"What are common vata imbalances, anyway? And how do I know if I have one?"
In Ayurveda, vata is the energy of movement, responsible for all movement in the body. Vata is one of the three doshas. Vata is fast, irregular, cold, dry, light, and mobile.
When vata increases in us, in our body we might feel digestive problems like constipation, bloating, cramping, distention, gassy. In the mind, we can feel anxiety, we can feel like a racing mind, worry, panic, fear, insecurity, lack of confidence.
Anybody feel those things? Totally, and I've certainly been there too! Vata dosha is quick-moving so we have to be consistent with our practices because it can easily and quickly go out of balance. The good news is, it can come back into balance just as quick — so let's talk about how to do that!
#1) Three meals a day. Vata dosha, like I said, is irregular — especially when it comes to those digestive problems like constipation, cramping, bloating, gassies, etc.
Well, those digestive problems can even out if we actually even out our meals! Now, I know some of you out there might like to eat like eight meals a day, and munch like a snack-y goat all day long (yep, I'm lookin' at you!).
But what vata really needs, is structure.
Structuring and scheduling three meals a day, would do really well for our digestion because our agni (digestive fire) knows when it can anticipate food. And it starts to even out and become regular. Those bloaties, gassies, and discomforts actually start to even out a bit...with this caveat: Make sure that your foods are warm and grounding.
For more details, check out the 70 best foods for vata.
By warm and grounding, I mean no salads, no raw foods, no cold foods, no bubbly water, ice, all of those things that are too cold and too dry and too raw. Those foods are a little bit too hard on our digestive fire, and that's where we'll see those digestive problems. So, three meals a day, and make sure that they're warm and grounding.
#2) Add structure to your day. So, for example, if you have something in the morning that you do, at the same time every day, and you have something in the evening that you do at the same time every day, that sets a structure.
I know we're all really busy, we're racing around, we have a busy schedule. We got traffic and commuting. We've got groceries. We've got kids to run around. We've got demanding bosses. We've got all of these things that we're trying to balance, especially in the middle of the day. The easiest to provide structure for yourself is in the morning, and in the evening.
For example, maybe your morning routine, is to wake up at the same time every day, have a glass of water, do 15 minutes of exercise, take your shower, and off you go. Just an example, but maybe that's the routine — you do the same things at the same time each day.
Use either morning, or evening, to create some kind of structure in your day, so you can feel reliability and groundedness that vata needs.
#3) Make a small, do-able to-do list. So, don't give yourself like 10 things to do all day long, because you're not going to be able to finish them, and then you're going to feel like a failure, and then, your confidence is going to be shot, 'cause you actually didn't complete what you really wanted to complete.
So, just make it easier on yourself, and choose only like three important things that you need to do for the day.
With three things, a) you won't forget them, and b) you will actually adhere to them and complete them. Which makes you feel so much better, would build some of that confidence.
#4) Say no. When we get into situations where we're overwhelmed, and we're over-scheduled, a lot of the cause is because we said yes to those things in the first place, and we don't want to let people down. *raise your hands if you feel that!*
And then even worse, when we're overwhelmed, we don't want to feel like a flake by saying, "No, just kidding, I actually can't do that, even though I already said yes."
So, avoid that by saying no in the first place. It's not something that you really, really love or if you're not really excited about it, just be like, " You know, I would love to, let me know next time."
Whether it's a volunteering opportunity, or an event, or something that you're just like, I can't do one more thing! You don't have to say yes.
#5) Get high-quality sleep (check out my video for sleep help). If we are not sleeping, we don't get the restoration, the calm, the quiet, and the darkness that our body needs.
Vata dosha is all about the energy of movement. So if we're up for a long time, if we're doing all these things, and we're moving around constantly, even if we're just looking at the computer, what we see still engages our mind, which tells our body that we're busy.
So, just know that sleep is super important to balance vata so that we get grounded stillness and restoration.
#1) Three scheduled meals a day. They should be warm, and they should be grounding, and easy to digest. No salads, no raw foods.
#2) Keep a good, reliable schedule. Create some structure in your day.
#3) Make a small to-do list of just three "musts" and complete them.
#4) Say no, or build space between when you say yes or no.
#5) Get high-quality sleep.
Now, as you put these into practice ... choose one or two that you can start to work on right away. And then as those become a habit, you can add more.
To enhance your life with more Ayurveda, connect with me on:
'Bringing Ayurveda to Life' Podcast
And, keep bringing Ayurveda to life!
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