Summer is a time when the living is easy. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and all is well. It is a time when people largely feel balanced. It is useful to think about what balances you. What factors make you feel balanced? Ayurvedic medicine and its view of constitutional types is a great system to help balance you. Most people are a combination of at least 2 ayurvedic types- one is the primary, the other is the secondary type. The three types are vata, pitta and kapha. By understanding one’s predominant type, it is possible to choose the most appropriate dietary selections, appropriate lifestyle and environment. I will start by talking about the Vata dosha.
Vata types are the least likely to have a weight problem. They tend towards the thin side, despite eating a lot. They burn energy really quickly. Their energy levels can fluctuate as much as their appetites. Their energy comes in bursts and they can quickly expend it. They are the dosha most in need of balance.Vata types are typically very creative, even visionaries in some cases. They have alert, active minds. They can become bored easily and like mental stimulation.
Vata imbalance on the physical plane may manifest as rough skin, arthritis, constipation, insomnia, excessive sensitivity and excitability. They may suffer from anxiety, fearfulness and excessive worry when out of balance. Vatas are most sensitive to stress so they must be mindful of limiting the amount of stress they are under. Vatas are most in need of balancing and balance helps them thrive.
Eating at regular times at frequent intervals helps Vatas stay in balance. They are not the types that will feel good when skipping meals. Rather they benefit from warm foods that have some oil content and do not stimulate gas (only some beans are tolerated by Vatas so avoid most). Vatas benefit from foods that are sweet, salty, and sour. They benefit from warming spices such as ginger, cumin and cinnamon because they tend to be on the chilly side when it comes to body temperature. In the hot summer months, they can it eat salads but will feel more balanced when making sure they have enough dressing on the salad.
Overwork can definitely bring a vata into imbalance. When feeling balanced, Vata types are creative, vivacious and enthusiastic. Other things that aggravate Vata imbalance include cold, windy environments, traveling, and being on the run. Sleep, rest and meditation are key for Vatas. They need time to restore themselves and taking the time for these balancing activities is key. An environment that feels safe and secure benefits Vata.
Vata types should not do anything to extremes. Gentle exercise in the form of walking is favored over training for marathons. Hatha yoga is more calming for them then hot yoga. They may want to push it when they exercise but if they back off a little, they will feel more balanced. Moderation in everything is key to living a tranquil life for Vata types. For more information on Vatas and how to balance Vatas including more detailed info on diet, please book an appointment to discuss or read Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra, M.D.