How To Cure Vata

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How To Cure Vata
External treatments to cure vata imbalance: –

  • Wear warm and layered clothes
  • Administer regular body and head massages
  • Avoid fasting or going empty stomach for long
  • Take regular steam baths
  • Practice mild purification procedures like basti or vamana

What causes high Vata?

Cause for High Vata Levels – If your Vata levels are high, the following triggers may be the reason:

Extremely cold or dry weather. Eating cold food can increase Vata levels. Foods that are too light and quick to digest can increase Vata levels. For example, light poha. Excessive fasting, excessive workouts, extremely long brisk walks, and other similar activities for weight loss can increase Vata. In winter, the cold weather increases Vata on the skin level, resulting in dryness. Foods that dry up the mouth, skin, or stools increase dryness and aggravate the Vata. Excessive sexual activity can also cause dryness and increase Vata. Depletion of tissues can cause Vata levels to shift. Injuries on the vital points in the body (Marmas) can increase Vata levels.

Is fasting bad for Vata?

Article contributed by By Dr. Amrutha Nambiar Fasting as a practice is an integral part of many traditions, cultures and even religions. It is believed that fasting has several benefits for the mind and the body. However, it is important to know the right way to fast.

Lack of knowledge or due to wrong understanding of the practice of fasting may disturb the balance of the mind-body complex. In order to experience the benefits of fasting, we must understand about our Prakriti. Each individual possesses unique characteristics known as his/her Prakriti or nature based on the predominance of vata, pitta and kapha in the body.

Fasting according to one’s Prakriti has got proven benefits. What is fasting? Fasting does not necessarily mean complete deprivation of food. It is a method of cleansing the system with total awareness of food, breath, thoughts and all sensory experiences.

  1. Here, when we say awareness of food, it means avoiding food items which are harmful to the system and wisely choosing a diet based on one’s own Prakriti.
  2. Following a proper method of fasting will regulate the Agni (digestive fire which is responsible for proper digestion of food), remove ama (toxins or impurities which are accumulated in the body due to improper diet and regimen) and maintain ojas (vital energy) in the system, thus helping to maintain the homeostasis.

As per Ayurveda, fasting is also part of seasonal routine, including purificatory procedures (Panchakarma) with certain guidelines. Each season is also characterized by cycles of vata, pitta and kapha. Fasting based on these guidelines during specific seasons will help maintain health and vitality.

  • Why is fasting necessary? When we look into the process of digestion, the food which is ingested, with the proper jatharagni, will break down into ‘saara’ (formed as nourishment to the body) and ‘mala’ (which is the waste product that needs to be excreted).
  • The formed saara will undergo a series of transformations to form ‘ojas’ which is the vital energy in the system.

Ojas gives strength and radiance to the body. All mental and physical functions including the maintenance of a proper immune system depends on ojas. Good and properly maintained ojas is a sign of health. Improper diet and regime hampers the jatharagni leading to formation of ama.

  1. Ama is nothing but the toxins which have accumulated in the body due to impaired metabolism leading to a decrease in ojas and the blocking of the channels in the body leading to the manifestation of many diseases.
  2. When ama is accumulated in the system, it shows signs such as weakness, indigestion, bloating, malabsorption, body aches, headaches, fever, skin rashes, dryness, anxiety etc.
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Ayurveda recommends fasting as a method of removing this ama. The benefits of fasting:

Better digestion and a cleansed digestive system. Rejuvenation of the body and mind. Imbalanced dosha is pacified. Improved mental functions. Improved skin radiance and hair texture. Improved immune system. Helps in regaining the homeostasis.

FASTING FOR PEOPLE WITH DOMINANT VATA PRAKRITI If you have a predominance of vata dosha in the body or have a vata imbalance, complete fasting is not for you. Zero fasting, water fasting and prolonged fasting is not recommended for you. Because fasting will increase dryness, lightness in the body which aggravates vata in the system.

Following a khichdi diet with vata pacifying herbs and ghee for 3-5 days is a good option to detox the system for vata people. And this can be repeated once a month. Seasonal panchakarma treatment like basti (under supervision) also can be done to maintain dosha balance. FASTING FOR PEOPLE WITH DOMINANT PITTA PRAKRITI Pitta prakritis have a strong digestive fire, hence zero fasting, water fasting and prolonged fasting is not applicable for pitta prakrti and in an increased pitta state.

Sweet, bitter and astringent tasting fruit juice, vegetable juice, soups and a khichdi diet with pitta pacifying herbs are a good choice. One can choose either one day in a week or continuous 3 days in a month based on the imbalance. Virechana under the supervision of a panchakarma expert is also advisable as seasonal routine cleansing.

FASTING FOR PEOPLE WITH DOMINANT KAPHA PRAKRITI If you are healthy with a dominant kapha prakriti, regular fasting is good for you. Following intermittent fasting is highly beneficial for you. One can go for complete fasting or water fasting once a week. As a seasonal cleanse, vamana and virechana can be done as per your physician’s opinion.

CONTRA-INDICATIONS Fasting is not recommended for pregnant ladies, children, elderly people, during breastfeeding, menstruation period. Also consult your doctor for proper guidelines if you have some disease or if you are on some particular medicine. A FEW GENERAL GUIDELINES

Eat only when you are hungry. Lemon, ginger, fennel seeds, cardamom, mint, cumin, coriander seeds, etc are good to remove toxins from the body. Make sure that you drink warm water to maintain hydration and cleansing. Haritaki, triphala or castor oil can promote cleansing by balancing the dosha. Your doctor can help you to choose the combination based on your prakriti. It is normal to feel weakness and fatigue on the day of fasting. But you will feel more energetic and active from the next day. This is a sign of proper cleansing. It is always better to slow down, watch your body and mind during fasting for a desirable result. End fast with light food or juice depending on the type of fasting you have done. Give proper awareness to the digestive system and slowly get back to the normal diet.

What foods aggravate vata?

Vegetables – Indulge: Avocado, asparagus, chillies, cilantro, beets, carrots, green chillies, green beans, garlic, leek, okra, mustard greens, olives, onion, peas, parsnip, pumpkin, spinach, squash, sweet potato, and zucchini. Avoid: Artichokes, bitter melon, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots (raw), bell peppers, cauliflower, celery, chillies, eggplant, corn, dandelion (green), kale, lettuce, mushroom, olive (green), potato (white), radish, spinach (raw), sprout, tomato and turnip.

What does vata do to the brain?

Table 2 – Patterns of brain functioning for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha brain-types The first system is the frontal executive system of the brain, which includes the anterior cingulate gyrus (attention switching and error detection), ventral medial (emotional input), and the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (decision making). The Vata Brain-Type exhibits a high range of prefrontal functioning leading to the possibility of being easily overstimulated.

  1. They perform activity quickly.
  2. Learn quickly and forget quickly.
  3. They like to multi-task.
  4. Their fast mind gives them an edge in creative problem solving.
  5. The Pitta brain-type reacts strongly to all challenges leading to purposeful and resolute actions.
  6. They never give up and are very dynamic and goal oriented.
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The Kapha brain-type is slow and steady leading to methodical thinking and action. They prefer routine and needs stimulation to get going. The second system is the reticular activating system (RAS) of the brain, which is responsible for arousal level. It determines if we are highly alert, relaxed, or asleep.

  1. The Vata brain-type exhibits a high range of arousal levels leading to a sense of over-reacting to the world.
  2. They have trouble sleeping soundly.
  3. The Pitta brain-type becomes easily aroused and maintains high level of focused arousal to get a task accomplished.
  4. The Kapha brain-type is not easily perturbed.

They are calm and easy going and seldom get excited. The third system is the autonomic nervous system that includes the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (tend-and-befriend) systems. Ninety percent of our responses to the environment are governed by the autonomic nervous system.

  1. This system automatically maintains an optimal level of arousal to deal with any situation from watching a sunset to running after a taxi.
  2. The fight-and-flight response is easily turned on in Vata brain-types and is variable in its level of response.
  3. The Vata brain-type is very sensitivity to pain and cold temperatures.

Their limbs are generally cold and have poor circulation since high sympathetic activation reduces periphery blood flow. The fight-and-flight response turns on to a high level in Pitta brain-type and then return to resting levels again. Autonomic response is tied to purposeful goal oriented behavior it turns on to reach the goal and then turns off.

The fight-or-flight response is not easily evoked in the Kapha brain-type. The parasympathetic response is generally high, and the person is very steady. They are sensitive to cold and dampness. The fourth system is the enteric nervous system, which is responsible for digestion. The enteric nervous system interacts with the microbiome of the gut to modulate immune functioning and activity of the parasympathetic nervous system.

The Vata brain-type exhibits a high range of digestive power leading to an irregular appetite, irregular bowel movements, and frequent gas. They are more affected by eating late at night or over eating. That would react more to new foods. The Pitta brain-type has a strong digestion.

They are always hunger and can eat at any time and, seemingly, any food. They have loss and frequent bowel movements. The Kapha brain-type is not much affected by what or when they eat. They can easily skip a meal. The enteric nervous system interacts with satiety centers in the hypothalamus to govern feelings of hunger.

The fifth system is the limbic system, which is responsible for emotion. It includes many nuclei around the center of the brain: The amygdala for survival and fear response, the hippocampus for anger and spatial awareness, the nucleus accumbens for pleasure, the insula for saliency of experience and tie bodily states to emotions, and hypothalamus that integrates the activity of the autonomic nervous system.

  • The limbic system is highly sensitive to changes in the environment in Vata brain-types.
  • Their emotions are rich and highly variable.
  • When over-activated, the Vata brain-type can have excessive fear and phobias.
  • The limbic system provides the fire for the Pitta brain-type to react to the world.
  • Their actions are competitive and dynamic.

In excess, this can lead to irritability and angry. The Kapha Brain-Type is always smiling. They are seldom in a hurry. Nothing seems to make them angry. The last system is the hypothalamus, which is responsible for homeostasis. It automatically controls our responses to challenges, freeing us from considering hunger, thirst, and arousal levels.

The output of the limbic system feeds into the hypothalamus, which then will activate the autonomic nervous systems as needed and even activate the prefrontal cortex. The hypothalamus is intimately involved in the functioning of the other five brain areas. In Vata brain-types, the hypothalamus is constantly changing the state of mind and body.

They will experience bursts of activity and rest, and will frequently snack and drink. In Pitta brain-types, the hypothalamus has a strong on and off switch. When turned on, the autonomic nervous system functions at its maximum to accomplish the goal. There is no half-way point.

  • The hypothalamus maintains a higher core body temperature and dynamic mental and physical activity that leads to the preference for cool foods and drinks in this brain-type.
  • In Kapha brain-types, the hypothalamus maintains a slower metabolism.
  • This can lead to easily gaining weight.
  • There is slower responsiveness to temperature and situations,
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This table has been created based on the organizing principles of the three doshas in Ayurveda. If these sub-categories of functioning of brain systems are valid, then other mental and physical typologies should also be explained by the patterns of nervous system functioning described in this table.

Which oil reduces vata?

Oils for Vata – The primary qualities of vata are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle, and mobile. Most of these qualities are opposite to those of oil, so there are quite a few oils that can help counteract vata’s qualities. Plain, untoasted Sesame Oil is considered the traditional abhyanga oil for vata dosha.

Is coffee OK for vata?

Reduce or Avoid Coffee if You’re Vata Predominant – Vata dosha is especially prone to air imbalances that can manifest as dryness, anxiousness, difficulty sleeping, and variable digestion. If your predominant dosha is vata, or if you are in a current state of vata imbalance, coffee’s bitter, astringent, and mobile qualities will only make you feel worse.

How many hours should vata sleep?

HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU REALLY NEED? – From an Ayurvedic point of view, how much sleep a person needs depends on their dosha type. If you have already been with us, then you already know your dosha constitution. In this blog post you can find out for yourself which dosha type you are.

Since two doshas are dominant in most people, the mixture of the two relevant indications applies. Vata types need the most sleep. Their delicate nervous system recovers best with 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Pitta types are naturally energetic. They get back into harmonious balance with 7 to 8 hours. Kapha types have a sluggish metabolism.

Anything that invigorates them is good for them. Therefore, 6 to 7 hours of sleep is sufficient for this dosha type. Too much sleep makes them even more sluggish! Most people sleep far too little. Kapha people, on the other hand, often sleep too long. From an Ayurvedic point of view, having the right amount of sleep is the basis for balance.

What foods suppress Vata?

Walnuts, hazelnuts, and cashews make good Vata-pacifying snacks.5) Carrots, asparagus, tender leafy greens, beets, sweet potatoes and summer squash such as zucchini and lauki squash, (Indian vegetable), are the best vegetable choices. They become more digestible when chopped or cooked with Vata-pacifying spices.

How many hours should Vata sleep?

HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU REALLY NEED? – From an Ayurvedic point of view, how much sleep a person needs depends on their dosha type. If you have already been with us, then you already know your dosha constitution. In this blog post you can find out for yourself which dosha type you are.

Since two doshas are dominant in most people, the mixture of the two relevant indications applies. Vata types need the most sleep. Their delicate nervous system recovers best with 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Pitta types are naturally energetic. They get back into harmonious balance with 7 to 8 hours. Kapha types have a sluggish metabolism.

Anything that invigorates them is good for them. Therefore, 6 to 7 hours of sleep is sufficient for this dosha type. Too much sleep makes them even more sluggish! Most people sleep far too little. Kapha people, on the other hand, often sleep too long. From an Ayurvedic point of view, having the right amount of sleep is the basis for balance.