Stardust. Unicorns. Those vatas! So fascinating; so hard to pin down. You want them at every festive occasion because they know how to get this party started. Before long though, they are on to the next thing.
Do we all have that one Aunt who takes us on exhilarating adventures? With that infectious laugh? What delicious enterprise has Aunt Vata come up with now?
(She’s the fun Aunt).
Maybe she’s you.
Are you so fun? Do you love ’em and leave ’em? Do you forget people’s names the second they tell you? Is your calendar packed? Are you an ardent multitask-er? Do you start projects and end up abandoning them? Do you choose an entree at dinner only to immediately want the other thing? Are you laughing hard one minute and crying the next? Do you get caught up in the whirlwind of the day and then crash and burn around 4 PM?
Welcome to the world of vata! You have so much going for you – your sparkling wit and personality, your joie de vivre, your international air of mystery (always into something!).
There are ways you can care for yourself so that you can enjoy the perks of this marvelous, moving and shaking dosha without getting unbalanced.
Vata is the Lead Dosha
Vata is the lead dosha. If vata is out of balance, it causes a ruckus in our bodies and also in our other doshas. So everyone, regardless of body type, should watch for vata imbalances.
Vata is usually the first dosha to go out of balance. Since we all have vata in us, we can perform the self-care practices below. This way, we can avoid becoming anxious and depressed, or even just flighty and ineffective.
When vata is balanced, the other two (pitta, kapha) usually follow. This results in a happy, healthy you!
Vata Self Care
If you are a vata type, or if you need to balance this “king” of doshas, it’s easy to learn what to do. It’s very manageable, but takes a certain time commitment. Let the house go dirty, call your sister back later, get off social media! Invest in you.
Be gentle; forming new habits can take some time.
When anything becomes dry, vata increases. So in the fall, the dry wind can imbalance vata, or eating too much dry food like popcorn and crackers. To decrease your vata if it is overactive, think warm, moist, and slow.
Vata Self-Care List
- Stay warm – layers, hot beverages, hats
- Get enough rest, however you can (naps, early to bed, sleep late – whatever works in your schedule)
- Exercise should be gentle; yoga and walks
- Eat warm food; plenty of grains and oil-rich whole foods – avocados, sweet potatoes, soups
- Have a nighttime routine
- Have a morning routine!
- Don’t watch disturbing stuff
- Keep a regular schedule
- Take a break from alcohol
- Get out into nature
- Do not over-exert
- Sit down for a hot meal at noon
- Get some loving touch – from your kids, your pets, your person
- Hot milk with a little cardamom in the evening
- Daily oil massage (much more to come on this – one of my fav topics))
- Try meditation
- Take warm baths
- Take daytime nap
Notice that some of the things on the list are things that a vata will not naturally want to do, such as having to follow a routine. Vatas like to shake it up and have irregular habits. But irregular schedules will deplete a person with a lot of vata.
Not the lithe vata type? Society’s current physical ideal? I have a lot of vata; it is my dominant dosha, followed by pitta. But I don’t have a vata body. So even some of us vatas don’t have the lovely, wispy vata body! Go with what you’ve got.
Deepak Chopra (2000) says that body types/doshas are inherited, or genetic – so what can you do about that, really! It’s a relief!
But there are plenty of things that we do control, such as:
- thoughts (a big one)
“Knowledge of your body type enables you to evolve to a more ideal state of health” (Chopra, 2000).
Knowledge is power. Power to have a say in what happens to us. Power over what we do. Power over how we feel. With that mastery, joy must follow.
References: Chopra, Deepak. Perfect Health: The Complete Mind-Body Guide. Three Rivers Press, 2000
26 Comments Add yours
Thanks for the post. I wonder if one day you might address the subject of exercise and doshas more in-depth. It seems, from what I’ve read so far in your blog, that a person that’s off balance with “too much “ vata might not benefit from strong, aerobic exercise. And yet, as I get older, I find that a combination of that type of exercise followed by yoga helps my body and state of mind tremendously. What’s going on? My body and mind always benefit from yoga , but vigorous exercise seems to be almost as important for this vata pitta combo. Does it all fit in with the philosophy behind the doshas, or am I using exercise to wake myself up from my lack of sufficient sleep and near daily exhausting level of activity? Self-medicate much? ? thanks for your thoughts
Hi Pastora and thanks for the comment. I will plan to post on exercise exclusively. It’s tricky because I think we all benefit from that heart pumping, vigorous exercise. Remember that we all have all three doshas, so if we are sluggish (kapha), some strenuous cardio will help us get out of a funk. I think the idea is that strict vatas should not do stuff like running marathons or the crazy boot camp stuff. You can get the ‘ol heart pumping on a vigorous walk! And I think you have LOTS of pitta in you that craves this type of activity, so I say go for it! It’s when we feel run-down and depleted that we may want to back off and go to a yin yoga class or a meditative walk. I do think we self-medicate/become addicted to those endorphins that we get – but hey, there are FAR worse things to be addicted to! I’m working on a pitta post now, stay tuned.
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