Balancing Vata

Vata (ether and air) is considered the “king” of doshas, balancing it is important for everyone. Therefore, when vata is balanced, pitta and kapha will follow.

* Regular Habits                                                * Warmth

* Quiet                                                                        * Steady supply of nourishment

* Attention to Fluids                                                * Decreased sensitivity to stress

* Sesame oil massage (abhyanga)                        * Ample rest

The key to balancing vata is regularity. Vatas can thrive on variety, but when things change too much, excitement can turn to exhaustion. It is imperative to eat, sleep and exercise on a regular schedule to keep vata in balance.

The following can be useful if you are noticing a vata imbalance (nervous, stressed, overwhelmed, frazzled):

Get plenty of rest. Whenever you feel that you are pushing yourself too hard in any activity (including mental), take a five-minute rest. Getting adequate sleep at night is also vital. If you have had insomnia for years, it is crucial to find what is at the root cause and begin to address this. The deep relaxation provided by meditation and meditative forms of yoga can be just as important as sleep. These practices also help to integrate the body-mind, creating a deeper harmony in the being.

Stay warm – vata is a cold dosha, so heat is beneficial. Vata is also dry, so be sure that the air in your room has enough humidity. Drafts can also be disruptive to vata.

It is important to eat regularly as an empty stomach aggravates vata. A vata will waste away quickly when sick or not eating regularly.  It is important to stay nourished throughout the day, even though vata appetite can be variable. Make it a point to sit down to 3 meals a day. Fresh ginger helps stimulate appetite before the meal and aids digestion.

Drink warm or hot fluids. Avoid very cold food or drinks.

Performing a warm sesame oil massage prior to showering can be very valuable, especially in the winter. Take warm showers or baths to soothe vata aches and pains.

Avoid mental strain and over stimulation, particularly in the evening.

Make sure that your surroundings are light and bright. Vata responds well to sunlight and cheerful colors.

Avoid alcohol while you are trying to balance. Stimulants of any kind do not work well for vatas. If possible, give them up entirely.

Favor warm food and moderately heavy textures; add butter and fat; salt, sour and sweet tastes; soothing and satisfying foods.

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