6 Solutions to Stabilize Vata, the Dosha of Movement

by Morgan Webert

So, are you an air-head, a hot-head or a potato-head? http://www.flickr.com/photos/27539962@N04/5437800363/in/photolist-9hw9AF-4kEvWV-dPNk6s-4XV7UN-5CzRUL-8drXGF-7cDMDf-6xo6hY-89HFC7-d6VtkL-dkiKfK-7mBnZF-aCwcJJ-aDrFCP-aBgjc3-aBdCkT-aBdDJe-cu6tib-ae5pYQ-7FJr13-23vAiq-6E8KVv-4ak7n3-dbrBMG-84Z4Tx-8EfP8K-3a5QyQ-bqYGYx-aeqTdh-6Hn2GA-7SCTyg-7DqRg5-6wQCG6-5VvbPw-4q32CT-bB919j-8irKh7-4NGG5m-4NCwuk-4NGHnu-eCrVmP-cXnCyd-9wvhHC-7pq3hj-7Tuj5J-avqCfs-hjwWML-akJyfm-bxsQfJ-aur7nz-dbrz4M

Hopefully, none of these descriptions apply because you’re feeling wonderfully balanced and making decisions to keep your unique constitution from tittering off kilter after taking the dosha test I posted in the last blog.

But, if it happens to be one of those days when you’re feeling irritated, flustered or just down, this is a great time to take a deep breath, realize it’s all natural, and just observe (without judgement!) what’s going on.

What caused you to lose you’re equilibrium? Or, if you’re feeling great, what caused you to stay in you’re equilibrium? How does that relate to what you now know about your unique ratio of the five elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth) and your dominant dosha (Vatta, Pita or Kapha)?

We are a microcosm of the macrocosm. 

Whether we look at ourselves from the Ayurvedic perspective as composed of the five elements or from a Western perspective as composed of atoms combining into various molecules – on the most basic level we’re made of the same material the universe is made of.

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 2.14.05 PMBecause of that, we’re also subject to the same universal laws. Remember I said I love Ayurveda because of its simplicity.  One simple law this system pays a lot of attention to is: like increases like, while opposites create balance. 

With that in mind, we merely need to look at the qualities of each dosha and think about what we’re bringing into our life to increase or balance those qualities. There are twenty basic oppositional qualities called gunas (see chart) that we can use as starting points to get a sense of how the elements show up in our body, society and world.

Let’s start looking at Vatta, sometimes called the “King of the Doshas” since it rules the body’s great life force and gives motion to Pitta and Kapha.

Vatta derives from the elements of space and air and translates as “wind” or “that which moves things.” It is the energy of movement and the force governing all biological activity.

The qualities of Vatta include dry, rough, light, cold, subtle and mobile. An individual with Vatta dominance will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities. They’re most often thin with a small frame and long bones, fast speaking, fast moving, creative and energetic.

Vatta energy shows up in the body in the colon, thighs, bones, joints, ears, skin, brain and nerve tissue. Physiologically, Vata governs anything related to movement, such as breathing, talking, nerve impulses, muscle contraction, circulation and assimilation of food. Psychologically, Vata governs communication, creativity, flexibility and quickness of thought.

If earlier you answered on the airy side of life, you’re not alone. Our Western society at large tends toward a Vatta imbalance.

In fact, due to the mobile and volatile nature of Vata, nearly 60 percent of all disorders in classical Ayurvedic texts are associated with Vatta. We see this in our modern world full of coffee drinking, constantly on the go, short attention span frenetic movement that in excess creates stress.

Common qualities of imbalanced Vata include: overly active thinking, restlessness, fear, anxiety, depression, spacey and ungrounded, disorganized, moody and emotionally volatile.

Vata individuals may become imbalanced by: 

  • Eating Vata-aggravating foodScreen Shot 2013-12-07 at 2.26.03 PM
  • Eating while anxious or depressed
  • Drink alcohol, coffee or black tea
  • Following irregular daily routine
  • Having too much sensory stimulation
  • Suppressing inner creativity and emotional sensitivity

When you want to balance Vata think nourishing, warming and routine.  

Great ways to balance Vata include:

  • Follow a regular daily routine
  • Eat in a peaceful environment
  • Go to bed early
  • Meditate daily
  • Massage body daily with warm oil (sesame is good)
  • Take time to rest during the day (naps are good!)

If you are feeling like there’s too much movement in your life, pick just one of the above to do every day this week and then tell us how it went and how you felt different!? 

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4 thoughts on “6 Solutions to Stabilize Vata, the Dosha of Movement

  1. Ahhh Morgan, this is great!LOVE how you translate so much info in to a simple ‘what it is'(or what are we..;)) and we can we do about it!Thank you for sharing and filtering in such a clear manner whilst still keeping the integrity!Looking forward to next week’s post!xx

    • Thanks for the wonderful feedback Carolina! It’s all about keeping it simple and practical so we can use this great knowledge in our lives! Please share anything you do to keep your Vata in balance. x

  2. Pingback: Got glue? On Kapha, Our Sticky Side | Yoga with Morgan Webert

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