How This Helps

If you have been feeling that your body is out of sync lately and facing specific health issues, then it could be because of an imbalance of one or more of the doshas. According to the science of Ayurveda, there are three doshas or life forces in each person - Vata, pitta, and Kapha. Each person has a unique combination of these three doshas that remains constant throughout your life. These three elements also serve as a sort of blueprint for your overall health. If any of these three elements fall out of balance, they can cause many types of health problems. Let us take a much closer look at how to balance the Vata dosha and what symptoms indicate that you have a Vata imbalance. In Ayurveda, Vata dosha is comprised of air and ether. Spring and autumn are the Vata seasons, characterized by dryness, freedom, lightness, and coolness. If our lifestyle mirror these qualities, we risk depleting our ojas--our "fluid of life." But if we present the opposing attributes, we could improve our ojas. You need to have nourishing and warm practices.


What is Vata balance?

Understanding Vata

Vata is believed to bring together the properties of the air and ether elements. Vata is the life force responsible for the body's energy and movement, and nerve impulses. Breathing, circulation, speech, and digestion are all processes controlled by Vata [1].  People who are Vata dominant tend to be creative, enthusiastic, and light. They are open to new experiences and quick-witted. They are very active and like to keep moving from one place to another. People are attracted to their ease of living, but they are not known for their forgetfulness. 

 Vata is seated in the colon and controls all movement in the body and brain. (The Sanskrit translation of this word is "what moves things.") It empowers our fluids to flow, our nerve impulses to fire our ideas to coalesce, and, well, our wastes to pass. To put it differently, Vata keeps all our systems going and leads to great vitality.

Due to Vata's association with the nervous system, its condition is often reflected in our psychological health. When Vata is in equilibrium, we are generally enthusiastic, creative, humorous, fast to understand, and spiritually minded. Nevertheless, the excess Vata of late autumn and early winter can leave us vulnerable to feeling more fearful, scattered, or stressed than usual. Physically, pain is the clearest sign of excess Vata; other common symptoms are variable appetite, sleeplessness, dry skin, constipation, flatulence, and irregular menstruation.

Vata people relax well when they are listening to music and enjoy getting gentle oil massages. However, the spontaneity of Vata people often causes them to make rash and meaningless money expenditures. 

When the Vata is balanced, then people of the Vata constitution live in equilibrium. They remain friendly, vibrant, and creative for their entire lives. They also have a close connection to all things spiritual, which is why they find peace in meditation. Meditation also comes naturally to them, but they need to make time for it. 

Vata people are either very small or very large in physical build. They are also usually delicate, lean, and muscular, similar to marathon runners. They have thinner skin, tooth irregularities, and fuzzy hair. Their eyes are typically small, and prolonged exposure to the sun can cause damage to their skin, which is already prone to aging faster.

See: Ayurveda Vata Diet - Vata Pacifying Diet

What happens when Vata Forces become imbalanced?

Excessive stress can cause the Vata life force to become imbalanced. A Vata dominant person will then start to feel like their life is slipping out of control, and all things are going awry. The mind may begin to race, leading to insomnia and anxiety. They may even start skipping their meals, leading to unintended weight loss. Digestion may also become irregular [2]. 

If you start to observe any of the early Vata imbalance symptoms, then you need to slow down, do not skip your meals, take time out to meditate, and go to bed earlier [3]. Following a natural lifestyle helps ground Vata constituent people so that they do not get carried away by the ether element of their personality [4].  Let us check out some of the significant symptoms that indicate a Vata imbalance. 

See: Depression with Vata Disorder and Resolution with Ayurveda

Vata Imbalance Symptoms

Irrespective of your Prakriti, if your Vata is significantly improved, it can lead to problems. You may experience typical Vata symptoms such as anxiety, constipation, and insomnia. People who have Vata-related health problems like arthritis, chronic pain, or Parkinson's disease will probably detect more pronounced symptoms. Over time, excessive Vata may result in derangements in other doshas, also. 

If you are experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms, then these could be an indication that you have a Vata imbalance:

● Dry or chapped skin

● Nervousness

● Anxiety and panic

● Fear of the unknown

● Twitches, tic or tremors, and spasms

● Low body weight

● Dislike of wind and cold

● Constipation

● Gas or bloating

● Dry, hard stools

● Light interrupted sleep

● Feeling spacey or scattered

● Difficulty tolerating loud noises

● Excessive worrying or thinking

Now let us find out how to balance the Vata dosha again. 

See: What are Vata, Pitta and Kapha?

Tips on how to balance Vata

How to Balance Vata?

The principles of Ayurveda state that to decrease Vata and balance the dosha, a person has to follow a three-part treatment plan made up of lifestyle, dietary, and herbal strategies. You do not need to feel helpless by Vata's seasonal impact. There are simple and nurturing lifestyle choices that can keep you feeling great. The underlying concepts of these strategies are based on:

● Warmth

● Serenity

● Nourishment

● Routine

The most crucial factor to consider if you want to correct a Vata dosha imbalance is to watch your diet [5]. Here are some dietary tips for fixing a Vata dosha imbalance [6]. 

● You should increase the intake of foods that are naturally sour, salty, and sweet in taste. 

● Have warm foods, not just temperature-wise, but also in terms of the constitution of the food. For example, you should have a whole, freshly cooked meals. 

● Have only limited legumes such as tofu and tempeh. They should be well-cooked. You can also have warm soy milk that is spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon to balance Vata. 

● Warming spices such as cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, and ginger should be consumed, but avoid having super hot spices such as cayenne pepper. 

● Opt for having either warm drinks or drinks at room temperature. Avoid having cold beverages. 

● You can have dairy products, but they should not be very cold. Avoid drinking milk along with your meals. Milk should be had warm and spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. It should be had at least one hour before or after having any other food. 

● Add a generous amount of clarified butter (ghee) or high-quality, healthy oils in your diet. 

● Set a routine time for having your meals and follow it as much as possible. 

● Eat your meal in a peaceful environment and take a deep breath after swallowing the last bite of your food. 

● You should avoid having foods that are cooling, bitter, pungent, and astringent.

● Avoid having dry and light foods such as crackers and popcorn. 

● Don't eat too many raw foods, especially in the mornings and evenings. These include fresh fruit and vegetable juices, raw fruit, carrot sticks, salads, etc. 

● You should avoid most beans, such as cold soy products. 

● Avoid having highly processed foods such as canned or frozen foods, or pastries. 

● Cold and carbonated drinks should be highly restricted. 

● Avoid caffeine, nicotine, or any other stimulants. 

● Avoid having deep-fried foods and foods or beverages that contain corn syrup or refined sugar. [7]

● Avoid hard alcohol and having fruit juice within half an hour of taking any other food.

Stick to a daily routine, scheduling downtime more than average. You should plan to sleep by 10 p.m. and get a complete eight hours of sleep. Eat warm and moist foods at regular intervals. Cooked whole grains, root vegetables, and soups are great dietary choices. Sweet, sour, and salty tastes can also calm Vata. 

A couple of times per week, perform abhyanga, a full-body self-massage with warm oil, to nourish and protect the skin, an extremely Vata-sensitive organ.

See: Ashwagandha benefits for anxiety

Summary

Vata dominant people are full of creativity and energy, but when the Vata dosha becomes imbalanced, then they tend to become restless and suffer from stomach-related issues. The Vata life force governs the activities of the nervous system, movement, and the process of waste elimination. Following a Vata pacifying diet, a strict routine for having your meals, and avoiding being cold will help you keep the Vata life force in balance.

See: Pranayama breathing exercises & poses

References

1. Hankey, A., 2010. Establishing the scientific validity of Tridosha part 1: Doshas, Subdoshas, and Dosha Prakriti. Ancient science of life, 29(3), p.6.

2. Shivaji, G.N., and Pundlik, G.M., 2019. BALANCE VATA DOSHA WITH LIFESTYLE PRACTICES. Paripex-Indian Journal Of Research, 8(9).

3. Telles, S., Pathak, S., Kumar, A., Mishra, P., and Balkrishna, A., 2015. Ayurvedic doshas as predictors of sleep quality. Medical science monitor: the international medical journal of experimental & clinical research, 21, p.1421.

4. Shilpa, S., and Murthy, C.V., 2011. Understanding personality from an Ayurvedic perspective for psychological assessment: A case. Ayu, 32(1), p.12.

5. Avhad Anil, D., Vyas, H.A. and Dwivedi, R.R., 2013. Importance of Upayogasamstha (dietetic rules) in relation to the digestion of the food. Global J Res. Med. Plants & Indigen. Med, 2(5), pp.380-385.

6. Care, H., Care, O., Essentials, B., Essentials, D., Cough, L.C. and Brands, A., Vata Balancing Herbs.

7. Shinde, P., Vyas, K., and Goel, S., 2017. EFFECTS OF JUNK FOOD/FAST FOOD STUDY.

See: Ayurvedic remedies for constipation

Dosha Quiz

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email