Sometimes the small things we take for granted are the ones that matter the most, especially when it comes to our wellbeing. For instance, take a step back and look at the meaning of Vata Dosha - Vata loosely translates to moving like wind, while Dosha translates to the mind-body type.
However, Vata Dosha represents the principle of motion’s force in both the body and mind. In a simple language, when you have a healthy dosha, you experience unimpeded, graceful and yet controlled movement within the body. But in the case of imbalance (an unhealthy dosha), these body movements become excessive, erratic, decreased or blocked.
Qualities/properties of Vata dosha
While seeking to understand everything about Vata Dosha, it is crucial that we understand its characteristics and qualities in the human body. A body and mind predominated by the Vata Dosha are characterized by being light, mobile, dry, cold, rough, hard, subtle, sharp and flowing. But to help you get a clearer meaning of Vata Dosha, I will break Vata Dosha further down to its five core components (subdoshas). Remember, every subdosha hold a definition of the direction of movement, and also governs the specific actions your body takes, as discussed below.
Prana Vayu is a magnetic force of attraction that represents the force that makes you draw a sensory experience. Its functioning determines the kind of impression you expose yourself to. This subdosha resides in areas where choices are made, desires dwell, and experience is processed: that’s in the head and chest. When you have a healthy Prana Vayu, you are drawn to that which is harmonious and gives health and well-being. Otherwise, you misuse your senses and let that which causes diseases to get inside of you.
Samana Vayu is a representation of the absorption force, meaning it pulls the impressions you’re drawn to towards the center of your well-being. A healthy Samana Vayu translates to proper absorption of impressions. On the other hand, a dysfunctional Samana Vayu translates to poor absorption of impressions, malnourishment, and numbness in some instances.
In the process of using cellular energy to work, there’s a production of wastes, and that’s where Apana Vayu comes in. It has a responsibility to clean these wastes. The waste elimination process happens mainly through defecation, urination, and menstruation. In short, Apana Vayu takes charge of all the energies flowing downward of the body, including vaginal childbirth.
Vyana Vayu plays a role in ensuring that actions follow the absorption of impressions. In other words, Vyana Vayu represents the force that shares the responses; moving from the center outwards. An example of Vyana Vayu is the sending of a signal from the central nervous system (CNS) towards a specific muscle or organ.
Udana Vayu is responsible for expressing and taking action. In other words, putting the acquired energy to work. Remember, cells acquire energy for purposes of carrying out their unique actions. The nerves also have a role to give instructions to organs and muscles to properly perform specific actions. Lastly, the body uses supplied nutrients in the production of cellular energy and in building proteins.
In conclusion, healthy living requires a balanced Vata Dosha. However, in case you experience an imbalance, make a deliberate move to restore the balance by increasing the Vata Dosha qualities. Some of the tools you can use to restore the balance may be dietary, massage oils, lifestyle, mantras, colors, or aromas. However, one very important lifestyle tool you can use to support healing and maintain health in the affected Vata individual is to adopt regular healthy routines that are harmonious with nature’s rhythm. As a Vata individual, you can also attain stability by eating and sleeping at regular times of the day or night.