Ayurveda: Understanding and Balancing Your Vata Dosha

ayurvedic doshas doshas kaph Kapha Pitta Vata Vata Dosha

Understanding (and befriending) your Vata energy is an important first step when it comes to decision-making regarding food, self care, and lifestyle choices. As I’ve shared previously, learning about ayurvedic doshas helped me better understand my body and mind’s underlying framework. This knowledge is so powerful!

In this article, I’ll cover:

  • Common disorders affiliated with Vata
  • Common psychological characteristics of Vata
  • Ways Vata can become imbalanced (and how to balance it)
  • General dietary tips and herbal remedies to promote healthy Vata
  • Key takeaways

Vata contains the elements of Space and Air. It is the most powerful of the doshas, as it is the life force itself. It governs all movement, and carries both Pitta and Kapha. In its balanced state, Vata will maintain energy, breath, movement, the discharge of impulses, equilibrium of the tissues, and acuity of the senses.

When aggravated, it can cause dryness, desire for warmth, dark discolorations, stiffness, abdominal distention, constipation, loss of strength, insomnia, fatigue, incoherent speech, tremors, and/or stimulation overload.

The following health disorders can be associated with Vata:


Vata’s main site is in the colon, though it also dwells in the hips, thighs, ears, bones, and in one’s sense of touch.

With the doshas, it’s all about balance. When Vata is imbalanced, it can result in:

  • Fear
  • Anxious Thoughts
  • Restlessness
  • Impulsive earning and spending
  • Feeling spacey, ungrounded
  • Emotional sensitivity
  • Rash decision-making
  • Disorganization
  • Impatience
  • A lack of confidence
  • Talking fast/breathless

 Often, certain things can trigger this imbalance. These include the following:

  • Eating while anxious or on the run
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Having an Irregular daily routine
  • Going to bed too late
  • Frequent travel
  • Excess sensory stimulation
  • Suppressing creativity/sensitivity

When balanced, though, that Vata energy can be magic. Here’s what it can look like, plus some tips to get there.


When it comes to Vata, I have three words for you: Nourish, Warmth, and Routine. Consider the following dietary tips:

  • 3-4 smaller meals per day
  • Balanced breakfast
  • Prioritize sweet, sour and salty flavors
  • Prioritize heavy, moist, warming foods
  • Limit bitter, pungent, astringent foods
  • Sit down and mindfully eat
  • Eliminate white sugar caffeine
  • Avoid cold, carbonated drinks
  • Warming spices to support digestion
  • Observe gas, bloat, constipation, and adjust accordingly
  • Avoid beer and hard alcohol
  • Wine in moderation

As an herbalist, I believe strongly that specific herbs, plants, and minerals can bring you harmony - they recognize the similarities between us and them. Consider incorporating the following into your diet, and be sure to head over to the store to stock up on your favorites.


I hope this information helps you make more informed decisions regarding food and self-care, among other things! If you want to learn more, check out our posts on Pitta and Kapha.

As always, I wish you vibrant health.

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