The Vata Dosha. The air that flows around you and the ether that holds you. Vata is responsible for motion through and within your body, from the flow of blood to food digesting to impulsive action. It is the motivator of all else, the catalyst for your function in your human body.
Physically, Vata tends to the extremes. Slender frame, weak muscles, prominent joints, dry skin, dark and brittle hair, long face, thin lips.
Mentally, Vata is a creative and enthusiastic human with a free and quick mind that responds just as quick, the makings of a talking human. With this in mind, with such high energy, a dominant Vata can easily be nudged out of balance, leading to insecurities and anxiety.
Does this sound like yourself? Well, let’s talk about (im)balance.
Cold, dry and windy weather can really throw Vata out of balance, as can a dietary change such as too much dry, raw foods. How will this be felt? Anxiety, worry, overwhelm, tired but unable to relax, digestion problems, negative thoughts, indecision, short attention span, constant dry throat, lips, skin and scalp.
Vata is mainly located in the colon, with sub regions in the pelvic region, lower back, thighs, bones, ears, and skin. If you remember Vata is associated with movement, these regions are very easily identified as the sources of movement, legs to walk with, colon to expel foods, etc.
With this in mind, we must talk about how to balance the Vata dosha. Moisture, warmth, heaviness are the opposites to dry, cold, and light imbalance. Some home remedies are as follows, depending on your symptoms:
– rubbing your body with oils helps increase skin moisture as well as friction creates heat. Think of heavy oils like sesame, walnut, or almond oil. Go on, rub it in!
– salty, warm, sweet and sour foods help stoke that inner fire. Avoid the cold foods and choose rich, oily, nourishing foods as often as possible. Try a teaspoon of peanut butter in the morning. Fresh rich fruits like banana, mango, avocado work great, as well as nuts. Avoid frozen foods, cold drinks, dried fruit, extremely hot spice, coffee.
– look to herbs like licorice root, cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard seeds, or ginger to bring that heat back into your belly!
– meditation, reading, calming music, or a nice yin yoga practice can really help to ground the Vata imbalance. Routine is also very helpful for the mind.
– dress warm! This is probably obvious, but don’t let that cold weather get the hand up on you.