The Vata dosha: Simple steps to maintain health and happiness
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, Pukka's Active 35 Oil or another pure oil suitable for your skin type. 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. Eating in a peaceful environment is also very important for Vata, so try to minimise any sensory distractions and eating when moving. It's also important not to skip meals when you are busy or stressed as this can make Vata types feel ungrounded.
- 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 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, tai chi or Pilates. 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.
- Thinking of holiday destinations, a warm and slightly humid place would be ideal to counter Vata’s cold, dry qualities.