If you want to experience lifelong health, make vata dosha your friend.
The doshas, or three vital energies, help us understand how internal and external factors influence your health and well-being. Each of us has all three doshas, just in different amounts. While any dosha can become imbalanced in us at any time, the dosha you have most of is the one that is most likely to go out of balance. When you understand your tendencies related to imbalance, you can avoid doing those things and focus instead on what makes you feel your best.
When you are feeling imbalanced overall, vata is often the reason. With the light and subtle qualities of ethers and air elements that make up vata, it is the easiest of the doshas to go out of balance. And because of the mobility of the air element, imbalanced vata will disturb the other doshas toward imbalance.
It’s common to see vata imbalance in most people these days, because so many things that happen in a normal day provoke vata: high-speed travel, eating dry or cold foods (toast, chips, smoothies), constant mental stimulation, doing more than one thing at a time and excessive use of screens that flicker (television, phones and computers). When vata is out of balance, it creates anxiety, fear, a scattered mind, joint pain, gas, constipation and an inability to slow down or stop moving, among other things. If this sounds like your life, it’s time to find calm and grounding so you can experience your body and mind the way they are meant to be.
How to calm vata dosha
There are two main concepts to understand if you are looking to heal with Ayurveda. First, the principle of “like increases like, the opposite brings balance.” By understanding the qualities you are taking in through food and living and the effects you are getting, you can take healing into your own hands and immediately apply the opposite qualities that you are experiencing.
The second concept to guide your healing is understanding that food is the best medicine. Food gives you prana, which is what gives you the energy to live. Shift your focus away from supplements, herbs or medications and focus first on eating the best kinds of high-quality foods to calm and ground vata. And when vata is calm, you’ll find that you are more creative in the kitchen and can enjoy the cooking process.
A vata-balancing diet
Rather than looking at a vata-calming diet as a one-time fix, welcome these principles into your everyday eating practices. When you eat like this on a daily basis, you’ll provide stability for vata dosha that will lead to long-term positive results.
A diet to calm vata includes:
Even if you are regularly eating this vata-calming diet, remember that everything you do has an effect on the doshas. So how you eat is as important as what you eat. Eat at regular times each day. Sit down for your meals, put away your phone other distractions and chew your food until it is liquid. Your agni will improve and you will keep vata calm and happy.
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