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Ayurveda Balancing Vata

Ayurveda Balancing Vata

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Published by: Moonlightshadow on Aug 16, 2008
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11/06/2012

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Balancing Vata’s QualitiesVata substances have many qualities or attributes. These are given below in capital lettersalong the left margin. One can offset, balance, palliate, reduce the disturbed principle byavoiding certain diet, lifestyle, and other experiences and by DOING some things of theopposite attribute or energy. Read and follow the list below for how to balance vata. AVOID the CAPITALIZED by DOING the following to help balance Vata DRY—avoid or reduce raw foods, dry climates, alcohol, eat oily foods—cook with oil,add ghee to breads not toasted, add oil to salads, etc; daily oil massage makes the skinsofter and helps strengthen yet soften it—sesame is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal,antineoplastic (colon cancer and melanoma); oil in other orifices is also a good idea for similar reasons; most soaps/determents are drying / harsh to skin—use soaps (notdetergents) such as castile soap; essential fatty acids are important for the maintenance othe cell membrane’s liquidity, flexibility LIGHT—avoid windy areas/weather, high altitudes; light foods should be reduced (theylack oiliness or protein-like components); substitute heavy bedding / clothing for light bedding / clothing—heavy things help ground vata; alcohol is light and should beavoided; the color green is good for reducing vata (green is nourishing and probablyheavy in this context), while black is to be avoided; day sleep may be an important behavioral modification for those struggling with light body weight; at times sleep in thenight will be light for this group of people, in which case herbal strategies might includenutmeg, valerian, skullcap, etc. COLD—avoid situations which promote, provoke, increase or otherwise bring your attention to depression, attachment, worry, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, insecurity,helplessness; avoid cold food, drink & weather / air conditioning, cold dairy, sweets,yogurt (and especially in evening), aged cheeses, cucumbers; to promote and increasedigestive function affected by this attribute eat pungent foods and spices such as chilies, black pepper, ginger, cayenne, cumin, ajvain, hing (asafetida), mustard seeds, drink copper water (water stored overnight in pure copper container); favor hot / moist saunas,hot, moist living climates; meditate daily to stimulate mental fire, use mustard oil incooking or externally for its heating property (when oil is not contraindicated); wear warm clothing, scarves, hats, to prevent chilling in cool, windy weather, etc.; despite theabove advice to walk barefoot for grounding avoid walking on cold surfaces
 
 ROUGH—avoid eating raw foods, which are rough in their nature; rough surfacesirritate vata sensibilities; many cleansers are rough to skin so avoid them by using gloves,etc.; the feature is implied in uneven sleeping surfaces—avoid them; avoid experiencingsentiments that are harsh, cruel, crass, rough SUBTLE—those sensory, mental, emotional experiences which are strong and createimpressions on the person should be avoided; alcohol is subtle and should beminimized/avoided; stimulants generally should be avoided MOBILE / ERRATIC—avoid excessive physical or mental activity; avoid physicalactivity that is stop-and-go in its quality; avoid vigorous physical activity during the vatatime 2-6 PM; daily routine should be regular to help control this vata quality; groundingactivities help slow down vata—walking on the earth in bare feet or working in the soil(gardening) with bare hands; gazing at the mountains helps ground vata movement;creating bonds with groups and things helps build roots—e.g. owning pets and joiningaffinity or support groups; swaying, swinging, agitated movements of limbs is a sign of deficient/defective rest, which suggests that one should stop the nervous motion andexpand and improve the quantity/quality of rest CLEAR—clear quality accompanies light and rough things or foods, especially air,alcohol and such; one should reduce exposure to these; take more oily/heavy food(cloudy foods are opposite to clear—these include milk products); viewing coloredmaterials—colored light, colors in nature, etc. in the green, red, orange, and yellowspectra helps balance this feature of vata (while other colors are strictly speaking oppositeto clear these are not balancing to vata); alcohol is clear and should be avoided BITTER—bitter taste in the mouth is indication of high vata; avoid or reduce bitter tasting foods such as mustard, collard greens, etc.; bitterness in emotions producesseparation / isolation--situations which provoke it should be avoided; isolation in life alsoleads to increased bitterness and suggest a balance of social interaction for ahealthy/happy life 
 
ASTRINGENT—avoid or reduce astringent foods as they are drying—these includemainly beans, but also apples, pears, pomegranates, etc.; wind is drying unless especiallyhumid and should be reduced;RAJAS—this feature of the mind, common to vata, promotes the active / dynamicaspects of life, addictive behavior, self-centered behavior—these features should beavoided as much as possible The Big Picture1. Remove the causes of the imbalance by direct behavioral avoidance; give particular attention to the attributes of the imbalance as detailed above2. Remove excess vata by elimination therapies—pancha karma· Do therapeutic enemas as indicated· Do nasal administrations as indicated· Do heating, oleating, nourishing therapies as indicated3. Balance vata· Avoid its attributes in food, emotions, thinking, lifestyle· control metabolism and the nervous system with dietary, lifestyle, and activitychanges to promote groundedness, heaviness, and oiliness4. Balance / strengthen digestion· Increase fire component in food, lifestyle· Increase sour and salty foods in diet especially when cold is problematic to theimbalance5. Eliminate tissue toxicity— · Herbal and dietary strategies that help eliminate heavy metals, petro-chemicalsetc.· Avoid suppression of urges

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