Vata comes from the elements of Ether and Air. It translates as “wind” or “what moves things.” It is the energy of movement and governs biological activity. Vata is often called the “Ruler of Doshas,” since it governs the body’s life force and gives momentum to Pitta and Kapha.
A balanced Vata is active, creative, and gifted with a natural ability to express and communicate. When unbalanced a Vata rages like a storm, negative qualities quickly overshadow these positive attributes and reflect as anxiety and problems 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 imbalanced state.
The main locations of Vata are the colon, thighs, bones, joints, ears, skin, brain, and nerve tissues. Physiologically, Vata looks over 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
A few ways to balance Vata –
-Eating a Vata-balancing diet.
-Eating in an environment that is peaceful.
-Engaging in wholesome and contemplative activities (like spending time in nature).
-Following a regular daily routine.
-Going to bed early.
-Doing gentle physical exercise like yoga, or walking.
Ways in which Vata may become Imbalanced –
-Eating Vata-aggravating foods
-Eating while anxious or depressed
-Eating on the run
-Drinking alcohol, coffee, or black tea
-Following an irregular daily routine
-Going to bed late at night
Pitta comes from the elements of Fire and Water.
It is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body.It functions through substances such as acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile. While Pitta is mostly related to the element of Fire, it is the liquid nature of these substances that account for the element of Water in Pitta.
The qualities of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, moving, liquid, and acidic. A Pitta individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state.
The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat. Physiologically, Pitta provides the body with heat and energy through the breakdown of complex food molecules. It governs all processes related to conversion and transformation throughout the mind and body. Psychologically, Pitta governs joy, courage, willpower, anger, jealousy, and mental perception. It also provides the radiant light of the intellect.
Pitta causes a person to “overheat,”.
The balanced Pitta individual is joyful, has a sharp intellect, and lots of courage and drive. As the fire of the mind and body becomes unruly, however, the laughing Pitta quickly becomes the shouting pitta.
Anger, rage, and ego replace Pitta’s positive attributes, leaving an individual who is bitter with life and overbearing towards others.
Pitta imbalances commonly manifest in the body as infection, inflammation, rashes, ulcers, heartburn, and fever.
Key Words to Remember: Cooling, Calming, Moderation
Few Ways to Balance Pitta –
-Eat a Pitta-balancing diet.
-Eat in a peaceful environment.
-Avoid artificial stimulants.
-Engage in calming activities, like spending time in nature.
-Do calming physical exercises, such as yoga, swimming,or walking.[ Delete]
Pitta Becomes Imbalanced when-
-Eating Pitta-aggravating food
-Eating while angry
-Drinking coffee, black tea, or alcohol
-Being overly competitive
Kapha comes from the elements of Earth and Water.It is the energy of building and lubrication that provides the body with physical form, structure, and the smooth functioning of all its parts. Kapha can be thought of as the essential cement, glue, and lubrication of the body in one.
The qualities of Kapha are moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, sticky, and static. A Kapha individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state.
The main locations of Kapha in the body are the chest, throat, lungs, head, lymph, fatty tissue, connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons. Physiologically, Kapha moistens food, gives bulk to our tissues, lubricates joints, stores energy, and relates to cool bodily fluids such as water, mucous, and lymph. Psychologically, Kapha governs love, patience, forgiveness, greed, attachment, and mental inertia. With its earthly makeup, Kapha grounds Vata and Pitta and helps offset imbalances related to these doshas.
Just as a nourishing rainstorm may turn into a rampant flood, the fluids of the body may flood the bodily tissues, contributing to a heavy dampness that weighs down the body and clouds the mind. This dense, cold, and swampy environment becomes the breeding ground for a number of bodily disorders such as obesity, sinus congestion, and anything related to mucous. Mentally, the loving and calm disposition of the Kapha individual may transform into lethargy, attachment, and depression.
Key words to remember: Drying, Stimulating, and Expression
A Few Ways to Balance Kapha –
-Eat a Kapha-balancing diet.
-Eat in a loving environment.
-Avoid a luxurious, leisurely lifestyle
-Focus on non-attachment in daily life.
-Do emotional housekeeping regularly.
-Make time for introspective activities, like meditation and writing.
-Make a distinction between being nice and being taken advantage of.
-Go to bed early and rise early, with no daytime naps.
Kapha Becomes Imbalanced when-
-Eating Kapha-aggravating food
-Eating to offset emotions (like indulging in sweets when depressed)
-Spending too much time in cool, damp climates
-Not engaging in physical activity
-Spending most of one’s time indoors (especially on the couch watching TV!)
-Avoiding intellectual challenges