You may be a vata body type, which means you are a normally lean, skinny minnies, often with long, thin frames and narrow shoulders and hips. You may be frustrated because you might be suffer bloating, constipation or IBS and put on weight around your stomach – where you have never put on weight before. Your hair might be thinning and becoming dry and brittle. Your energy is not like you remember and you have lost that joy for life.
The good news is you can learn how to have a balanced you!
In Ayurveda we all fit within one of three different body types – these are vata, pitta or kapha. This will be your individual constitution, or make up and it influences everything from your physiology and physique, to likes, habits and emotional character as well as vulnerability towards certain diseases. By knowing, and working with your individual body type, or dosha, it’s easier to address diet and lifestyle imbalances that come in the way of achieving real health and vitality. So the first step on the journey to better health is getting to know your unique “body”.
Today we’re looking closer at vata dosha – which is associated with the elements of the air or ether. If you missed my post last week, you can read it here, it will give you a brief overview of the three different body types. If you don’t know your body type yet, you can find out with our online questionnaire – it’s painless and only takes a few minutes.
Vata body types often have long, thin frames, narrow shoulders and hips as well as small, or petite, facial features. Hair tends to be quite dry, maybe curly or frizzy. You often have cold hands and toes, and prefer to live in a warm or humid climate.
Vata’s are a teacher’s delight, you’ll love to learn and grasp concepts quickly. Constantly moving around and mobile, vata body types are renowned for not being able to sit still. You’ll be quick-minded, creative and full of new ideas – often seen as visionaries. When in balance you’ll be happy, joyful and enthusiastic.
On the downside you can suffer worry, anxiety and problems with your nervous system. Changeable in nature and less stereotyped than the other two groups, you’ll often have irregular sleeping patterns – even having trouble sleeping, or suffering from insomnia.
Vata body types are often hungry at different times of the day (or night) and tend to have irregular appetites. Too busy, or forgetting, to eat, or even notice if you’ve missed a meal, it’s helpful if you can be be aware of eating/ digestion, otherwise there may be a struggle with food sensitivities and irregular bowel motions, even ending in constipation. Eating small meals regularly (this can be up to six times a day), is a good way for vata body types to avoid these issues.
Other health concerns to watch out for are worry, anxiousness, arthritis, confusion, flatulence and bloating and joint issues (mainly the constantly cracking type).
The kinds of diet that will suit vata are warm moist and grounding foods such as avocado, whole milk, ghee, root vegetables and cooked grains
Food that should be avoided are drying foods, like popcorn, crackers, coffee and nicotine as well as too much raw food, like salads.
Lifestyle and exercise
Always moving around, vata personalities tend to love travel and adventure – particularly to places where the sun is shining. Energy comes in bursts and you’ll love excitement and change.
Even though vata body types have a high level of activity, stamina can still be a problem and you often overcommit, or feel overwhelmed, by what you have agreed to do. Many vata body types only sleep six to seven hours a night, or less; will be a light sleeper or may even suffer with insomnia. Generally a morning person, vata will be up with the sun (even if you didn’t go to sleep earlier enough).
With you’re changeable nature, exercise routines that will suit vata personalities are yoga, walking, especially bush walking, pilates, bicycling and dancing.