Vata dosha is defined by the inherent interaction and exchange between the elements of space and air. The amount of space affects the ability of the air to gain momentum. However, if space is unrestricted and boundless, the air has freedom and become as forceful as a hurricane. This is why Vata is known as the force of mobility, responsible for all movement in the mind, body and emotions…
Some examples of the functions that Vata governs: breathing, blinking, movements in the muscles and tissues, pulsations in the heart, all expansion and contraction in the body, the movements of cytoplasm and cellular membranes, the movement of the single impulses in nerve cells, as well as hearing and speech functions.
Every single one of us harbors the forces of all three doshas because all three are needed to sustain life. So take a moment right now, close your eyes and try to sense all these functions mentioned above, all that is moving within you. Feel your heart beating, your breath, the widening and narrowing of your rib cage with each inhalation and exhalation, hear all the sounds around you and within you, can you sense the flow of your blood, the flow of your thoughts… Try and be with your Vata.
We all have the Vata dosha within, but someone who has a dominant Vata dosha may take on some of these physical characteristics:
- Lighter and thinner frame
- Either tall or short
- Prominent joints and bones
- Thin, dry skin, with fine pores
- Small and ‘active eyes’, usually dark brown or dark grey
- Lips are generally thin and dry
- Teeth tend to be small and crooked
- Hair is usually dark, thin, dry and frizzy
- Nails are dry and thin
- Nose, hands and feet are often cold to the touch
- Irregular eating, small appetites
- Shorter stamina
- Little perspiration
- Quick speech and pace
- Light, short, and often interrupted sleep
- Sensitive to both sound and touch
These are common psychological characteristics of a dominant Vata dosha:
- Creative, Imaginative and enthusiastic
- Makes friends easily
- Quick and lively
- Learns fast
- Stronger short – term memory, than long- term
- Mental and physical energy come in bursts
- Very active with continuously changing lifestyle
- Great speakers, flowing thought patterns
- Accommodating to the needs of others
- Very generous with their time, money, and anything else they can offer
When Vata becomes imbalanced (meaning it is present in excess), some of the most common things it can physically lead to are: joint pain, chills, gas, constipation, lower back pain, tremors, loss of appetite, insomnia, fainting and various other disturbing irregularities. The skin can also show signs of dehydration, flakiness, and excess or premature wrinkling.
Psychologically imbalanced Vata will be restless with anxiety, worry, and lack of focus, will be nervous, fearful, unable to sit still, be indecisive and have low tolerance.
Many different factors disturb Vata including the stress of excess activity, strenuous exercise, constant travel, improper diet, the season of autumn, and especially an overly irregular routine.
More blog entries to come for remedies and suggestions on how to balance Vata and live in harmony… with yourself!