So, we discussed the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth. And everyone's done their doshic quiz on Banyan Botanicals. Of course you have! So, now you have an idea of where you fall on the spectrum of constitutionality. In Ayurveda, your basic constitution is called your prakruti, this is your basic make-up or who you are in homeostasis. Now remember, you have all the elements in you, you just have more of some and less of others and this order of elements breaks down into the three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Everybody has all three doshas in them, just as they have all five elements, just more of some, less of others. And whatever your combination is perfect. I love Ayurveda: I'm perfect just the way I am. (well...)
Dosha is not the same as prakruti, but the doshas are vata, pitta, and kapha. Dosha actually means 'fault' and when the doshas in your body become imbalanced, your basic constitution becomes imbalanced and you develop your vikruti, which is who you are at the moment, but not who you are in homeostasis. If you continue in a state of vikruti, the doshas begin to behave badly in your body and can create distress and disease. Ayurveda is huge on realizing where you are going out of balance and fixing it before if becomes a problem and develops into illness. It is the Art of Paying Attention.
But first, we are going to discuss Vata, because she is the Queen of the Doshas. Some might argue with me and call Vata the King of the Doshas, but I'm a big fan of queens and, well, you get the idea anyway.
So vata is the principle of Movement. She is the only dosha that moves. She rules all movement in the body from the blinking of the eyes to the peristalsis of the GI. She rules breathing and jogging. Everything that moves is ruled by vata. That is the reason she is the Queen, without vata, none of the other doshas would move.
Vata is made up of ether and air, so you can imagine that she is light, dry, cold, rough (think wind), subtle (think space-ether), mobile, and clear. You can also see why vata people have a harder time in the late fall and winter, when these same qualities are in mother nature: dry, cold, rough, light, mobile (think wind), clear...making vata people even drier and colder. Brrr. But they love spring, when those opposite qualities are awakening: warm and moist.
Anyway, I'm off topic. Which brings me to another point about vata people. Vata people are the idea people, they are very creative and flexible. They are full of life and love to try new things. They tend to talk a mile a minute and are very mobile with their arms when they talk. They are like a burst of wind coming into a room, full of enthusiasm and ideas (though sometimes, they aren't so good at the follow through part).
Our society is a perfect example of vata. Go. Go. Go. Multitasking. Go. Go. Do. Do. Nonstop movement, going, and doing. Phones going off. Texts to be checked. E-mail. Driving places. Traveling. No time to rest.
But that is also not so good for vata. Like increases like, so all of that movement and multitasking excessively stimulates the vata personality and they need escape. One of the very best things for vata is routine, routine, routine. This keeps the vata person on track and balanced within themselves. Another great thing is a daily oil massage. Nothing extreme, just oiling up that dry skin before you get into the shower: this helps to calm the high strung nerves of vata.
Vatas easily become imbalanced, because they have that mobile quality. A vata person out of balance can't concentrate, can't keep on track, and becomes nervous and fearful. They become afraid of new things and can't stick to anything (like that routine that is so good for them). On a physical level, the excess dryness of vata can also creates constipation, gas, bloating, and stress in the colon.
Did I mention ROUTINE!!!! And oil? A nice warm sesame oil??