Ah Raw Veda | The Vata Dosha

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We are all born with our own unique constitution (a combination of the three doshas). Typically one dosha predominates. Sometimes it is a combination of two doshas—rarely all three are equal in their effects on a person’s body/mind. Doshas are forces governing biological, psychological, and physiological functions. They impart unique characteristics to each individual. Therefore, the dosha that predominates at conception will affect your personality, health, immunity, and many other characteristics. A clear knowledge of your dosha will enable you to understand your true nature. It will also guide you as you begin to incorporate more raw food in your diet. Every food can either have a balancing, neutral, or imbalancing effect depending on your dosha.  For those who decide to include more raw food in their diet, a good knowledge of the tridosha system will make big difference in your success.

The three doshas or constitutional types are: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. See if you can find yourself in the explanation that follows.

THE VATA DOSHA

~ the energy of movement

Vata can be translated as movement. The vata dosha is correlated with the elements of air and ether. It governs the movement of blood in the circulatory system, the movement of air in the respiratory system, and the movement of wastes from the body. It controls the nervous system and it moves nutrients to cells and tissues. It governs thoughts and the activities of the mind. Vata also influences sensory and mental balance and it controls mental adaptability and understanding. An excessive or aggravated dosha tends to accumulate more toxins in the areas where that dosha predominates. Vata predominates in the colon, pelvic cavity, bones, and nervous system.

There are a number of characteristics that are typical of those with a predominant vata constitution. The characteristics listed below indicate the tendencies of this dosha.

Imagination

  • Thin, slender frame, usually tall but sometimes very short—difficulty gaining weight
  • Physically underdeveloped with flat chests and inferior muscle development
  • Visible veins and muscle tendons; boney prominences that protrude
  • Tendency toward thin, cold, rough, dry, cracked skin that wrinkles easily
  • Smaller eyes with thin eyelashes
  • Dry and curly hair
  • Dry, crooked, rough nails that crack and break easily
  • Generally do not to perspire
  • Irregular appetite, digestion, and elimination
  • Tendency to talk and walk quickly
  • High energy in short bursts; tendency to tire easily and to overexert
  • Highly imaginative, creative, and mentally sharp
  • Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget
  • Inclination toward worry, anxiety, and fear

When individuals with a predominant vata dosha are balanced, they are full of enthusiasm. They are creative and mentally alert. They sleep soundly, eliminate wastes and toxins effectively and they have a strong immune system. However, because the vata dosha is associated with air and ether, those with a vata constitution are easily imbalanced by wind, cold, too much excitement (movement), and an irregular schedule. Those with a vata constitution also have a difficult time managing and conserving their energy.

Vata imbalances occur more frequently for everyone during older life (after age 55 or post menopause/andropause), and during the autumn of the year. Imbalances are also associated with the hours of the day/night. From 2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. is when vata imbalances are more likely to occur. An individual with an imbalanced vata dosha may experience any of the following symptoms:

 

*** COMMON IMBALANCED VATA DOSHA SYMPTOMS ***

Worry, anxiety

  • Worry, anxiety, fear, nervousness, insecurity, impatience, agitation, and hyperactivity
  • Fatigue, exhaustion, poor stamina, inability to focus
  • Impulsive, erratic life-style, tendency toward over-exertion and restlessness
  • Agitated mind, emotional conflict, mental confusion
  • Sensations of being removed from thoughts, feelings, or circumstances; spaced out
  • Weight loss, insomnia, waking at night and unable to go back to sleep
  • Generalized aches and pains, sensitivity to pain, arthritis, muscle spasms, low back pain
  • Tics and twitches, nerve disturbances, earaches
  • Menstrual cramps, premature ejaculation, and other sexual dysfunctions
  • Sensitivity to cold, weakened immune system
  • Nail biting, rough flaky and dry skin, chapped lips
  • Heart palpitations, hypertension, irregular heart rhythms,
  • Constipation, intestinal bloating, gas, diarrhea, belching, hiccups
  • Dry sore throat, dry coughs, hoarseness, loss of voice, dry eyes

 

Those with a vata dosha do best when they can maintain a regular routine in a calm, relaxed environment. Other ways to balance vata are outlined below:

  • Follow dietary guidelines for the vata constitution. Select warm, soothing foods; minimize cold foods and drinks. Balancing tastes are sweet, salty, and sour.
  • Avoid stimulants of any kind including coffee, tea, caffeine, chocolate, nicotine, and alcohol
  • Keep a regular routine
  • Keep exercise gentle; don’t overexert
  • Find time for rest, reflection, and nurturing of self
  • Create a calm, safe and comforting environment with bright, cheerful colors
  • Stay warm; avoid cold, windy, or very dry conditions Peace and Calm
  • Minimize travel (too much movement and lack of routine)
  • Avoid overstimulation (loud, noisy places, crowds, violent movies, and too much talking)
  • Allocate time for the expression of creativity
  • Wear soft, flowing clothes made of natural fibers
  • Get plenty of sleep; avoid working late at night or going to bed at odd hours
  • Give yourself a daily warm oil massage before showering in the morning