You are interested in Ayurveda and you just have gone through our Dosha Questionnaire? Great! And you have received your result and your constitution is Vata. So what does this mean? How is this relevant for you and what practical advice do we have for you?
As you probably know already, your unique Ayurveda body type or individual constitution (Prakriti) is one of the most important concepts of Ayurvedic medicine. According to the Ayurvedic doctrine, we all have a very unique constitution that determines how we “tick” or function metabolically and how we tend to respond to stimuli from the environment. Being someone with a Vata constitution means that you will have different proclivities to certain illnesses than other constitutions. There also will be completely different dietary precautions that apply to you as compared to other constitutional types. You have certain strengths that you can use to your advantage and certain weaknesses that you should control with your diet and lifestyle choices for example.
Here’s All You Need to Know
People with vata constitution like yourself are often either unusually short or tall compared to other people of similar racial background. Vata types tend to be slim, even skinny, with flat chests and visible ribs. Because the domain of Vata dosha is the large intestine, it is usually this area where people like you tend to develop health problems. It would therefore not surprise us if you told us that your bowel movements are often irregular and you tend to become constipated, bloated and gassy easily.
Vata skin is dry, cold to touch and rough and if your Vata is out of balance, then your skin will be prone to crack easily. Your hair is probably on the thin side, and often dry, brittle and crinkly.
Your teeth might be quite irregular, either crowded together without enough space, or with gaps in between the teeth. Your eyes are on the smaller side and you might have the tendency to blink a lot. The white part of your eyes probably has a slight grey tinge, and your eyelashes and eyebrows are thin. So much for some of the physical features that characterize a Vata type.
As Vata is cold and dry by nature, warmer weather with some moisture in the air will suit you better. Cold and dry weather will aggravate you easily and unusually hot weather will easily exhaust you. You go best in a moderate climate where the weather is warm and slightly humid all year round.
Vata people love to talk and have many friends. In fact, they make friends easily, as they are interested in many different things and often start new activities that involves different groups of people. You probably are a creative person with many ideas yourself but you might often lack the perseverance to execute them, especially when you are faced with distractions, problems or resistance. You can be quite restless and you love to travel. You probably are a light sleeper. A person with Vata constitution is prone to develop insomnia when the Vata in their body has accumulated significantly over time. It is quite likely that your mood and energy levels change frequently and you get exhausted easily emotionally and physically. Vata types have a proclivity towards anxiety and stress related problems. On the upside, your mood can just as quickly change from bad to good and you become upbeat and positive easily. All it needs is a change in circumstances for you to change as well. This all makes sense when we consider that Vata is predominant in the lightest two of the 5 (great) elements or Panchamahabhutas: ether and air. This makes it very easy for vata individuals to be affected by outside circumstances. They are like the wind and although they love change and variety in general, they need to pay attention not to get blown away by it. Thus it is very important for them to maintain a good level of groundedness. For you as Vata Prakriti, your aim should always be to keep your vata in check – that means calm and stable. If you succeed in doing so, you can be enthusiastic, alert, creative and vibrant without having these huge dips in energy level and mental stability. Then your best self can shine through and will be loved for your power of inspiration, fluidity in thinking, creative and inspiring approach and your ability to change and try new things.
Let us first look into the symptoms that are often associated with increased Vata. Vata can increase through wrong lifestyle which includes all kinds of daily activities, your diet and your mental or emotional patterns. In general, an erratic and unstructured lifestyle with frequent traveling or commuting increases Vata. So does staying awake till late regularly or the lack of stable sleeping habits. Another aspect is the lack of consistent meal times. Skipping meals and eating on the run is a really bad idea – especially for Vata types. And while we are at the topic of eating … a raw food diet is in almost all cases a bad choice – maybe not initially, but definitely in the long run. So is drinking cold or carbonated drinks and drinks that contain stimulants (coffee for example). Since your energy levels can get drained quite easily, you should avoid over-scheduling yourself and be careful when engaging in physical activities. Your Vata mind likes to load up more than you can stomach and the price you pay is an increase in Vata and exhaustion.
Remember, Vata accumulates first in its own ‘house’ or domain – the large intestine. It later moves on to other areas and begins to manifest in the form of symptoms such as:
abrupt weight loss
gas, bloated belly
irrelevant, fast speech
sharp nerve pains
In order to remove the excess Vata from your body, Ayurveda recommends a procedure (or rather procedures) called Panchakarma. The 5 techniques that are collectively called “Panchakarma”, remove excess dosha (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) and restore physiological balance. Once you have restored a new equilibrium you should ensure that you do not again progressively accumulate Vata dosha in your body. Here are some tips that you should know.
Fixed daily routines help to keep your Vata in check because they directly balance some of Vata’s qualities. The more stable and rhythmic your daily routine is, the more you control Vata’s erratic nature.
Vata is cool by nature. It is also drying and ever changing. Since your constitution is Vata, you have these qualities in you by birth, written deep in your genetic code as it were. This is the reason why your digestion is sensitive and easily disturbed. Imagine you want to cook (digest) something over a campfire (your digestive power). If there is a lot of wind, the quality of the flame is compromised because it is constantly moving. The same happens in your body. If Vata is high, Pitta, which regulates digestive processes, is disturbed and your digestion compromised. Warm, cooked food is easier to digest than cold or raw food and warm beverages help to keep you warm and support digestion.
Due to the erratic nature of Vata and its tendency to disturb digestion, it is much better to eat smaller quantities and compensate this with an increase in frequency. This makes sure you don’t overload and challenge your already sensitive digestion and allow for proper digestion of the food.
Healthy fats from olives, linseeds, fish and various nuts are extremely important for the Vata diet. Since Vata is drying, oils help counterbalance this quality. And the inherent heaviness of the oils will help you to stay grounded.
It is easy for you to become overly exited and then get carried away by overthinking or erratic physical actions, even to the point, where you forget or suppress your natural urges to eat, rest and sleep. This, in conjunction with your rather limited supply of energy is a recipe for exhaustion, physical crashes and mental breakdowns. Therefore: make sure you give yourself plenty of rest.
Massages, executed professionally and with correct oils, help to stabilize Vata, nourish and moisten your skin and relax your mind.
Mother nature is amazing. Go for walks in nature, do some Yoga in the park, gently row across a lake and meditate under a tree…the possibilities are endless. As you engage with nature, notice the colours, fragrances and sounds around you. This will help you to get out of your head and into the awareness of the body and ultimately calm your mind – and your Vata!
At our Ayurvedic Health Centre, we offer Ayurvedic treatments and programs that are specifically tailored to your Vata constitution. Our treatment plans include a food menu that is adapted to your individual constitution and imbalances, as well as herbal medications, yoga and meditation and many authentic Ayurvedic protocols. We also offer professional and authentic Panchakarma procedures to remove excess Vata from your body and bring you back to a deeply balanced state of well being.
Do you want our experts to help you verify your individual Ayurvedic body type and share with you more ways how you can stay in shape, prevent imbalances and diseases and create an action plan with you? Simply book online.
We are happy to help you on the path to a more relaxed, healthier and happier you!