How to Balance Vata Dosha
Ayurvedic medicine, the 5,000+ year old traditional healing system of India views all of life, including how our bodies work, through the qualities of the five elements and three doshas.
The doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are comprised of the five elements and govern all functions within nature from human physiology (such as circulation, metabolism and digestion) to the cycles of the day and the seasons of the year.
When a particular dosha accumulates in excess in the body and aggravates the tissues and bodily systems, that’s when you see signs of imbalance. According to the science of Ayurveda, if a dosha is left to accumulate and aggravate, disease will eventually show up in one form or another.
This is why you want to pacify a dosha by adjusting your diet and lifestyle when you notice signs of excess.
The elements of ether and air make up vata dosha. So if you consider the qualities of ether and air, you will understand the qualities of vata dosha — dry, light, cold and mobile.
Signs of Excess Vata
- Constipation, particularly if stools are dry and hard to pass
- Excessive gas and/or bloating
- Dry, rough skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Feelings of anxiety and restlessness
- Racing thoughts
- Insomnia or waking up between 2pm – 4pm
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day
- Eat at the same times each day, seated at the table without the TV or devices
- Massage yourself with warm sesame oil daily before showering
- Practice moderate exercise, such as slow flow or gentle yoga, walking, or swiming
- Meditate daily for 5-20 minutes
- Eat warm, moist, cooked foods
- Avoid raw vegetables and cold salads
- Eat more root vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes
- Eat winter squashes, such as pumpkin and butternut
- Eat healthy fats, such as avocado, ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil (these are also pitta-pacifying fats)
- Drink 7-9 cups of room-temperature or warm water each day (specifically, 1/2 of your ideal body weight)
- Use spices in your cooking, such as cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and fennel
Ready to Go Deeper?
Now that you have the highlights, go deeper by first taking this short questionnaire to get an idea of your Ayurvedic constitution if you have not done so already. Next, consider getting a comprehensive Ayurvedic consultation and assessment.
While online dosha quizzes provide insight into your constitution and possible doshic imbalances, receiving a complete assessment by a trained Ayurvedic practitioner can provide more clarity and deeper understanding that online quizzes cannot.
My consultations include customized food, lifestyle, herbal and other therapeutic recommendations along with education and coaching to help you overcome obstacles that get in the way of you achieving your best health.