The Vata dosha is the most important of the three doshas. This is for two reasons:
1. If Vata becomes imbalanced for long enough and sufficiently enough, it can also cause the other two doshas (Pitta or Kapha) to become imbalanced. 2. Vata is the main driver or mover of the body, including the other two doshas, all the tissues (Dhatus) and all of the waste products (malas).
Vata derives from the elements of Space and Air. This means that it has qualities which are similar to these elements. Vata is very much like the wind--it is light, cool, dry and mobile.
A body and mind in which the vata dosha predominates expresses or reflects. The main locations of Vata in the body are the colon, thighs, bones, joints, ears, skin, brain, and nerve tissues.
Physiologically, Vata governs anything related to movement, such as breathing, talking, nerve impulses, movements in the muscles and tissues, circulation, assimilation of food, elimination, urination, and menstruation.
Psychologically, Vata governs communication, creativity, flexibility, and quickness of thought.
Vata dosha is best understood in terms of its component parts, its subdoshas, which are the five types of vata or five types of movement. Each subdosha defines a direction of movement and specific actions in the body.
Prana Vayu: Prana vayu represents the force that draws sensory experience to us.rana vayu resides in the head and heart (chest) where desire dwells, choices are made, and sensory experience is processed.
Samana Vayu is situated in the abdomen with its energy centered in the navel, has linear motion and governs the digestion of food and absorption and assimilation of nutrients into the body.It plays a key role in kindling the agni (digestive fire), leading to the secretion of digestive enzymes, as well as peristalsis in the upper digestive tract.
Udana Vayu , it’s a subtype of vata governs upward motion in the body. It functions to “hold us up” and governs speech, self-expression and growth. Located in the area of the diaphragm and thoracic cavity, it also interacts with downward flowing prana to regulate breath, particularly exhalation, which allows gaseous wastes to move up and out of the body.
Vyana Vayu - This subdosha of vata oversees circulation and pulsation in the body. It is particularly concerned with the heart’s pumping and the circulation of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body.
Apana vayu It’s the final subdosha of vata and is based in the colon and pelvic cavity. Its primary movement is downward and out of the body, governing the movement and absorption of material through the colon, and the excretion/expulsion of feces, urination, semen, and menstruation.
People with Vata-dominated Prakriti tend to be thin and either short or tall.
They typically think, talk, and move quickly.
They can be very engaging, but moody with short memory and attention span.
They generally dislike cold, dry weather .
They may find their appetite varies widely and so may have trouble maintaining weight.
Common Symptoms of a Vata Dosha Imbalance:
Excessive worry, fear and anxiety
Dry, flaky skin
Gas and bloating
Low body weight
Low blood pressure
Vata Diet DO's
Eat larger quantities of food, but not more than you can digest easily.
All dairy products pacify Vata. Always boil milk before you drink it, and drink it warm. Don't drink milk with a full meal.
Vata should favor the sweet, salty and sour tastes in the diet (in moderation).
Use an abundance of healthy oils in each meal.
Nuts are Vata pacifying
Use an abundance of healthy oils in each meal. Best are sesame oil, almond oil and ghee.
Vata Diet DON’Ts
Avoid bitter, astringent and pungent (spicy-hot) tastes in the diet.
Avoid light, dry and rough foods
Avoid cold or frozen foods
Avoid refined sugar, refined grains and processed foods.
Other beneficial practices
Wear warm and layered clothes
Administer regular body and head massages
Moderate exercise – not to the point of exhaustion, e.g.,
Walking in nature and practicing yoga
Take regular steam baths
Practice mild purification procedures like Vasti or Vamana.