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What is Vata Dosha? How to Balance Your Vata

Ayurveda is based on the belief that health and wellness can be achieved when the mind, body and spirit are in balance and in harmony with the universe. Poor health, disease and sickness can occur if this balance is disrupted. Doshas are the energies that determine the characteristics of our mind, body and spirit. There are three dosha types, Kapha, Pitta and Vata, and each one has a particular health plan made just for that dosha type. Each one of us has a part of each of these forces that shape our nature. In Sanskrit, these are known as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth).

Vata dosha is one of the three body types and is actually considered the most powerful dosha of the three. Vata influences the other two doshas as well as the body’s movements and the body’s elimination process. Vata doshas are energetic, creative and always on the go. People with a vata predominant constitution are usually the thinnest of the three body types and sometimes find it hard to gain weight. They have a tendency to be cold natured with dry skin and dry hair. Their digestion can be weak, and they sometimes have trouble relaxing and sleeping.

According to ayurvedic medicine it is important to keep your body in balance so that you can be healthy and live a long life. If you have determined that vata dosha is your main body type, the following lifestyle and nutritional recommendations will help you achieve health and wellness.

• Since vata is always moving and always changing, try to make choices that bring consistency and stability. Set a regular sleeping and eating schedule, and try to follow a daily routine when possible.
• Dress warmly and appropriately for the season. For added warmth, sip hot ginger tea throughout the day. This will warm your body as well as boost your metabolism.
• Massage your skin regularly with heavier oils such as almond or sesame. This will soothe your dry skin and also help you relax.
• Light exercise such as yoga, walking, hiking, golfing and light aerobics will help with your high energy levels without exhausting your energy all at once.
• Listen to music that is calming and soothing for extra relaxation.
• Fats and oils help with poor digestion. Therefore, up to three teaspoons of ghee or extra virgin olive oil can be consumed daily.
• Limit your consumption of barley, rye, corn and buckwheat. Rice and wheat are good in moderation and will help balance vata dosha.
• To aid in digestion, fruits and vegetables are best consumed when steamed or cooked. Limit foods that produce excessive gas such as sprouts, beans and cabbage.

If excessive stress causes your vata force to become imbalanced, you will begin to feel overwhelmed and possibly out of control. If this happens, consider some of the recommendations mentioned above. Slow down, take time to exercise moderately, and eat according to the vata dosha type diet. Follow some of these lifestyle and nutritional recommendations, and you will live a longer, healthier life.

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