Everyone has a combination of all three constitutional dosha, but one of them is usually primary, one secondary and the third less prominent. Thus, each person has a particular pattern of physical characteristics that make up their individual constitution known as ‘prakriti’. If you look at any current imbalances in your health, known as ‘vikriti’, you can help to correct this imbalance by choosing the correct food, herbs or yoga posture for you.
Air is the dominant element in a vata constitution, which means that the seasonal changes occurring during autumn, where wind increases and the weather becomes cooler and drier, can really aggravate this dosha. Vata is the constitution that's most at risk of becoming out of balance during the autumn months. Like a sudden gust of wind can cause you to lose your balance, the vata constitution is also at risk from losing their stability.
A balance of vata in the body brings comfortable movement, regular breathing, a consistent appetite, normal bowel function, positive enthusiasm, healthy desire, good energy, a calm mind and inspirational creativity. If your vata becomes tipped out of balance you may lose weight, have increased dryness of the skin, hair and bowels, feel dehydrated, have excessive bloating, erratic digestion and suffer from insomnia and anxiety.
You can balance vata’s cold, airy and dry tendencies by increasing its opposite qualities and introducing more warmth, earthiness and oily nourishment into your life. This includes staying warm at all times, keeping a regular sleep pattern, and enjoying earthy spices and foods.
The vata diet is about nourishing the nervous system, raising the digestive fire and aiding the body in absorbing nutrients. It is particularly beneficial at the vata times of year which are primarily spring and autumn.
Eat at regular intervals and don’t over-eat or forget to eat. Relax and spend time with your food
Practice relaxation methods such as yoga and mindfulness. Yoga postures that are particularly suited to vata types are those which are more grounding and strengthening such as the corpse and lotus poses
Keep yourself moisturised with warming, unctuous oils such as sesame
Emphasise foods that are warm, soupy, heavy and oily. Increase your intake of natural oils
Favour foods that are sweet, sour or salty
Reduce foods that are cold, dry or hard
Reduce foods that are very spicy, bitter or astringent
Avoid refined foods, stimulants and processed foods
Herbs to help balance the changeable nature of vata in the autumn are those that support our nervous system. Try Pukka supplements such as which will help the body and mind adapt and conserve energy. Vata women may notice that their menstrual cycle also starts to experience irregularities, trying the or Supplement can help re-establish hormonal balance.
Don't know your dosha? Take our dosha to find out.
As a BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Jo is passionate about bringing these two ancient sciences together to help people feel empowered about their health. Jo has put her post-graduate certificate in education to good use, co-founding the Ayurveda academy to help others learn of the wonders of Ayurveda. Jo has also earned a Masters degree in human sciences from Oxford University and has taught in several schools
BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher
20 years as a Hatha yoga teacher/ayurvedic practitioner
Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association