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Vatta Dosha

Vata is a force conceptually made up of elements ether and air.

The proportions of ether and air determine how active Vata is. The amount of ether (space) affects the ability of the air to gain momentum. If unrestricted, as in ocean, air can gain momentum and become forceful such as a hurricane.

Vata means "wind, to move, flow, direct the processes of, or command." Vata enables the other two doshas to be expressive.

The actions of Vata are astringent, drying, cooling, light, agitating, and moving. Vata season is autumn, time of day is afternoon and early morning.

Vata governs breathing, blinking of the eyelids, movements in the muscles and tissues, pulsations in the heart, all expansion and contraction, the movements of cytoplasm and the cell membranes, and the movement of the single impulses in nerve cells. Vata also governs such feelings and emotions as freshness, nervousness, fear, anxiety, pain, tremors, and spasms.

The primary seat or location of the Vata in the body is the colon. It also resides in the hips, thighs, ears, bones, large intestine, pelvic cavity, and skin. It is related to the touch sensation. If the body develops an excess of Vata, it will accumulate in these areas.

Vata Personality - an individual with excess Vata in the body:

  • Because of the dry quality, he or she will have dry hair, dry skin, dry colon and a tendency towards constipation.
  • Because of the light quality, which is opposite of heavy, the Vata person will have a light body frame, light muscles, and light fat, and so will be thin and underweight, or "skinny-minny".
  • Because of the cold quality, the Vata person will have cold hands, cold feet and poor circulation. They hate the cold season and love summer.
  • Because of the mobile quality, Vata people are very active. They like jogging and jumping and don't like sitting in one place.
  • Because of subtle quality, Vata is responsible for the emotions of fear, anxiety, insecurity and nervousness.
  • Because of the clear quality, Vata people can be clairvoyant; they have clear understanding and perception. They understand things immediately, but forget things immediately.
  • Because of astringent quality, Vata people get drying and choking quality of taste, therefore the Vata person, while eating feels a drying choking sensation in the throat.

Tips to Balance Vata

  1. Abhyanga (daily ayurvedic massage with sesame oil)
  2. Early bedtime, lots of rest and sleep.
  3. Favor warm temperatures. Stay warm in cold and windy weather.
  4. Favor Warm cooked foods (less raw foods).
  5. Favor warm, oily, heavy, sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
  6. Reduce light, dry, cold, pungent, bitter and astringent foods.
  7. Avoid raw foods and juices.
  8. Avoid fasting.
  9. Avoid stimulants.
  10. Refrain from excessive aerobic activity.