Qualities reflecting the elements of Space and Air
Vata derives from the elements of Space and Air and translates as “wind” or “that which moves
things.” It is the energy of movement and the force governing all biological activity. Vata is often
called the “King of the Doshas,” since it governs the body’s greater life force and gives motion
to Pitta and Kapha.
Just as the wind in balance provides movement and expression to the natural world, the
balanced Vata individual is active, creative, and gifted with a natural ability to express and
communicate. When the wind in a Vata type rages like a hurricane, negative qualities quickly
overshadow these positive attributes. Common signs of Vata imbalance include anxiety and
bodily disorders related to dryness, such as dry skin and constipation.
The qualities of Vata are dry, rough, light, cold, subtle, and mobile. A Vata individual will display
physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and an
The main locations of Vata in the body are the colon, thighs, bones, joints, ears, skin, brain, and
nerve tissues. Physiologically, Vata governs anything related to movement, such as breathing,
talking, nerve impulses, movements in the muscles and tissues, circulation, assimilation of food,
elimination, urination, and menstruation. Psychologically, Vata governs communication,
creativity, flexibility, and quickness of thought.
Key Words to remember: Grounding, Warming, Routine
- Eat a Vata-balancing diet.
- Eat in a peaceful environment.
- Engage in wholesome and contemplative activities (like spending time in nature).
- Follow a regular daily routine.
- Go to bed early.
- Do gentle physical exercise like yoga, swimming, tai chi, or walking.
Ways Vata Becomes Imbalanced
- Eating Vata-aggravating foods
- Eating while anxious or depressed
- Eating on the run
- Drinking alcohol, coffee, or black tea
- Smoking cigarettes
- Following an irregular daily routine
- Going to bed late at night