You Are a Vata Type!
The main characteristics of Vata are dry, cold, light, irregular, mobile, and subtle, which can manifest in various ways for you.
You are often on the go, and usually busy both mentally and physically. You value your time, tend to place deep importance on the things that you do, and are more altruistic than most others. Simply put, you care and genuinely strive to make a difference. As a result, Vata types, like yourself, are most likely to feel the urge for self-development or in some cases, the spiritual impulse. Having this inherent tendency is something that you’ll need to be mindful of, in that it could steer you toward obsession and fanaticism as well. You’re also susceptible to indecision and constant change throughout your life.
More About You …
The dry, light, and cold qualities of Vata play a main role in your physical makeup and tendencies. Physically, Vata types are usually thin and have trouble gaining weight. You also have a tendency toward dry skin and hair, and your skin is frequently cold to the touch. It’s no surprise then that you probably love the sun!
DIGESTION and APPETITE: Your appetite is often variable and irregular. You might also feel dizzy, disoriented, or lightheaded when you’re hungry, and often need snacks between meals to keep going. Your preference is generally for hot, oily, heavy, and spicy foods. You’re prone to constipation, bloating, and gas. Good eating habits, therefore, are essential for you to experience good digestion (see VATA dietary recommendations on the next page).
ENERGY LEVELS: You are prone to fluctuations in energy levels, with frequent bursts. One minute you are charging all over the place, and the next you’re crashing out. Compared to other constitutions, you likely possess low stamina for physical exercise and can easily push yourself past the point of exhaustion.
SLEEP: You might often have insomnia, as many Vata types do, and wake up with your head full of thoughts and superficial worries. Your dreams often involve flying, jumping, running, being chased, or some other fear-inspired episode.
TEMPERATURE: Vata dosha is easily aggravated by cold and especially windy weather. There is a lack of internal heat production, causing you to crave warmth and the sun. You are also over-sensitive to pain and noise, as well as drafts.
SEX DRIVE: Ok, I’ll just say it, you think a lot about sex! Vatas, more than any other dosha, tend to be sexually active and lead a satisfying fantasy life, though like other things Vata, your sexual appetite can vary from day to day. Your passion is quick to arouse and peak, and can be very intense. All of these inclinations mean that you might overindulge in sex, which can deplete your mental and physical energy. Fertility, for Vatas, tends to be lower than average. When it comes to menstruation, Vata-predominant women tend to have very irregular cycles and may miss periods, especially if they over-exercise or if their weight drops too low. Vata menstrual cramps are usually the most intense of the three doshas.
You are blessed with a quick mind, strong intuition, flexibility, and resourcefulness. You are also restless, active, and curious, always searching for stimulation. If you don’t find it, you can easily turn to worry and anxiety to keep your mind occupied. In general, you are quite ambitious, but at the same time, rarely feel satisfied. You also tend to be indecisive. Intellectually, you grasp theoretical concepts well and are a creative and innovative thinker, so coming up with new ideas is rarely a problem for you.
WORK: You are a reliable and quick worker with a strong initiative. However, you can also get distracted and often have trouble finishing the things you start.
FINANCIAL: You spend money quickly and impulsively, often with regret and worry later on.
HABITS: You usually find difficulty in routine and hence tend to lead a rather scattered, disorganized life. As a result, it can be difficult for you to follow any particular lifestyle regimen. This is somewhat balanced, however, by your openness to change and attempts at self-improvement.
You tend to be emotionally inconsistent and highly changeable, and are often quick to respond without thinking. When ‘on,’ you are the life of the party, but you also run out of steam before the end of the night. Given your open and friendly nature, you tend to make friends easily but may not always keep them for very long.
POSITIVE TRAITS: You have many positive emotional traits: cheerful, enthusiastic, resilient, imaginative, spontaneous, sensitive, exhilarating, friendly, flexible, adaptable, stimulating, alert, and optimistic.
NEGATIVE TRAITS: On the negative side, you tend to be nervous, complaining, restless, apathetic, unfocused, spacey, depressed, impatient, fearful, fragile and insecure, unpredictable, high strung, chaotic, and quick to burn out. Your overactive mind can also lead to irrational jealousy and difficulty concentrating in stressful situations.
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The most important thing you can do for your health, both mentally and physically, is to adhere to a lifestyle that will keep Vata in check. If it does become aggravated, however, then it’s important to recognize this and, as best as possible, make immediate changes to your surroundings and your situation. At the very least, avoid continuing any activity that will make things worse.
As a Vata-type person, you naturally prefer a calm, quiet environment. You like to keep warm, and you need plenty of rest and downtime to feel at your best.
Here are a few things to avoid:
- Over-exerting yourself physically.
- Over-extending yourself mentally and emotionally (i.e., taking on too much responsibility and becoming stressed and mentally fatigued).
- Cool, dry, and windy conditions.
- Loud, chaotic environments.
- Cold drinks, white sugar, and caffeine.
- Worry and anxiety.
- Impulse spending.
- Investing too much of yourself (your time and energy) into things that you find unfulfilling.
- Overindulging in sex.
- Working late at night and going to bed with worry or an agitated mind.
Here are a few things that can help calm and balance Vata:
- A warm bath (and keeping warm in general).
- An oil massage (and soothing aromatherapy too).
- Yoga, meditation, and other grounding practices.
- Spending quiet time reading or doing something alone that interests you and stimulates your creative mind.
- Engaging in work and/or other inserting and fulfilling activities.
- A warm, soothing cup of tea and spending some quiet before going to bed to calm your mind.
When it comes to food, we all need to indulge our cravings from time to time. Making a religion out of the food we eat misses the whole point of living a happy, healthy life. Adhering to a diet that mostly includes foods that are good for us and avoids those that can throw our dosha into an aggravated state, is a sane and realistic dietary approach.
Important in Ayurveda are the principles of “like increases like” and using “opposites as medicine.” Vata is increased by pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, which all have cooling and drying effects. Foods with these qualities should be eaten in moderation or generally avoided. On the other hand, sweet, sour, and salty tastes help to bring needed moisture and warmth to the body and can have an immediate effect in calming an aggravated Vata.
- Eat warm, freshly cooked, oily, and nourishing foods (like soups and stews).
- Spice up your food.
- Eat foods that are salty, sour, or sweet (naturally sweet foods, such as grains and fruits, and natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup).
- Drink fruit juices, warm drinks, and herbal teas.
- Eat moderate portions, more frequently. Have snacks in between meals to stave off hunger.
- Dairy and dairy products are good in moderation.
Foods to Avoid:
- Raw foods, cold drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Dry or puffed grains (cereals and granola).
- Refined sugars.
- Most legumes (beans, peas, etc.).
- Don’t eat large, heavy meals, which will hinder your digestion.
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