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(Air & Space)
Vata’s elemental makeup consists of air and space (ether or a vacuum). The common translation of Vata is “that which moves.” Vata is often referred to as vayu (wind) in the body, and it is the primary motivating force of the body—without it, the other doshas are unable to move.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF VATA
Vata types have thin, light frames and excellent adaptability. Their energy comes in bursts and they are likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue. Vatas typically have dry skin and cold hands and feet. They sleep lightly and their digestion can be sensitive.
When balanced – Vata types are energetic, creative, inspirational.
When imbalanced – Vatas types tend to lose weight and suffer from constipation. Prolonged Vata imbalance leads to anxiety, weakness of muscles and joints, arthritis, aches and pains often diagnosed as fibromyalgia.
EMOTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF VATA
Vatas love excitement and new experiences. Their bodies and minds move quickly and efficiently.
When balanced – They are energetic, creative, and flexible. They can be silent or helpful and lively conversationalists.
When imbalanced – Vatas are prone to worry, anxiety, nervousness, and often suffer from insomnia. Prolonged imbalance lead to clinical anxiety and phobia’s.
When Vata’sfeel overwhelmed or stressed, they blame themselves for everything and their response is: “What did I do wrong?”
HOW TO BALANCE VATA
1. Follow the dietary guidelines in diet plan below.
2. Maintain a consistent daily routine and keep exercises gentle. Take care of your joints.
3. Make time every morning to meditate. Just spend a few moments with your eyes closed, paying attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind.
4. Massage your gums with sesame oil or ghee. You may experience problems with receding or bleeding gums – gum massage will help reduce this.
5. Use water as hot as you can tolerate for showering or bathing as this stimulates circulation. Then gently massage your skin with a nourishing oil like the Abhyanga V massage oil.
6. Practice the I-Yoga Moon Salutation every evening. This yoga flow stretches and relaxes every muscle in the body. If you breathe correctly as you move then you begin to relax the mind too. Initially complete 6 cycles and over a few weeks build yourself up to 24 cycles.
7. Find time for rest and to nurture yourself. Seek or create calm, safe, and comforting environments.
8. Have regular Ayurvedic massages like the Marma V Body Ritual as this is soothing and grounding for Vatas.
9. Avoid very cold and windy conditions, as well as dry climates. If out in cold or breezy conditions ensure that head and neck are covered.
10. Minimize travel and too much movement; avoid loud and noisy places as well as crowds. Try to take silent retreats and time alone as often as possible.
11. The colours that we wear have an effect on our mood. Colours that help balance Vata are: yellow, orange, and red. There is no need to wear an entire outfit in these colours but treat yourself to a winter shawl or summer scarf if you do not already have one in this colour.
12. For you breakfast is the most important meal. If it is difficult for you to have an early or good breakfast then start your day with a non-caffeinated tea with plant milk, natural sweetener and warming spices like ginger, cardamom, coriander, clove, fennel, cinnamon. The Redbush Chai Recipe is perfect for you.
13. Vata Skin tends to be very fine and almost translucent. This skin type can be very beautiful with an almost ethereal look. But if not cared for Vata skin can become dry and age quickly. It is therefore particularly important for anyone with a Vata imbalance to take very good care their skin. We recommend the following products and routine.
Buttermilk Cleanser – use this daily – morning and evening to balance and nourish dry vata skin. Use this around eye as well to prevent eczema and dryness of eye area.
Rejuvenating Face Cream – use this daily – morning and evening after cleansing face to hydrate skin.
Rejuvenating Eye Cream – use this daily – morning and evening around the eye area.
Rejuvenating Face Mask – use this twice weekly as directed on bottle. This mask is nutrient rich and deeply hydrating.If you are very dry leave this mask on overnight.night.
Rasayana Rejuvenating Serum – for those who feel the need for anti-aging therapy. Add a few drops of this serum to your Rejuvenating Face Cream and massage onto face and neck.
14. We also recommend regular facials. The Rasayana Rejuvenating Facial is the best facial treatment to keep Vata skin healthy, glowing and younger looking. Due to the effects of weather on Vata we recommend a weekly facial during the winter, fortnightly during autumn and monthly during spring and summer. The Dermal Renewal Treatment can restore skins youthful glow if it has been exposed to harsh environmental conditions.
Products to Balance Vata Dosha
VATA DIET PLAN
Eat warm, nourishing foods with moderately heavy texture like sweet potato, oat porridge and rice.
Add butter and vegetable oils to food.
You can have salty, sour, and sweet food in small amounts daily.
Have warm milk before bed.
Eat freshly baked breads.
Take a hot or herbal tea with snacks in the late afternoon.
Avoid cold foods such as salads, iced drinks, raw vegetables.
Avoid drinks with too much caffeine – green tea has caffeine.
Vata Food Plan
These guidelines can be used for Vata mind-body constitutions, to maintain dosha balance and increase energy levels and physical wellbeing.
BEST VEGETABLES (cooked)
Asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumber, garlic, green beans, onions, sweet potatoes, radishes, and turnips.
VEGETABLES TO REDUCE
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, peas, peppers, potatoes, sprouts, tomatoes, zucchini
Avoid raw vegetables, in general.
BEST FRUITS (well-ripened)
Bananas, apricots, avocados, berries, cherries, coconut, fresh figs, grapefruit, lemons, grapes, mangoes, sweet melons, sour oranges, papaya, pineapple, peaches, plums, stewed fruits.
FRUITS TO REDUCE
Cranberries, pears, pomegranates.
Avoid dried fruits, in general and all unripe fruit.
Oats (as cooked oatmeal porridge only, no granola), cooked rice.
GRAINS TO REDUCE
Wheat, barley, buckwheat, corn, dry oats, millet.
All Dairy is acceptable.
Chicken, seafood, turkey, in small quantity.
MEAT TO REDUCE
Chickpeas, mung beans, Pink lentils, Tofu (small amounts)
BEANS TO REDUCE
Kidney beans, black beans, etc.
Sesame oil, Ghee and olive oil are especially good.
All natural sweeteners may be used in moderation.
NUTS AND SEEDS
All nuts may be eaten in small amounts if not allergic. Almonds are best.
HERBS & SPICES
Avoid using spices in large quantities. Minimize or avoid all bitter and astringent herbs and spices such as coriander seed, fenugreek, parsley, and thyme. Saffron and turmeric should be used in moderation. Have fresh ginger tea every evening before bed.