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VATA: THE ENERGY OF MOVEMENT
Temperment CREATIVE & ENERGETIC
Elements air (vayu) + ether (akash)
Qualities dry, light, cold, mobile, rough
Season fall thru mid-winter
Main Location colon
Vata is referred to as the 'king of the doshas' because it is responsible for every movement in the body. Without vata, pitta and kapha cannot move. Eyes blinking, heart beating, talking with your hands, jumping, circulation, elimination, are all because of vata.
Since vata people are made of air and ether, they don't have a lot holding them together. They will quickly go out of balance and quickly come back into balance - think of the wind. Vatas tend to get cold easily and are prone to dry skin due to the dry, cold and rough qualities.
You can pick out who has vata as their dominant dosha because they tend to talk a lot, move a lot, and...
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According to Ayurveda, all that exist in the Universe (and planet earth, down to our teeniest cells) are 5 things: space, air, fire, water, earth.
As those 5 things combine in a gazillion different ways, we end up with mountains and dining room tables (lots of earth element), oceans and cups of tea, (lots of water element), bon fires and candles (fire, duh), and wind (our breath!) as a few examples. So these 5 elements combine to create our material world.
Therefore nature is part of us and we are part of it. In Ayurveda, this is the principle of macrocosm and microcosm: the large nature (great universe!) and the tiniest nature (our cells) are made of the same things!
So let's go a little further.
That unique blend is called our, prakruti, or our individual...
Alrighty. Let's talk about the Ayurvedic daily routine! We know doshas rule our bodies, but they also rule nature and the universe in the way of time and space. We are tiny bits of this big nature that surrounds us, so when we go in accordance with nature, we will function at our best. This daily routine will help guide you as to which energies (doshas) govern which times of day.
Doshas rule certain times of day, seasons, and stages of life, so once we know what energies are strongest at specific times, we can go with the flow of those energies to achieve overall balance.
See the chart below. Study it for a sec. Ok, now I'll go into detail about the Ayurvedic daily routine.
Let's start at 2 a.m. - Sunrise Vata Time: The body prepares itself to wake and start moving. Dreams start happening, there is movement in the bowels preparing for elimination, and the mind is closest...
The basic Ayurvedic nutrition guidelines below have a lot to do with how we eat, not just what we eat.
If you are unfamiliar, Ayurveda sees nutrition in a very different, refreshing way!
Based on the 'one size does not fit all' principle in Ayurveda, nutrition is not generalized, it is personalized. So while it might feel confusing, "Just tell me what to eat!" food is totally not totally black and white. And honestly, who wants to eat black and white food anyway?! ;)
Food should be full of rainbow colors, varied tastes, made from high quality foods, and most of all it is to be enjoyed!
So while there are foods that are "better" for you based on your dosha, don't let that confuse or frustrate you, especially if you are new to this perspective on nutrition.
Just try eating according to the guidelines below first and see if the process of eating is more fun. See if...
The body's internal digestive fire is called our agni. When agni funtions properly, whatever we have eaten gets digested and absorbed by the body's tissues. Then the body eliminates waste. Pretty simple.
However, when doshas or tissues are imbalanced due to lifestyle, diet, negative emotions, etc., agni becomes weakened or disturbed and therefore cannot digest food properly.
In Ayurveda, "You are what you digest." If you can't digest it, you'll get imbalanced!
This undigested food (and emotions) turns into ama, which is a toxic, sticky, cloudy, smelly substance that can spread from the digestive tract to other parts of the body. From there it can lodge itself into crevices (sometimes large crevices) causing clogs in channels, blood vessels and cell membranes. Yeah, eu. It's gross.
How many times have you eaten on the go, while working, during an intense conversation or while...
Learn more on optimizing your digestive fire, what food is best for your dosha and so much more in my book In Your Elements on Amazon.
Agni, our digestive fire, is responsible for processing and absorbing the foods we eat. The function of agni is the main contributor to our physical and mental health and when agni functions properly, we thrive. But when agni malfunctions, we get sick and we can accumulate ama (toxins).
Visualize agni as a little fire burning behind our belly button, responsible for digesting and assimilating our foods. But, agni needs to function properly or there will be problems. Let's think about real fire for a sec: Fire functions properly by burning and transforming substances. Or, fire can go wild and crazy if there's too much wind (think, heartburn). Or, fire can get snuffed out by too much wetness or heaviness (think, weight gain). Or, fire can have a slow low...
Welcome to Ayurveda!
The doshas are 3 energies that are made from 5 great elements: space, air, fire, water, earth. We have all three of the doshas in us, but one or two will be most dominant. When we understand which dosha governs our body-minds the most, we can craft our diet & lifestyle to suit our individual needs. When our doshas are balanced for who we are as unique individuals, we will enjoy optimal health!
For more on what doshas are, I briefly explain them in this video.
Questions should be answered based on authentic, pure you and not what happens to be true recently. Afterall, life habits can imbalance us over time. If it's very hard to choose between two answers, pick both, but for the most part try to pick only one that feels most true to you.
Add up the totals for each v, p, and k at the end. Which ever number is the highest, that is your dosha....