Elements : Ether + Air
Qualities : dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile
Governs : Movement, Change, Mobility
Life Phase : Elder, Crone, Old Age
Season : Winter
Lunar Phase : Dark Moon
Daily Cycle : 2 am – 6 am + 2 pm – 6 pm
Vata is the first and most subtle dosha, arising from the elements of ether and air. It is very light, changing, ethereal and quick.
Vata governs all the movement within the body and nature. It is the energy of action and transportation. It is the wind. It is constantly on the move. It is light, strong and expansive.
Vata is like a hummingbird.
Qualities of Vata Dosha in the Body + Mind:
Vata is all about movement in your body and mind. It is the movement of food moving from your mouth, down your throat and all the way through and out your colon. It moves menstruation down and out, moves your breath, and moves the neurological functions of your brain and nerve impulses. Vata is the beating rhythm of your heart and the action of blood flowing through your veins.
Just like the wind, vata can be quick, changeable, and a powerful force that can move fire, water or earth.
Vata in the body has a light, dry, subtle and quick influence.
People with a lot of vata energy can be very tall, thin, and kind of lanky. Or they could be very short and petite. Their bones tend to be long, thin, and more protruding. Hair can be rough, dry and light. Curly hair or thin, dry, or coarse hair is vata hair. The same with the skin – it is dry, tends to be more rough or very subtle and might even have a translucent quality to it. There will be more coldness to the skin. High vata also creates coldness in the extremities.
People with a surplus of vata energy love movement and action. When they tell a story, it can appear they are talking with their whole body and or they might make a lot of hand gestures. Or they might move around, pace, tap their feet, or have trouble sitting still.
Vata people love to travel, love to be on the go, love spontaneity and random schedules.
In the mind and emotions, vata creates: excitement, joy, creativity, inspiration, intuition, imagination and amazement.
Vata is strong in artists, dancers, writers, poets, luminaries, psychics and energy workers.
High vata, or an excess or blockage creates mental imbalances. Too much vata contributes to: worry, fear and doubt. It creates ADD, an inability to focus, a feeling of being ungrounded, insomnia, dizziness, light-headedness, anxiety, OCD, and most mental disorders.
High vata in the body creates: restlessness, dry skin, dry eyes, constipation, bloating, gas, thinness, weight loss or a lack of healthy fat (also seen as a lack of self-love), varicose veins, tremors, coldness, poor circulation, tightness, twitching, pain, and insecurity.
The fall and early winter bring forth the qualities of vata. The air is cold, light, and windy. The leaves are dry and rough. The wind is variable and moving. Fall is a time of harvest – business or extra movement to get things done in preparation for the upcoming winter ‘hibernation.’ The dryness, coldness, strong winds and rough weather increases vata energy in everyone.
The increase of vata also creates a heightened sensitivity to the subtle energies. It supports your intuitive nature, creativity, and psychic abilities. The darkness of winter is a time to direct our focus inward. We pull inside, protected from the outer elements, to an internal ‘hibernation’ and exploration of our quiet side. Slowing down and going inside during the vata winter nourishes, heals and strengthens the nervous system.
Similar qualities and energies are heightened during the dark, new moon. Nature is encouraging us to pull inward, away from the stimulus of the outside world. This is the time of menstruation. We are much more sensitive and the veil between the physical and nonphysical is the thinnest. We relish in the quiet, and naturally rest in a meditative state of being.
How To Balance and Support Vata Dosha :::…
- Create regularity. A regular schedule anchors down, grounds, and helps calm the changing winds. Eating every meal at the same time and going to sleep / waking up around the same time is the best place to start. These become your stakes in the ground to support the creativity and joy to flow.
- Get rested. In the winter, the dark moon, older age, or anyone with higher vata – it is that much more important to go to sleep early, as the night begins. This deep rest helps your sensitive nervous system and energy to be a benefit and power, not a burden that creates over-stimulated, nervousness or exhaustion. Relax in the evening and get into bed early. Sleep when it is dark out.
- Love yourself up! Give yourself a regular self-massage with sesame oil. Ground, nourish, and moisturize with the sweet heavy unctuous qualities of the oil and your own loving presence and self care. Snehana is sanskrit for oil and love.
- Connect and be with spirit. Wake up early. Experience the expansive, shape-shifting, subtle energy of the morning during the vata phase. Before sunrise is considered to be the time of heightened spiritual, etheric energies. Use this time to connect to your spirit. Set intentions, pray, visualize, create, sing, dance, set yourself up to embrace the miracle of the day. Be inspired – be in spirit.
- Move and play. A little movement, everyday, without overdoing it, is key. Dancing, tai-chi, gentle yoga, walks, basic weight lifting are all good to help move your energy and feel good in your body.
- Sit in Silence. A short, but regular and consistent, meditation practice will do wonders for a busy vata mind. Bring your attention inward and rest. If it is hard for you to sit still, start with just 5 minutes a day and learn to practice the art and joy of resting in your beingness. It will strengthen your focus and ease your worries.
- Protect yourself. Give yourself extra TLC and know when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no.’ Don’t overschedule or over-do. Get into POMO – the Pleasure Of Missing Out. Have quiet nights and easy weekends. In the winter, cover and protect your body, skin and especially ears. Wear warm clothing and use oil everywhere! Cultivate coziness in your lifestyle and your home.
Take care of your Vata, and your creative, joyful, inspired, sensitive, psychic, intuitive energies will be heightened to celebrate!