People are different. It’s part of what makes being a human being so special, there is no one just quite like you. But why? For thousands of years, people have been asking what makes us different. Why are some people able to eat more than others? How can some leap out of bed in the morning, ready to face the day, while others take hours to fully “wake up”? Is there a reason why some people can handle the cold better than others? Answers to these and many more questions can be found through the ancient holistic practice of Ayurveda. Understanding the influence of ayurvedic doshas, specifically ayurvedic vata, will help you build a healthy, balanced foundation for your mind and body to function.
Ayurveda, or the “science or knowledge of life,” is based on three doshas. Doshas are energies that exist within everyone. Each dosha contributes to unique physiological functions within the body. It is important to determine which type of dosha predominates your own unique nature. Knowing your dosha type is essential to understanding how to maintain inner balance and correct dosha imbalances that arise.
- Vata – Vata is associated with the element of air. Vata dosha is the energy that controls all motion in the body. When vata is balanced it stimulates creativity and vitality. When vata is imbalanced it cause anxiety and fear.
- Pitta – Pitta is associated with the element of fire. Pitta dosha is the energy that controls all metabolic systems in the body. When pitta is balanced it cultivates feelings of contentment and heightened focus. When pitta is imbalanced it can cause feelings of anger and frustration.
- Kapha – Kapha is associated with the elements of earth and water. Kapha dosha is the energy that controls all growth in the body. When kapha is balanced it enhances feelings of love and acceptance. When kapha is imbalanced it may lead to feelings of jealousy and insecurity.
Ayurvedic Vata: Leading the Pack
It’s a fact that the body cannot exist without movement; the movement of blood through your veins, air in your lungs, the beating of your heart, these movements are all controlled by vata dosha. These internal movements keep you alive! Due to the importance of movement in the body, the pitta and kapha doshas are dependent on vata. Making sure your ayurvedic vata is balanced will help the other doshas flow smoothly within you.
Check your vata before you wreck your vata
There are several questions you can ask yourself to determine if your ayurvedic vata needs balancing:
- Is my skin rough or dry?
- Am I having falling asleep or staying asleep? Do I wake up feeling exhausted?
- Do I have pain in my joints?
- Am I plagued by anxiety, stress and worry?
- Do I tire easily?
- Do I forget to eat or wait until I’m starving to eat?
- Am I underweight?
- Am I often restless? Do I have a hard time sitting still and relaxing?
If you answered yes to the majority of these self-assessment questions, than your vata may be imbalanced.
Save your vata, save your doshas
As we noted earlier, the three ayurvedic doshas exist within every person. Pitta and kapha doshas work at their best when vata is balanced. There are many ways to balance your vata dosha. Below we have provided several simple steps you can take to begin realigning your ayurvedic vata so that your body may function at its maximum potential.
- Don’t skip meals
- Go to bed early
- Stick to a regular routine
- Take time to mediate
- Engage in non-demanding physical activities such as yoga, tai-chi, walks or short hikes
- Be sure to stay warm, especially in cold weather
- Give yourself a daily abhyanga massage with sesame or other essential oils
- Eat lots of warm, cooked food with sweet, sour or salty flavors
- Avoid stimulants
By following the steps above, you can begin your journey towards creating a balanced and harmonious flow of dosha energy.