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Balancing Vata Dosha in Ayurveda: Home Remedies and Tips for Balance

Updated: Apr 22

Balancing Vata Dosha in Ayurveda: Home Remedies and Tips for Balance

What is vata dosha ?

The word Vata means to blow or to move like the wind. Vata dosha, the Ayurvedic mind-body element associated with air and space, embodies the qualities that lead to cold hands and feet when imbalanced. Vata manages all the movements in the mind and body. It’s light, cool, and dry in nature, moving, changeable, subtle, rough and quick and it governs all movement and processes in your mind and body like blood flow, evacuation of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the brain.

Psychosomatic characteristics of vata

Vata people often have a small or thin frame and dry skin and hair. They are sensitive to cold weather and may have cold extremities, circulation issues, and joint pain.

Their personalities can be entertaining, dynamic, and enthusiastic. They are also said to be creative, perceptive, and sensitive people.

Physically and mentally active, they often multi-task and talk quickly.

Vata people may be easily overwhelmed and be prone to changeable moods. When vata people become aggravated, their emotions may manifest as fear, anxiety, and nervousness.

Why is this dosha of such importance in Ayurveda?

Vata dosha fulfills many important functions in the body.

Vata manifests itself through the psychosomatic functions, blood circulation, lymphatic system, nervous system and respiratory tract. The main areas of Vata dosha are the large intestine, pelvic and abdominal cavities, thighs, bones, head, ears and all other bodily openings along with the tactile and auditory senses.

Vata Dosha carries the other doshas where they are supposed to be. So without Vata dosha nothing else can function in the body.

Vata governs all movement & mobility in the body. One of symptoms of vata imbalance is an issue in movement and functioning of joints and organs of movement.

Vata is responsible for timely evacuation of the bowels, transporting wastes through urine, for proper discharge of menstrual blood, etc.

One of the important qualities of vata is its ability to lift our general outlook on life, mood or enthusiasm for life. This occurs only when the vata in the body is in balance.

What happens when this Dosha aggravates in  the body?

When this dosha is disturbed, one loses the feeling of enthusiasm, freshness, happiness, joy and creative energetic power. Then the feelings of anxiety, fear, nervousness, indecision, insecurity, sadness and depression increase. There is a greater perception of pain, stiffness, cracking in the joints, cramps or general tremors. If Vata deviates from its original condition, it leads to feelings of loneliness, shyness, insecurity and avoidance of social contact.Since Pitta dosha and Kapha dosha can't move without it, Vata is viewed as the pioneer of the three Ayurvedic Body Types . It is very essential to keep Vata in good balance.

What must we do to balance vata dosha in the body?

1. Stay warm and stay calm:

When you are relaxed, you likewise feel cheerful and well. It helps to have a warm, comfortable place to be, a warm bed, and a hot water shower. Ayurveda additionally prescribes applying oil and massaging the body as the most ideal approach to balance Vata Give yourself a soothing daily abhyang(self-massage with warm oil) to help improve circulation, calm the nerves, and alleviate dry skin. Abhyanga also works at a deeper level to nourish the body deeply and balance the doshas to a state of health and harmony. It improves digestion, sleep, mobility, strength and skin and hair.A regular Abhyanga is especially helpful if you are having reproductive issues, menstrual issues or even lower back issues .

2. Nourish Yourself:

Cold food, frozen food, large beans, dried food and foods with bitter, astringent, and pungent flavours aggravate Vata. However, consuming sweet, sour, salty flavours with sweet, oily and rich foods can help balance Vata, according to Ayurveda principles emphasizing a vata diet.

3. Find stability through Meditation:

Meditation helps balance and calm Vata along with the massages, various steams and heat treatments. With these life supporting habits, more or less, Vata can be balanced and the small aches and pains in the body disappear.

Understanding subtypes of  vata doshas

  • Prana Vayu

  • Samana Vayu

  • Vyana Vayu

  • Udana Vayu

  • Apana Vayu

PranaVayu: (Forward-moving air)

Of the five vayus, prana vayu is the fundamental energizing force. It is the inward moving vital energy that governs respiration and reception, allowing us to take in everything from air and food to impressions and ideas. Prana vayu is most active in the region of the lungs and heart. It provides propulsive energy, speed, motivation, and vitality. On a more subtle level, this vayu gives heightened sensitivity both to the external senses and to inner awareness. It allows us to see the world in all its brightness—full of possibilities—and to anchor our inner focus in a resting place of contentment. If, however, prana vayu is deranged, we suffer from cravings, fall prey to bad habits, and wrestle with a restless and dissipated mind.

SamanaVayu: (Equalizing air)

Samana vayu, or “balancing air,” is the prana vayu at the meeting point between prana, the inward/upward-moving vayu, and apana, the outward/downward-moving vayu. Samana vayu unites these two energies together. Located at the navel, samana vayu governs agni, the digestive fire, or fire of purification. This fire burns adequately when prana and apana unite in samana.Samana vayu is related to Manipura chakra located at the solar plexus. It is responsible for the processing and assimilation of all that is taken in—food, emotions, perceptions, and breath. Samana is used to assimilate these energies so that they can be used optimally.

Samana vayu helps us to take in what we need and release what we don’t in an even balance, a principle crucial for managing vata characteristics according to Ayurveda. This represents balance between the flow of prana and apana. An imbalance of samana vayu presents as health conditions including digestive disturbances, slow metabolism, malnourishment, or obesity. In our daily lives, if we are feeling out of balance, samana is likely to be affected.

VyanaVayu: (Pervasive air)

Vyana vayu governs the flow of prana through the body, ensuring the balance of energy and the prevention of cold hands and feet, indicative of vata imbalance. nadis, or energy channels, that permeate the pranic body. While all of the 5 prana vayus involve movement, vyana vayu is the most active and diffuse. This vayu is associated with the exchange and distribution of energy through the body’s complex communication systems

.UdanaVayu: (Upward moving air)

The udana vayu is the “ascending air” or the “air which carries upwards”. The upward movement holds us up, makes us stand straight. It supports the movement of prana from the lower to the upper chakras. Moving through the chakras, udana also helps in awakening the kundalini shakti.

Udana vayu location is said to be between the heart and the head, thus it also signifies the movement from the lower plane to the higher consciousness. The throat or the Vishuddha Chakra is the seat of expression for the udana vayu. Hence it also governs the ability to freely express your feeling, opinions, thoughts, and emotions. Additionally, it stimulates the Ajna chakra which makes us determined, confident and improves feelings of enthusiasm and willpower. These characteristics combined help us grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.The element of space or ether is connected with the udana vayu, which makes sense as the movement of the vayu goes towards the head. The chakras in the head are responsible for calmness, stillness, connection with spirituality and cosmos, and inner peace.Its physical connection with the thyroid and parathyroid glands maintains the healthy metabolic and nervous system functioning.

ApanaVayu: (Downward moving air)

Apana-Vayu is situated in the pelvic floor and its energy pervades the lower abdomen. Apana-Vayu translates as “the air that moves away,” and its flow is downwards and out. Its energy nourishes the organs of digestion, reproduction, and elimination. Apana-Vayu governs the elimination of all substances from the body: carbon dioxide, urine, stool, etc. This Vayu’s action is elimination, its expression is steadiness, and its associated chakras and elements are Muladhara and earth. A weak or dysfunctional Apana-Vayu creates feelings of ungroundedness and weakness in the legs. Elimination issues or diseases that affect the intestines, kidneys, or urinary tract can be related to disturbed Apana prana, a condition often addressed with Ayurvedic remedies.


What is Vata dosha diet?

The ideal diet to balance vata dosha focuses on bringing in warmth and unctuousness into the body to balance out vata’s dry and cold nature. In addition, according to Ayurveda, we tend to look at nutrient-dense foods which are easy to digest as part of a vata diet. The digestion aspect is important as many naturally nutrient-dense foods are not easy to digest. So we must make them easy for vata-type bodies to process well by altering them through cooking or combining them with spices and herbs which make them lighter and easier to digest. As a general rule, when food is cooked and eaten warm, it is best absorbed and processed by vata constitutions.

Foods that have dominant vata dosha tend to be astringent, drying in nature and are often light in nature with a prominent bitter taste. Eating vata aggravating foods can severely imbalance vata dosha.

Examples of foods that can aggravate vata are the following:

  • High amount of raw foods

  • Sprouts

  • Cold or uncooked foods

  • Maida is often avoided in a vata diet as it can increase vata due to its drying qualities.

  • High amount of dry baked goods

  • High amounts of lentils especially difficult to digest lentils like rajma, channa etc

  • Excessively rough or difficult-to-digest foods like Millets


Here’s a list of Vata pacifying foods that can help keep your body’s Vata levels in check:

  • Hot soups & stews

  • Ghee

  • Nuts

  • Coconut

  • Buttermilk

  • Olives, nourishing and oily, are considered beneficial in a vata diet for their ability to counteract dryness.

  • Whole milk

  • Wheat

  • Warm spices such as turmeric, flaxseeds, cinnamon, ginger, etc.

Ayurvedic Herbs to Optimise Vata Levels in Your Body


  • Ginger

  • Cardamom

  • Turmeric

  • Ashwagandha

  • Brahmi, a renowned berry in Ayurveda, is utilized as a remedy to enhance cognitive functions and balance the mind.

  • Hingu

  • Garlic, considered a potent remedy in Ayurveda, can be beneficial for balancing excess Vata.

What kind of exercise should people with high Vata dosha characteristics do?

Gentle, grounding practices are often recommended.

Vyayama or exercise is one part of Ayurvedic Dinacharya which everyone is supposed to do. However the exact exercise routine varies by individual and their constitution and season. In Winter, starting with Hemanta ritu, heavy Vyayama is suggested for all, as the body’s strength is much better and stronger in this season. In seasons like Greeshma ritu (summer) is a period when the grounding and cooling practices recommended by Ayurveda can help balance excess vata., less exercise is suggested for all.

Vata prakriti or Vata-dominant people are usually prone to more physical injuries than other people. Also, more than exercise they need good nourishment and rest. So keeping these factors in mind a gentle exercise programme is suggested which does not irritate the heart or cause further exertion to the bone and joint system.

Good lifestyle routines  to combat vata dosha

Ayurveda’s wisdom considers good lifestyle routines to be really important in balancing Vata dosha. As Vata dosha is light, cold and dry with mobile and irregular qualities, it is best balanced by using the opposite qualities: grounding, warmth, routine and moisture, for example.

Overwork and excess travelling can send Vata sky high, so it’s important to learn some lifestyle key tips for keeping this dosha in balance, such as sticking to regular times for meals and sleep. Out of all the doshas, a good daily routine is most important for Vata types to help balance these qualities.

The following lifestyle tips can all be helpful in keeping Vata dosha in balance:

·         Try starting one day a week with a daily self-massage to nourish skin and ease your mind. Use a warm oil such as sesame oil,Massage all over, starting from your feet or the head. Leave on for 5-15 minutes before you shower to remove excess oil and toxins and improve circulation.

·         Try to eat at regular intervals throughout the day- every four hours or so, which can help you to stay energised and grounded.

·         Aim to drink water at room temperature (or warmer) throughout the day, as this is both cleansing and hydrating for Vata’s dry quality, and unlike ice cold water, does not disturb Vata’s cold qualities.

·         Going to bed at the same time each day can also help, preferably around 10pm after a gentle wind down to end your day, something like a warm bath or some gentle, slow stretches to balance the body and mind, according to Ayurveda. Vata’s tendency for excess movement.

·         Vata types are often drawn to high-impact forms of exercise, such as jogging. However, they are balanced by a gentler, flowing, meditative form of exercises such as yoga.Stretching and swimming are also ideal, along with regular walks in natural places.

·         Autumn can be a vulnerable time for Vata types as the weather is mainly cool, dry and windy- all of which increase Vata. You may have noticed you need to take extra care to stay well at this time, so make sure you wrap up warm and slow down a little to adapt to the changing seasons.




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