Know Your Dosha: Vata

Health & Wellness
Last Updated Oct 19, 2020
Health & Wellness

According to Ayurveda, vata, pitta and kapha are the three main doshas (or vital energies) that make up a person’s constitution. The doshas - and the balance between them – dictate your health and how you relate to the world.

What are the Doshas?

If you’re unwell, Ayurveda assumes that it’s because your vata, pitta and katha are out of balance. This disturbance is usually caused by your diet and lifestyle. For optimum health, all three doshas need to work in harmony.

What is Vata?

Vata is the most influential dosha, in that it influences the other doshas. Essentially, vata is made up of air and ether elements. The air element dominates vata. In the body, it tends to control movement such as breath, nerves and digestion.

Here are a few qualities that make up vata:

  • Dry
  • Rough
  • Cold
  • Light
  • Erratic

Characteristics of Vata-type People

People of a vata type tend to be slim and can find it hard to gain weight. If you are vata-dominant, you should take care to keep calm, not take on too much and ensure you are warm. Otherwise, you may find your body quickly becomes unbalanced.

Since the vata dosha manages the body’s digestive system, when it’s out of balance you may experience cramps, flatulence and IBS symptoms.

It may also be hard to fall asleep, as your mind races and takes a lot of time to still. You may find it beneficial to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

To still the mind and help your body relax, try meditation or yoga.

Following a Vata Diet

Since vata-type people tend to feel the cold, it’s important to eat warm, relatively heavy food. You’ll also benefit from eating sweet, sour or salty food.

Avoid cold, dry or bitter foods and favour sweet and sour fruits such as berries, mango and pineapple. Cooked vegetables are best, whereas uncooked varieties may upset your digestion. The good news is that you can eat almost all nuts, but you should avoid red meats.

Find out more

To have your constitution determined, consult an Ayurveda practitioner. If you are a vata-type person, they can prescribe a more detailed diet and lifestyle plan.

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Originally published on May 13, 2013

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills… There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind… So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. — MARCUS AURELIUS