Vata Dosha (Ayurvedic Body Type), as we know affects the mind, our more subtle organ quite strongly.
People of this dosha often experience anxiety, depression, worry, insomnia and lack of appetite more so than others during stressful times.
My constitution is vata-pitta, however, I experienced a major vata dosha imbalance years ago during a stressful time.
Fear is something that is a strong theme with this imbalance. Fear of the future, fear of not choosing the right path and fear of facing the here and now.
The fear mostly comes from lack of Kapha (earth) element that has a binding quality. It is the element that makes one feel grounded, gives the body the quality of cohesiveness and bring the mind a sense of safety when being connected to others. Without it, a person can feel as though there energy is diffused, they are disassociated from their bodies and they are not accepted by the community as they don’t feel whole within themselves.
There are a few key phases that one can remember that can help bring balance when vata has gone out of balance. These are; calming and soothing one self, heat, less is more, honoring the present moment and belonging to a loving community.
All of the above helps to reverse the negative vata qualities such as fear, coldness, anxiety, diffused mind and fear of not belonging.
Below is some practical steps one can take to balance the overactive vata dosha:
- Having a morning practice – This is something that is helping me to feel grounded. This brings the mind a sense of calm because you know what is going to happen and you don’t need to think about it. The morning practice needs to be a calming one in order for vata to feel soothed like listening to relaxing music, yoga, meditation and reading a uplifting book.
- Writing down thoughts – Vata persons generate a lot of thoughts due to their active minds. This often leads them to get anxious and more fearful. Often they are not able to see the forest for the trees. That is why they need to write things down. When you write things down, often you realize what you were worrying about does not really matter at all. Vata person can really benefit from writing advise for themselves because they cannot often hear their inner truth unless they write it down.
- Planning a Few Activities For The Day And Completing Them – Vata person can often jump between tasks due to their inner thought process. So it is important for this body type to plan only a few activities for the day and finishing all of them. It also helps to set a time limit to complete the task. Having a time limit also help the vata person not overthink or worry too much about getting things absolutely perfect.
- Meditation – There is only a few other things as effective as meditation that can calm the mind. Meditation just involves taking the attention away from the mind and focusing it on the breath, normally the rising and falling of the abdomen. When practiced everyday, it helps one create distance between themselves (their inner awareness) and their thoughts. It reminds us that mind is not who we and it is an organ we have. Just like the heart beats, the mind thinks. But we do not need to get fixated on the thoughts its generating.
- Soothing Music – Vata body type needs to really sooth and calm themselves. Music is a good tool for doing this. Specially music with high vibrations and sweet meaningful lyrics can help the vata feel calm.
- Self Massage – Ayurveda recommends warm sesame oil self massage for people of vata body type. I have tried this and found this to be very calming and soothing. Sesame oil is warm and heavy which are two qualities vata people need in order to feel soothed. And it works perfect specially if done in the morning and even before bed at night.
- Grounding Foods and Spices – Root vegetables and soups can be very grounding for the vata person. Food like kumara, carrots and pumpkins are specially good. Adding warming spices like cinnamon can also be very helpful to generate some heat in the body. To add to that, in Ayurveda sweet taste is said to calm down the vata imbalance. In my experience, this is true. As a vata-pitta my default preferences are bitter, spicy and cold food. But sweet and warm food help me curb the cold and dry/bitter quality of vata.
- Spending time in Nature (preferably bear foot) – There is a lot of material around about how nature helps us discharge and get grounded. Spending time in nature can help vata feel more grounded, less anxious and even get better sleep. The good news is that this is now been scientifically proven, so we know that it works. “The Earthing Movie ” which I just saw today, is about this research. It talks about how touching the ground bear foot adds electrons to the body, which act as antioxidants which the harmful free radials in the body can attach to, without destroying healthy cells. They have found that this phenomena help reduce inflammation and pain in the body.
- Loving Kindness Practice – Vata people are extremely hard on themselves. Because they often don’t feel belong and whole, they always think that they have done something wrong. They internally punish themselves through negative thinking. So vata needs to be very gentle with themselves. They need to remember that they are only human and they too are allowed to make mistakes. A loving kindness practice to wish oneself and others well can help with this.
- Gratitude Practice – Because vata tends to project their minds in to the past or the future a lot, they forget to appreciate the now. A good way to reduce this is to start remembering things that are going well in life right now. And another thing is to start doing things that bring the vata joy. Vata’s love communicating and moving their bodies. So doing something along these lines every day can be very helpful. This could just be speaking at a club, dancing, martial arts etc.
- Being Part of a Community – Though vata people fear being around people, they love being around people who they can relate to and are gentle in temperament. Vata needs to spend time with their community to reduce their feelings of fear and lack of belonging.
The trick really is creating a daily plan and sticking to it. Because vata is more into theories than the practice, it takes a bit of effort. (I know because I have failed many times). But once they learn to stick to it and start seeing benefits, they are likely to stick to it to the long haul for the sense of peace it brings.
Vata should not drop their self care practices because of what others say or how they may react to them. Because vata person deserve to feel a sense of calm, ease, peace and belonging just as much as anyone else. So they need to drop their fear of upsetting others and make their self care a priority.
Similarly they need to drop their habit of procrastination. Whether the vata person likes to admit it or not, their most favorite past time is procrastination.
Once the vata person start to understand how they work, they can make the necessary lifestyle changes to easily bring them selves back into balance.
The challenge is sitting down with a pen and making a plan. But once its done, and they start implementing the plan, they can see amazing benefits.
Thanks for Reading~~