CREATIVE & ENERGETIC
Elements air + ether
Qualities dry, light, cold, mobile, rough
Season fall thru mid-winter
Main Location colon
Vata is referred as the ‘king of the doshas’ because it is responsible for every movement in the body. Without vata, pitta and kapha cannot move. Eyes blinking, heart beating, talking with your hands, jumping, circulation, elimination, are all because of vata.
Since vata people are made of air and ether, they don’t have a lot holding them together. They will quickly go out of balance and quickly come back into balance.
Vatas tend to get cold easily and are prone to dry skin due to the dry, cold and rough qualities.
Vata personality. You can pick out who has vata as their dominant dosha because they tend to talk a lot, move a lot, and worry a lot. They are creative and usually have twelve million things going on at one time. Their mind is constantly sctive and they have a very hard time sitting still and finding peace and grounding within themselves. Because vatas have such creative energy, they make good teachers, artists, actors, and professional speakers. They also forget things, tend to be late and change their mind all the time. Balanced vatas are contagiously energetic and are the people you might say, “light up the room.”
Vata body. Vatas tend to be slender and can be tall or short. Bones are prominent, their hair is dry and usually curly. Face is oval in shape and eyes are small with teeny lashes. Fingers are long and nails are brittle with a tendency to split. Dry and thin skinned, vatas are easily browned by the sun.
Vatas need grounding. Vatas like to run around (mentally and physically), so one of the best things they can do for themselves is to slow down – or even stop. Meditation, yoga practice, and pranayama are all wonderful for bringing some grounding and nourishment to vata. Remember, vatas are air and ether so they need grounding to keep them from flying away. Nutritionally, vatas can do this by adding oils, fully cooked vegetables, milk, and grains to their diet. Vatas need to keep warm and oiled. In the day-to-day, having a solid reliable schedule is best to ease and ground their fluttery mind. They love the sun and warm, humid weather. Steam rooms are great too.
Vata digestion. Vata appetite is erratic and vata digestion is usually sluggish. Yep, constipation. To help vata digestion, they need oleation (external and internal) and warm foods. Oils & sauces lubricate the body to counterbalance the rough & dry qualities in vata and warm foods will help balance the cold qualities.
In excess, the dry and rough qualities may manifest themselves as dry or brittle skin, lips, hair, nails or bones (e.g. osteoporosis), as constipation, or as feeling “dry” emotionally.
The “light” quality may manifest itself as giving you a lanky physique but excess lightness may manifest as being underweight, having muscle wasting, light bones, insomnia or feeling “spacey” or insecure.
The cold quality of Vata may lead you to feel cold more easily than others around you, have cold hands and feet and crave warmth.
The subtle quality may express itself as being introverted, creative and having an active fantasy life.
The mobile quality may lead to a healthy ability to “multi-task” or, in excess, to scattered attention, a fidgety tendency, tremors, and nervousness. It may manifest as extremes; as in being very tall or very short or being drastically different weights at different times in your life.
Along with the main qualities of Vata, it is also helpful to know those tastes that increase and decrease Vata.
Pungent, bitter and astringent tastes increase Vata by increasing its drying and cooling qualities. An example of the pungent taste is chili peppers. Bitter and astringent tastes are common in most leafy greens and many herbs.
The sweet, sour and salty tastes decrease Vata by bringing moisture, bulk and warmth to the body, which are opposite qualities to those of Vata. An example of a naturally sweet taste is wheat; of sour: pickles; of salty: seaweed.
A Vata individual does well to have warming, freshly cooked, nourishing, mushy foods, like soups, stews and one-pot-meals. Because of the inherent “light” quality in Vata, you may think that heavy foods would nicely balance that quality but actually too much heavy food-or just too much food at a sitting–is too heavy for the lightness of the Vata digestive system.
Because the sweet, sour and salty tastes decrease Vata, these tastes should be predominant in your diet.
When selecting sweet foods, note that naturally sweet foods like many grains, squashes, and most fruits are appropriate, but processed foods high in refined sugars are not at all balancing for Vata. Refined sugars merely offer a quick burst of energy, followed by a “crash,” a pattern that is already a hallmark feature of Vata, and one that the Vata individual does well to avoid.
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