvic region, responsible for the downward movement of urinating, defecating, and menstruating, and delivery (disturbances can lead to hemorrhoids, trouble delivering or delivering too quickly, premature ejaculation and inability to hold in urine or feces)
Vyana Vata.Vayu- found in the circulatory system and lymphatic system throughout the body, responsible for moving the blood and lymph throughout the body (disturbances can lead to blockages and poor circulation)
Physical Attributes in the Human:
Thin, irregular, frizzy, dry, curly dark hair.
Thin and dry skin prone to wrinkles.
Easily breakable nails.
Small, asymmetrical dark eyes.
Crooked, thin nose.
Thin and asymmetrical lips.
Long and thin figure.
Thin bone structure especially in the shoulders, ribs, hips, ankles and wrists.
Little muscle definition, if any at all.
Joints are often protruding from the frame of the body and tend to make cracking noises.
Body tends towards stiffness and dryness.
It may be difficult to gain weight.
Often forgets to eat.
Digestion is irregular and they often struggle to digest solid, raw foods.
Bowel movement is irregular but tends towards constipation and gas is a common activity happening through the body.
Vata women have irregular cycles and scanty periods.
Low stamina, becomes easily fatigued.
Fast movers and talkers.
Low sexual drive.
Light sleepers… often considered insomniacs.
Uncomfortable in cold environments.
Has excessive dryness.
Problems digesting protein.
Problems with nervous system, joints, circulation, underweight, digestion and colon health, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and insomnia, osteoporosis, tremors.
Mental & Emotional Attributes in the Human:
Fast learners but forget quickly.
In other words, forgetful.
Great at letting things go that no longer serve them.
Spiritual and creative.
Dreamers. Both day and night.
Problems staying focused for a long time on one project.
Constantly changing their mind, career path, etc.
Dreams typically center around irregular concepts and sometimes anxious scenarios.
Signs of Excessive Vata/Imbalance in the Human:
Feeling happy and then sad/moody.
Difficulty sleeping at all.
Dryness in the skin, hair, nails, joints and digestive system.
Constipated and gassy.
Low body weight.
Lack of sense of taste or smell.
Excessive dryness resulting in joint pain and cracking, twitching, dehydration, wrinkled and cracked skin, hair, and nails.
Cold hands and feet due to poor circulation from small blood vessels.
Fainting from low blood sugar.
Small pebbly feces, if any at all.
Lack of strength.
Spreading oneself too thin.
Missed or scanty periods.
In extreme cases: Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, severe tremors, insomnia, panic attacks, anorexia, bulimia, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, adrenal fluctuations, kidney troubles.
These diseases listed above are terrifying and may have scared readers who are or know someone suffering from one. The key here in educating yourself in Ayurveda, or health in general, is knowing that diseases don’t sneak up on you. They show signs of imbalances first. Imbalances aren’t diseases. However, if an imbalance isn’t corrected, it will lead to disease. And sometimes, the diseases are irreversible. So it’s important to catch it before it’s too late. The good news is you can use your knowledge of imbalances listed above to determine if you have an imbalance or not. It’s also extremely beneficial in knowing your constitution (predominant dosha) and family history so you can create a proactive health plan to prevent the onset of genetic and lifestyle acquired diseases. And if you have no clue what to do or where to start, head over to my Health & Happiness article to learn more on a balanced diet and lifestyle! :)
How to Balance Excess Vata through Diet:
Favor a warm plate that consist of
⅓- Whole grains
⅓- Lean protein
*Adding oil such as ghee to your cooking will lubricate the digestive tract. All spices are beneficial, too.*
Lunch should be your biggest meal, breakfast should be half the size, and dinner should be a third the size of your lunch.
Favor sweet, juicy fruits.
For snacks, fruits and soaked nuts. Try to eat 2 snacks a day. Once between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner.
For dessert indulgences, favor naturally sweetened, cooked sweets like a banana with melted peanut butter and cinnamon.
Avoid dried fruits and nuts (unless soaked overnight), raw veggies, beans that aren’t blended or cooked with ginger, processed/canned/white flour/white sugar foods, cold drinks and fast eating-chew your food slowly, a lot of times, and properly to avoid gas buildup in the stomach.
Fresh ginger root tea is extremely beneficial for activating the digestive system to not only empty out the colon in the morning but to ignite the digestive fire to increase metabolism.
How to Balance Excess Vata through Exercise:
Walking! It’s the best!
Slow, calming yoga.
Strength/resistance training is helpful to do 1-2x a week because it keeps muscles strong and bones safe.
How to Balance Excess Vata through Daily Routine:
Wake up at 7am!
Meditate, stretch, and breathe.
Always keep a smile on your face.
Laugh when you get the chance.
Read a book instead of watching TV.
Go to bed at 10pm.
How to Balance Excess Vata through Color Therapy:
Favor deep, calming colors like maroon and violet.
How to Balance Excess Vata through Sound Therapy:
Favor calming classical music or soft nature sounds.
How to Balance Excess Vata through Touch Therapy:
Massage daily with a heating oil!
How to Balance Excess Vata through Aromatherapy:
Favor calming scents like lavender or sandalwood.
Does this sound like you? Check out Kapha and Pitta to learn more and email me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dream on and reach for the stars, you creative Vatas!
Sending you love and light from Planet Earth,