What is Vata dosha and why you should know about it this fall
Vata is one of the three doshas in Ayurveda. Vata’s elemental makeup consists of air and ether. The common translation of vata is “that which moves things.”
What does Vata do?
Vata is responsible for all action in the body. “It governs breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue movement, pulsation of the heart, and all movements in the cytoplasm and cell membranes,” says Dr. Vasant Lad of The Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico.
Basically, vata is responsible for all the movements of the body and mind, sensory impulses and motor regulation, breath, removal of waste, speech, and the pumping of the heart.
Vata dosha is light, dry, mobile, cold, hard, rough, sharp, subtle, flowing, and clear. We are in the vata season – fall, or autumn. Think of this way, autumn brings with it some good hair days, right? That is because the air is dry. No moisture means no frizz. Making these connections—isn’t it fun?
Doshas also crest at different times of the day, periods of the lifetime, as well as seasons. We are currently in Vata season, which is also known as autumn or fall. According to the Ayurvedic clock, Vata runs in two blocks of time: 2am-6am and 2pm-6pm. Anyone can experience vata imbalances, though vata-dominant individuals are more prone to them.
What does a vata-dominant person look like?
Those with the vata dosha are usually described as slim, energetic, and creative. Their body frame isn’t symmetric, and they have irregular features. They’re known for thinking outside the box but can become easily distracted. Vatas have hypermobile joints. Their skin is often dry, and veins can be seen under the skin.
Vata in Balance
When our vata is in balance, our breath supports our nervous system, and there is homeostasis between tissues and organs. Body movements are graceful, unimpeded, and yet controlled. According to Ayurveda, the nervous system is governed by the Vata dosha. It regulates higher neural functions such as mental health and behavior. Because Vata not only regulates the nervous system but also our creativity, a Vata imbalance negatively affects our ability to create.
Vata out of Balance
When vata is out of balance, the result is fear and anxiety. Movements become erratic, excessive, decreased, or are blocked. Some other symptoms of vata vitiation:
- Horse throat
- Restless legs
- Cold hands and feet
- Feeling ungrounded
- Stiffness in muscles and joints
- Shortness of breath
- Cracking joints
- Inability to focus
- Trouble sleeping
- Dry cough
If caught early, a combination of diet and lifestyle adjustments can return vata into balance and prevent seasonal allergies, colds and flus. With the pandemic, don’t we want to be doubly careful?
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Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are looking for advice from a trained ayurvedic coach, contact me here.