The Doshas are the cornerstone principle in thought and practice of Ayurveda. The doshas are the three primary life-forces and subtle substances behind all physiological and psychological functions. They produce the body and are the causative factors in the disease process. When treating imbalance, the Ayurvedic Practitioner works with your Vikruti or state of imbalance within the doshas. Using the principle that like creates like and opposites cure, lifestyle factors and treatments using the opposite qualities of the dosha out of balance are used.
Nature of Vata
Vata dosha is said to be made up of the air and ether elements with characteristics like the wind. Vata is thus characterized by qualities that are dry, light, cool, and mobile or agitated. To restore balance to Vata, programs emphasize the opposing qualities of their nature such as warm, heavy (nourishment), moist and stable.
A person of Vata nature will physically reflect these qualities through a slender body frame with prominent joints, delicate, dry skin, and dry often curly hair.
Personality-wise, they will be quick in thought, speech and action but also tend to forget quickly and move onto new activities quickly – flitting like the wind. They are comfortable with change and instead have a harder time with schedules and structures though these are very important to help ground them. They are light sleepers and will lean towards insomnia when out of balance. They are often cold and as such gravitate towards warm environments, usually being the first one to put on extra layers of clothing. Creativity and enthusiasm are hallmarks of balanced Vata.
Factors that can cause Vata dosha to increase include a diet that contains too many dry or raw foods, over-consumption of ice-cold beverages, exposure to cold dry winds, a variable daily routine, too much travel, and mental overexertion.
When out of balance, people will Vata constitutions or imbalances may lose weight, become constipated and get dry skin condition, have weakness in their immune and nervous systems, have pain conditions, and experience insecurity, worry, fear and anxiety.
Signs that Vata is out of balance:
- You are constantly worried, anxious, overwhelmed, fretful
- You feel tired but find yourself unable to slow down and relax
- You find it difficult to settle down and fall asleep and your sleep is restless when you do
- Your skin feels dryer than usual, stretched taut or flaking
- Your hair is more brittle, with split ends happening oftener
- Your lips are raw and chapped and your throat constantly dry
- You experience abdominal gas and your bowel movements occur less than once daily
- You feel like you cannot sit still, that you need to be constantly moving
- You feel “spaced out”, it is harder to remember things, and have trouble focusing