VATA: THE MOVER AND SHAKER
In the last post we looked briefly at the three main constitutional types in Ayurveda. Here, I’ll go into more depth about vata, the mover and shaker of the three constitutions.
This information will be especially useful for readers who:
- have a vata constitution
- have a hectic lifestyle
- have a vata imbalance OR
- live in a climate that is struck hard by vata weather conditions, in cold, dry climates, or as generally felt in late summer and fall.
Principally associated with the air and space elements, Vata is the main force which controls everything in the body.
In Sanskrit, it is said:
“Just as a cloud cannot move without the help of the wind, pitta and kapha cannot move without the aid of vata.”
When vata is balanced, everything is fine. When vata is out of balance, this can lead to problems in the body, including pitta and kapha imbalances also.
Vata controls all movements in the body, including but not limited to energy circulation, blood circulation, hormones, joint movement, muscular movement, neuro-muscular coordination and also the flux of thought and emotion. So what are the things that aggravate vata? Only by knowing these can we know how to balance vata. They are
- Too much talking
- Too much traveling
- Less sleep
- Not sleeping at the proper times, such as working all night and sleeping during the day also creates imbalance in the system.
- Too much swimming or other water games
- Exposure to cold or windy climates
- Working under pressure creates stress in the system, aggravating vata
- Worries, emotional imbalance and stress. There are so many emotions that may affect our system.
THE EFFECT OF FOOD ON VATA
From an Ayurvedic perspective, in morning time kapha is the dominant principle. Noon is pitta time and evening is vata time. So in Ayurveda, generally leafy greens and salads are not recommended in the evening, though they may be very good earlier in the day. Eating large quantities at night may aggravate vata in the body. Other foods that may disturb vata are cold items, frozen foods and large beans that produce more gas in the system.
VATA IMBALANCE: WHEN THE BODY GETS WINDED
When vata is out of balance, it first affects the joints, which can cause joint problems. Actually, most any pain in the body is associated with an imbalance of vata imbalance, such as circulatory disturbance, hypertension, insomnia, cracking joints, contractions or cramps in the body. Vata imbalance may result in a preference for warmer places and an intolerance to cold. A person’s appearance will also change, such that the skin becomes drier and the nails become more brittle. Emotionally, a person will become agitated and restless. His sleep patterns may get disturbed, and there will be less focus in the mind.
What to do to balance vata? We’ll continue in the next post with a description of just that—simple actions you can take to stay focused, balanced and steady. If you’d like to find out more about your constitution or current state of balance, you can schedule an assessment. You can visit us in Boone or even schedule a complementary phone consultation with one of our Ayurvedic Specialists.