Dec 28, 2011

Vata Dosha: All About Vata | Ayurveda

All human beings are broadly categorized into three body types- Vaata Type Body; Pitta Type Body; and Kapha Type Body. They are named on the basis of the dominating dosha in the body. However, not always the bodies have predominance of one single dosha. Sometimes there is the state of combined energy when two doshas are at similar level. In such condition, the body types are defined as vatha-pitta, vatha-kapha, pitta-kapha, etc. based on the presence of doshas.

The Vaata Type Body : 
Vata-type people are generally thin and find it hard to gain weight. Because of this, Vatas have very little energy reserve and can tire easily and get themselves out of balance. Vatas need to get sufficient rest and not overdo things, stay warm, and keep a regular lifestyle routine.

The Vata dosha controls all movement in the body, including breathing, digestion, and nerve impulses from the brain. When Vata is out of balance, anxiety and other nervous disorders may be present. Digestive problems, constipation, cramps, and even premenstrual pain usually are attributed to a Vata imbalance.

The most important thing to know about Vata is that it leads the other doshas. Vata usually goes out of balance first, which causes the early stages of disease. More than half of all illnesses are Vata disorders. Balancing Vata is important for everyone, because when Vata is in balance, Pitta and Kapha are generally in balance as well.

Diet for Vaata Type Body
Recommended Foods For Vaata Dosha
  • Dairy Products : Ghee, milk, little butter.
  • Vegetables : Cauliflower, green beans, green chillies, asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumber, ladies finger, onions and garlic, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnips, pumpkin.
  • Fruits : Avocades, bananas, coconuts, dates, mangoes, melons, peaches, grapes, plum, figs
  • Grains : Oats, White or brown rice and wheat
  • Meat : White meat (chicken, fish - baked or broiled), chicken broth
  •  Spices : Almost all spices and herbs in moderation

Avoidable Foods For Vaata Dosha
  • Dairy Products : Cheese, yogurt, frozen desserts
  • Vegetables : Raw cabbage or cauliflower, celery, brinjal, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, peas, peppers (simla mirch) potatoes, sprouts, raw tomatoes, zucchini (tori), raw radish, salads(, they should not be eliminated completely and should be taken with a dressing made from oil and vinegar.)
  •  Fruits : Apples, pears, pomegranates, dates, raisins
  •  Grains : Barley, corn, millet, brown rice
  •  Meat : Turkey, rabbit, pork, lamb
  •  Spices : Carawas
  • Refined Foods : White Flour, Sugar
  • Pungent, bitter, astringents, dry, light, cold foods, stimulants like alcohol, smoking, junk food,  tea.
According to Ayurveda, vatas can have almost all spices and herbs in moderation When there is aggravated Vata, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, saffron, turmeric, parsley the following are to be taken with caution. Avoid too much hot, dry spices such as dried chili, which will aggravate dryness. 

Vata & Stress
Ojas is an Ayurvedic word that refers to our life energy. Translated, it means "vigor." Stress greatly reduces ojas, which then weakens the immune system. When ojas is low, disease can follow.

To replenish ojas, follow the routine for your mind/body type. Some foods, such as milk and ghee, are especially good for increasing ojas. Meditation is the best thing you can to alleviate stress and thereby increase ojas.

Vata Tea is calming and soothes the nerves. It is delicious with a little bit of brown sugar.

Vata & Sleep
Vata mind/body types often have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Their minds are active, imaginative, and restless and may be hard to quiet down at night. Vata mind/body types need a lot of sleep or they become groggy and ineffective.

Ayurveda recommends that everyone keep a regular bedtime and morning routine. Bedtime should be at the same time each night, preferably at 10:00 P.M. The hours before bed should be spent with quiet activity, Yoga, and meditation. You should awaken at dawn, between 6:00 and 8:00 A.M., and proceed with your daily rituals.

Vata Tea (containing the herbs licorice, ginger, cardamon and cinnamon) is calming and aids in a good night's sleep.

Moisturizing Massage Oil for Vata followed by a warm bath or shower is also very relaxing and will help get you to sleep.

Vata & Digestion
Ayurveda teaches that good digestion leads to good health and poor digestion can bring disease. Each mind/body type digests differently. It is important to understand your mind/body type and how it digests food when planning your meals.

Vata digestion varies and can be delicate. Vatas should favor warm foods with moderately heavy textures. Foods should include salty, sour, and sweet tastes.

Vata & Colds
The cold winter months, November through February are the Vata season in Ayurveda. This is the time when Vata is more likely to become out of balance and result in a cold or flu. Ayurveda traditionally recommends a routine for each season to maintain balance during that season. Of course, you should follow your own daily Ayurvedic plan, but make adjustments to fit with the season. To balance Vata, it is important to keep warm. Eat warm foods, especially foods that are sweet, sour, or salty.

Drink Vata Tea.
Vata colds generally include a dry cough, hoarseness, or laryngitis. A few drops of warmed sesame oil can be rubbed in the nasal passage to help soothe it. A Vata diet should be followed.

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama Benefits for Vata Imbalance

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