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The Vata Dosha

Pitta is lame, kapha is lame. They go wherever the wind (vata) takes them, just like clouds.” Ayurvedic teaching.

Vata in Sanskrit literally means wind, which is why the vata constitution, or dosha, is known for having the quality of wind and space at its heart. Like the wind, vata is the force of communication and movement in the body, influencing the other two doshas – indeed, without vata, both the pitta dosha and the kapha dosha are inert.

The qualities of vata

Cold, light, rough, mobile, irregular, subtle, clear, dry and astringent.

The function of vata

Vata is responsible for all movement in the body: the flow or breath, the expression of speech, the circulation of the blood, the elimination of waste, and the regulation of the immune and nervous system. It moves the diaphragm, muscles and limbs, and also stimulates the intellect.

The physical manifestations of vata

Those with dominant vata tend to have low body weight, and struggle to put weight on. Their physical frame is thin and slender, their face tends to be long and angular, and they’re either very tall or short. They have dry skin and poor circulation, often suffering with cold hands and feet.

The emotional manifestations of vata

Vata is dynamic in nature, as such it manifests as energetic bursts. Vata types move like the wind, love change, and are very impulsive. When in balance, they’re also creative, bursting with ideas and inspiration, usually becoming inventors, dancers, writers or artists.

When vata is in balance

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.

When vata is out of balance

With an excess of vata, you may lose weight, experience piercing pains or spasms, numbness, dry skin, dehydration, excessive bloating, erratic digestion or insomnia. Too little vata and you may feel sluggish and lazy, you may become increasingly fearful, anxious, lonely and depressed. Later in life, vata may bring diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis.

How to balance your vata

You can balance vata’s cold, airy tendencies by increasing its opposite qualities: such as bringing more warmth, stability and earthiness into your life – staying warm at all times, keeping a regular sleep pattern, and enjoying earthy spices and foods can all help.

If you’d like to discover how to balance your vata in more detail, A Pukka Life by Master Herbsmith and Ayurveda practitioner, Sebastian Pole is worth the read. 

Meet the author

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Sebastian Pole, Sebastian Pole, Co-founder and Master Herbsmith

Hello There. I’m a Co-founder and the Master Herbsmith at Pukka Herbs. As well as having the most amazing job of formulating all our organic teas and supplements I am a passionate environmentalist – that’s why we are 100% organic, pioneers in sustainably sourcing herbs with FairWild, and we give 1% of our turnover for rejuvenating the Planet. I also run my own herbal practice in Bath which I’ve done since 1998. I practise an eclectic blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western Herbal Medicine and am a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners. I love using the principles of Ayurveda (aka the ancient art of living wisely) – coupled with insights of traditional healing and modern science - to help create the best of health. Inspired by my time in India, I love cooking a vegetarian feast and rely on regular yoga practice with lots of herbal teas and tonics to keep me well. I am passionate about running a business that inspires positive change and brings the benefit of the incredible power of plants to everyone we connect with – from our farmers, collectors, Pukka team to you. I live on a two acre garden-farm in Somerset where I grow a rainbow spectrum of medicinal and nourishing plants for my bees and family to thrive on. 

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