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Guide to Vata Dosha Imbalance and Vata Dominant Constitutions

by Daljit Sidhu 23 Jan 2024
Guide to Vata Dosha Imbalance and Vata Dominant Constitutions

When we talk about doshas in Ayurveda, the first thing that comes to mind is what exactly doshas are and why Ayurveda science grants them so highly. Doshas are the energies that are responsible for establishing balance inside the body. These energies or doshas are of three types: Vata dosha (Kinetic energy), Pitta dosha (Thermal Energy) & Kapha dosha (Potential Energy). Doshas are formed by the combination of different universal elements which are Air, water, Earth, Fire and Space. In this blog, we will discuss Vata dosha or kinetic energy in detail, its characteristics and specifications of the person or purusha with dominance of Vata dosha.

What is Vata Dosha

Vata is a combination of two universal elements, air and space. Vata is responsible for every movement going on inside the human body, for example, movement of hands, arms, legs, neck, transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and food through the digestive tract, If Vata goes out of balance then it may result in movement restriction like in paralysis, degeneration of cells like in neurological conditions, disturbance in digestion in the form of bloating, flatulence etc.

As per dosha, there are specific characteristics that are present in a person and based on these characteristics the dominance of the dosha in the body is clarified.

The aforementioned Vata dosha is responsible for every movement in the body. It has five types and each type has its own role in the human body. So, moving forward let’s discuss the properties, five types, and factors responsible for the aggravation and pacification of Vata dosha.

Properties of Vata Dosha

Vata Dosha is having following properties: अत्रोवाच कुशः साङ्कृत्यायनः- रूक्षलघुशीतदारुणखरविशदाः षडिमे वातगुणा भवन्ति ||Charak Samhita 12/4||

 

Parameters 

Properties 

  • 1. Specific Gravity/Weight/ Volume
  • Laghu (Lightness)
  • 2. Nature
  • Ruksha (Dryness)

  • 3. Temperature or potency
  • Sheeta (Cold)

  • 4. Touch/ Texture
  • Khara(Roughness) and Vishada (Non Slimy)

  • 5. Action
  • Daruna (Severely Acting)

     

    Types of Vata Dosha

    The Five types of Vata dosha are as follows:

     

    1. Prana Vayu

    2. Udana Vayu

    3. Samana Vayu

    4. Vyana Vayu

    5. Apana Vayu

    Locations & Functions of 5 types of Vata or Vayu

    S.No Types Of Vayu Location  Function
    1 Prana Vayu

    Murdha (Head)

    Ura (Thorax)

    Kantha (Throat)

    Jihwa (Tongue)

    Asya (Mouth)

    Nasika (Nose)

    Shthivana (Spitting out)

    Kshavathu (Sneezing) 

    Udgara (Belching)

    Shwasa (Respiration) 

    Aharadi (Ingestion of food)

    2 Udana Vayu

    Nabhi (Umbilicus) 

    Ura (Thorax)

    Kantha (Throat)

    Vakpravritti (Speech)

    Prayatna (Efforts)

    Urjabalavarnadikarma (Provides strength, complexion) 

    3 Samana Vayu Antaragni parshva (Near digestive system) Provides Strength to the Digestive system
    4 Vyana Vayu  Dehavyapnoti (Whole body)

    Gati (Movements)

    Prasarana (Contraction and relaxation)

    Aakeshpa (Upward and downward movements)

    Nimesha (Opening and closure of eyelids)

    5 Apana Vay

    Vrishna (Scrotum)

    Basti (Bladder)

    Medhra (Penis)

    Nabhi (Umbilicus)

    Ura (Thorax)

    Vankshana (Inguinal region)

    Guda (Anus)

    Shukra mutra shakrit kriya (Ejection of semen, removal of urine and faces)

    Srijtya artava garbha (Menstruation & delivery of fetus)

     

     

    Factors responsible for Vata Imbalance in the Body 

    The Factors of Vata aggravation and pacification are as follows: 

    Factors responsible for Aggravation of Vata Dosha or Vayu 

    वातप्रकोपणानि खलु रूक्षलघुशीतदारुणखरविशदशुषिरकराणि शरीराणां, तथाविधेषु शरीरेषु वायुराश्रयं गत्वाऽऽप्यायमानःप्रकोपमापद्यते||Charak Samhita 12/7||

    The aggravation of Vata dosha is done by those who have similar properties as Vata dosha. The Vata aggravators are those that bring roughness, lightness, coldness, instability, coarseness, non-sliminess along hollowness within the body. Vata dosha gets shelter in such a state of the body or its parts, then gets augmented thus resulting in aggravation.  

    Factors responsible for Pacification of Vata Dosha Or Vayu

    वातप्रशमनानि पुनःस्निग्धगुरूष्णश्लक्ष्णमृदुपिच्छिलघनकराणि शरीराणां, तथाविधेषु शरीरेषुवायुरसज्यमानश्चरन् प्रशान्तिमापद्यते||Charak Samhita 12/7||

    The pacification of Vata dosha is done by those who have properties opposite to the properties of Vata dosha. The alleviating factors are unctuousness, heaviness, softness, heat, sliminess and compactness. Due to this Vata does not get accommodation and thus gets pacified or alleviated. 

    Signs of Vata Balance/ Aggravation in the body

    Vata Balance in the body 

    The Vata balance in the body is characterized by the easy ability to learn, along with constant energy and a clear and alert mind. The digestion is balanced, elimination of waste from the body is easy with good circulation and even body temperature. Sleep is sound and deep.  

    Vata Aggravation in the body

    The aggravation of Vata results in disturbed sleep cycles, lack of focus or being forgetful, feeling tired or constant fatigue, disturbed digestion along bloating and flatulence. There is a constant feeling of cold due to poor circulation along with feelings of being anxious or worried.  

    Vata Prakriti Purusha 

    Vata Prakriti Purusha has the following characteristics: 

    • The Vata Prakriti purusha has a low body weight & thin body frame. 
    • The skin is rough, dry and if not taken care then cracks easily.
    • Hairs are dry, thin and prone to break. 
    • Vata purusha has Big protruded teeth, emaciated gums and cavities. 
    • Eyes are small, dull and dry.
    • Food habits vary, mostly frequent, the bowl is hard, dry along with incomplete evacuation or constipation. 
    • Physically these people are still very active and cold intolerant. 
    • These people are very talkative, quick and responsive. 
    • The memory of the Vata people is with good grasping power but poor retention. 
    • The pulse of Vata Purusha is thready, feeble and moves like a snake. 

    Vata Dosha interaction with Kapha and Pitta 

    पित्तं पंगु कफः पंगु मल धातवः।  

    वायुना यत्र नीयन्ते तत्र गछन्ति मेघवत।। (शा पू ५/ ४३)

    Pitta, Kapha, mala (waste matter) & Dhatu (body tissue) are termed as cripples in the absence of Vata. Vayu is known to have Yogvahi properties which means it carries normal or vitiated/morbid pitta and kapha dosha. Vata dosha is responsible for both normal and abnormal activities of Kapha and Pitta. 

    Conclusion 

    Now we understand everything that is related to Vata dosha and Vata purusha (a person with the dominance of Vata dosha). Still to understand the concepts in depth one must understand the details. As mentioned in the above blog Vata dosha is a combination of two universal elements and the same is the case with pitta and kapha. Each of the doshas shares its different properties, types and characteristics. Each type has its location and role in the human body.

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