We end our tour of the Ayurvedic doshas with Vata, the final ingredient in the dosha trinity. Vata is most commonly represented by the Air and Ether elements. Unlike the other doshas, which share the elemental property of water, Vata does not share any elemental properties with the other doshas, making it the most unique of the three.
Vata governs movement in the body, meaning that it controls both the nervous system to the digestive system. It also controls breathing and the firing of nerve impulses in the brain.
As you’d expect, people with a predominance of Vata are always in motion. They tend to be lively, creative, and enthusiastic. When balanced, Vatas are lively conversationalists and are usually the first in any group to take the initiative. They are quick to learn, quick to discover, and quick in forming opinions. And although they are talkative, their energy comes in bursts, meaning that they often require downtime and will characteristically be shy, introspective, and sensitive. Vatas work best in small groups and will shy from noisy, crowded areas.
Physically they are light and lean; joints are veins are often visible through dry, rough skin. Digestion for them can be sensitive, and they are light sleepers, prone to bouts of insomnia.
Vata that is out of balance will cause weight loss and constipation. Anxiety also runs high for Vatas; they are likely to feel overwhelmed will constantly ask themselves, ‘What have I done wrong,’ accepting blame when blame is not theirs. Physical problems can include arthritis, weak joints, restlessness, and digestive challenges.
As an element that is constantly changing, Vata is balanced through stability. Regular mealtimes and regular sleep patterns are excellent habits to pick up. Also, light exercise will shed excess energy and will reduce anxiety levels. Dress appropriately for the season as not to be tipped in the direction of too hot or too cold. Surround yourself with warm colors, such as yellows and pastels, and warm aromas, like cinnamon and vanilla.
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