The Vata Dosha
The Vata Dosha combines the air and ether elements and pictures the movement principle. Thus it is responsible for all motion related processes in the body; from the blood circulating through your veins to breathing, digestion and nerve impulses running from the brain. Furthermore it is the catalyst for all functions in the body: without Vata’s envolvment Pitta and Kapha couldn’t work either. Read about all Vata’s functions and influences »
Vata physical constitution
Vata types are generally thin with a slender frame, prominent joints and weak muscles. They tend to extremes (e.g. are particularly small or tall) or irregularities, sleep lightly and thrive in warm climates.
- Skin: dry, thin and cold
- Hair: dry, dark and curly, mostly brittle
- Face: long, edgy, often with a receding chin
- Eyes: small with a matte radiance; brown or grey
- Nose: lathy and sometimes assymetrical
- Mouth: small with thin lips, teeth may be irregular
Vata mental constitution
Creative • Enthusiastic • Generous
Vata types are usually free in mind, quick in thought and fast to act. Often they are restlessly active, burn their energy quickly and can be brought out of balance quite easily. Vata dominated people have a good imagination, vibrant phantasy and change as easily as they make friends. On the other hand they might have difficulties with bringing their ideas to life or have a bad memory and sometimes they talk a bit much. Emotionally they can feel insecure or even anxious.
It is said that the Vata Dosha cannot really be in- or decreased, but it can become unbalanced mostly by weather and dietary changes such as too much dry and raw foods, exposure to cold, windy weather, travel with a lack of routine and mental exhaustion. The following could be indicators that Vata is out of balance:
- you often feel anxious, worried or overwhelmed
- you feel tired but find yourself unable to rest or relax
- you’re having digestive problems or cramps
- you often have negative thoughts and a very indecisive attitude
- you have a short attention span and find it hard to focus
- you constantly have a dry throat and/or your lips, skin and skalp are very dry
Vata functions and dysfunctions
Generally Vata is responsible for all forms of movement within the body; this for example covers walking, the movements of the chest when breathing, the churning movements necessary to digest food, the momentum of the ovum and the ejaculation of sperm. Apart from that Vata energy also drives the whole communication of the nervous system, perception (including pain), the body’s reactions, the transfer from consciousness to memory and vice versa and is liable for speech.
Vata is mainly located in the colon with minor locations in the pelvic region, the lower back, thighs, bones, ears, skin, the nervous system and any hollows, like the ear canal. This means that problems with these regions in combination with the Vata function (movements) will likely lead back to an unbalanced Vata Dosha.
Typical Vata disorders:
- constipation, bloating and gases
- backache, spinal pain, joint pains
- sexual disorders
- poor circulation
- difficulty in breathing
Vata Mixed Doshas:
Vata-Pitta types resemble pure Vatas in many respects, but the Pitta influence often gives them a stronger and more compact build. This Prakriti is very active and shows a curious combination of confusion and determination. In general Vata-Pittas are sensitive to neuronal stimuli such as light, heat, sound and dryness.
Vata-Kapha types usually are lighter or shorter and smaller than a pure Kapha build and also might have proportionally longer limbs. Often this mixed Dosha type is more sensitive to the cold than any other Prakriti and shows many Kapha weaknesses like excess mucus and poor digestion.