Feeling ungrounded and spacey??? Here is your Vata Balancing Guide!!! Vata is the energy of movement and that which controls bodily functions associated with motion. It is made up of the elements of ether and air and its attributes are dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile and clear. These energies have an impact for example on the circulation of blood, the spaces in between the in- and outbreath, as well as the spaces in between your thoughts. The seat of Vata in the physical body is the colon, the brain, ears, bones, joints, skin and thighs. Vata dominant individuals are rather thin, tall, quick thinkers with a creative flexible mind and seem to be doing too many things at a time. In the external world they tend to easily earn and spend money. Planning is not their strongest asset.
When in Balance: a great source of creativity & vitality, easy to grasp new ideas, highly active, alert
When out of Balance in the mind: can easily forget things, fearful, anxious, impatient, easily distracted, ungrounded, nervousness, insomnia, worrying
When out of Balance in the body: constipation, gas, bloating, achy lower back, cracking joints, stiffness, dry skin, irregular menstruation cycle, tremors
Vata Balancing Tips
try to slow down your lifestyle by doing less, move slower & taking hot showers. Going from the doing mode into the ‘nothing/ being mode’. If you chose to do things try not to multi task & rather do one thing at a time: so eat when you eat, read when you read, walk when you walk etc.
increase whole cooked, warm, moist & oily foods. Taste should be sour, salty & sweet.
Try to avoid raw foods & dried foods
Try to bring some structure & routine into your daily life, by rising at the same time preferably around 7am & preparing for bed time around 9:30pm
Exercise: Try to practice in the morning & evening, rather than mid-day exercise. When practicing yoga focus on slow, grounding & stabilising asanas using your ujjayi breath to keep you in the present. Meditation is also a great tool to balance your vata!
Fruits: sweet fruits such as cooked apples, apricots, avocado, bananas, berries, cherries, coconut, fresh dates, fresh figs, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, melons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapple, plums, soaked prunes, soaked raisins, rhubarb, strawberries
Vegetables: cook vegetables such as asparagus beets, cabbage, carrots cauliflower, fennel, garlic, green beans, artichokes, leafy greens, leeks, onions, peas, potatoes, sweet pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, watercress, zucchini. Avoiding nightshades (tomatoes, aubergine etc)
Grains: cooked Oats, quinoa, basmati rice, sprouted wheatbread, wheat. Avoiding yeast, corn, crackers, couscous, rice crackers, rye
Spices: fresh ginger, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, fresh black pepper, turmeric, garlic (not raw), Cardamom, cloves, mustard seed
Nuts: all nuts are good
Beans: red lentils, mung beans. use some asafoetida (hing spice) to avoid bloating. Avoiding aduki beans, black-eyed peas, chick peas, kidney beans
Animal products: fresh organic chicken, turkey, seafood, & eggs
Dairy: boil milk with a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg for optimal digestion. Most dairy is good for vata.
Oils: sesame & ghee Conclusion
Slow down, slow down, slow down!!! Focus on grounding and stabilising asanas. Prefer warm over cold foods, heavy & mildly spicy herbs. Try to keep yourself warm at all times, using warm scents & colours. Also make sure you get plenty of sleep.