21 Tips for Vata Dosha
70% of diseases begin with Vata elevation. In large strokes, Vata is elevated by frenetic, jam packed 24/7 lifestyles, by overstimulation, by cold dry weather and cold dry food, by too much bitter medicines, by raw food, lack of rest, and by the flight aspect of the fight or flight response. Vata elevates in everyone from Late Autumn thru Early Winter. Vata’s default response to real or perceived danger is fear and anxiety, because in nature the natural respose is to flee. Flight requires running. Anxiety and fear manifest as “movement where there should be calm.” Here are 21 tips for Vata dosha balance.
The Beginning of Health in Ayurveda is Lifestyle and Diet
The basis of health in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine are prevention. Lifestyle and Diet. You cannot cure with a drug or herb what you have created with a lifestyle and diet. . In Ayurveda the diet should match the dosha. There are general principles that everyone follows to prevent disease, but here are a specific 21 tips that will help you keep Vata dosha in balance.
*establish a regular routine of food, exercise, rest, and sleep
*do an Ayurvedic self-massage with warm sesame oil or herbalized sesame oil 1x a week
*get plenty of rest—early to bed early to rise for Vata.
*avoid stimulants like coffee, tobacco, alcohol, firearms
*eat warm, nourishing meals on a regular basis. Minimize dry and cold foods like cold cereal.
*eat meals with friends or alone quietly, but not in front of the TV or while reading.
*favor foods that are warm, heavier, oily/unctuous, sweet, sour, and salty.
*reduce cold, dry, light, spicy hot, bitter, astringent foods and meals
*no iced beverages, cold or carbonated ones.
*favor warm liquids. In India, old folks drink hot water. They are in the Vata stage.
*stay warm during cold, windy weather
*remedy dry weather with a humidifier and with self oil massage with sesame oil
*create a calm quiet home environment with meditation and simple non-cluttered decorating
*take vacations to warm moist calm places like rural areas in the tropics
*have fun, but avoid excessive stimulation like at casinos, Las Vegas, noisy restaurants. Try museums and cathedrals instead.
*reduce unnecessary travel. When you can walk or take the train rather than drive.
*deal with issues creating anxiety. Talk it over. Work with a psychologist if you need to. Meditate.
*treat insomnia if you have it. You need to sleep. Use herbs and deal with issues keeping you up
*have good sleep culture. Nothing electronic in the bedroom–no TV, no illuninated radio clock. Keep the clock in the other room. Let the bedroom be a refuge from artificial concepts of time and stimulating electronics. Do body scanning/progressive relaxation at night before bed.