How to fix the vata dosha imbalance that's making you tired, nervous and twitchy
A good massage will do the trick
Once upon a time at an dosha dinner with other writers, we discovered that a majority of our jumpy creative tribe were vata-inclined. These sorts are the airy life of the party, leaping from one conclusion and idea to the next, imaginations unfettered. But just breathe down the neck of any wired ink-slinger and be ready to be blown away like a blimp on a blustery day.
According to Ayurveda, there are three body types or doshas, each with a unique set of physical and emotional characteristics — a creative vata, a competitive pitta or an intellectual kapha. Dr. Nikhita Shere, an Ayurvedic doctor at Forest Essentials, says the vata personalities have a pre-dominance of the ‘air or wind’ energy. “Air is always free flowing from one place to another, and it may not have a defined direction, but always has momentum.”
A Vata out of whack
According to Ayurveda, there are two primary reasons for disease in the body. The millennial routine of an unhealthy diet and late-night binge watching, coupled with the double whammy of changing seasons and pollution, toxins accumulate.
“When the mind, body and soul are not in complete harmony, the body is susceptible to develop imbalances,” says Dr Shere, who recommends one visit an Ayurvedic doctor for a thorough dosha analysis to determine one’s prakriti or constitution.
The dosha is no stoic sentinel who stays static throughout one’s life, but are dynamic, constantly changing in response to the diet, lifestyle, season and any sensory input that feeds our mind and body.
“Vata intensifies during autumn and early winter when the leaves fall, the plants recede back into the earth and the wind leaves us dry and cold,” explains Dr Shere, who spells out how we can keep the airy fairy in check.
Energetic, enthusiastic and spontaneous, an imbalance in vata leads to anxiety, stress and fear. It doesn’t only gift you with a frazzled emotional state, be ready to deal with “dry and dehydrated skin, chapped lips, digestion-related difficulties like bloating, heaviness and feeling of fullness at all times,” says Dr Shere.
While the intuitive vata types have their radar attuned to wellness, execution is another matter.
Here’s how to correct a vata dosha imbalance
- The beauty of a routine: Follow the simple rules of an Ayurvedic lifestyle, the “Dinacharya” or daily rituals, and “Ritucharya” which refers to the seasonal regime. Tackle modern living with a routine, and glide over any niggling lifestyle bumps by being mindful of what our body signals us and act in accordance with the same.
- Take care of yourself: Slow down, relax, nourish and ground yourself.
- Eat, sleep and exercise regularly: A fixed schedule is your best friend. No more binge-watching or gorging on late night snacks.
- Book yourself into a spa: Abhyanga or an oil massage with warm oil is great to nourish you and tone your skin.
- A slow, stretchy exercise routine: Before you sign up for HIIT classes, to balance the vata you need a gentle exercise routine that includes a calming, stretching-focused form of yoga or walking. Any rigorous jumping around should be avoided.
Drink your vata dosha imbalance away
Dr Shere recommends a yummy tridoshic tea that works to balance all three doshas — vata, kapha and pitta. While the fennel and cardamom help to balance vata, the coriander and jaggery soothes pitta, and finally, the cumin, turmeric and ginger calm kapha.
“This tea can be consumed in all seasons and can be personalised by adjusting the quantity of herbs to suit your mind-body type,” she says. So, what are you waiting for, put the kettle on and slurp up some goodness.
· Water- 10 cups
· Coriander seeds- 3 tbsp
· Fennel Seeds- 1 tbsp
· Cumin- 1 tsp
· Turmeric- ½ tbsp
· Ginger grated- 1tbsp
· 6 pods of cardamom
· Jaggery for taste
In a big pot, heat 10 cups of water. In a mortar, crush coriander, fennel, cumin add cardamom and to boiling water in the pot. Add grated ginger and turmeric. Let this tea boil for about 5 mins. Add jaggery and boil for 2 more mins. Let the tea steep for at least 5 mins before serving it.