There are various ways to balance Vata dosha, and the more you combine the better.
Vata is naturally light, cool, changeable, quick-moving and dry, so balancing it means minimizing these qualities, which can be done through diet and lifestyle.
And here we are going to have a summary of how to balance Vata dosha.
1. Vata’s Diet
The best foods for you are those that are freshly cooked, wholesome, not rough, not dry, warm and nourishing; there should be enough liquid and oil (butter) in your diet.
Always eat warm or hot food and drinks – such food will counteract the coldness of this dosha.
Avoid cold drinks and food – these aggravate Vata. The common sign that you were affected by such foods is bloating and gases.
If you have leftovers from the previous day and you want to reheat them – think twice. While it may work once or twice, if you are going to regularly consume such reheated stuff, you’ll have hard time fighting your aggravated Vata dosha.
Your meals should be generally moist; dry food will increase the dosha, since it is its quality.
The same goes for raw vs. cooked foods: while there should be some raw dishes in your diet, do not give them the priority in your meals, since the majority of raw products increase Vata (the exception is made for juicy fruits and vegetables).
By the way, moist meals do not only mean ‘watery’ or ‘juicy’, but ‘oily’ as well. If there is lack or oil or butter in your dishes, you may have difficulties with timely elimination of wastes.
Smooth foods are better than rough, but do not think of ‘refined’ stuff as the most suitable here. Actually, the case is the opposite: refined foods are bad for Vata dosha, since they ‘clog’ the intestines, causing gases and problems with the evacuation of wastes. So stay clear of refined things!
Eat at the same time every day, have three nourishing meals, don’t skip your meals, and chew every bite thoroughly – this will help to keep your digestion fire burning well.
The best tastes for you are sweet, sour and salty. And you should minimize pungent, bitter and astringent.
This does not mean the exclusion of the less suitable tastes – just minimizing them.
But there are details as well. For example, white sugar is sweet, but it’s bad for Vata, because it is too refined.
Salt taste is good, but if you eat too much of it, it may reduce your energy and spoil digestion.
Bitter taste is not that good for this dosha, but it’s a healing and cleansing taste, so sometimes it is also required to maintain our health.
Therefore you need to know the general principles of balancing Vata dosha through diet, and use them according to time, place and circumstances, considering the response you get from your body along the way.
2. Balancing Vata through Lifestyle
The dosha is quick in actions and thoughts, so you need to learn how to calm your mind. Stress is very bad for you, as it puts pressure on your mind, already overloaded with many thoughts.
The disturbed mind is one of the most common causes of underweight in Vata people.
So you need to adjust your lifestyle to make it more peaceful, less stressful, and more regular.
Routine – is the magic word for your dosha, believe me! If you can make your life fully regulated (especially when it comes to eating and sleeping), you will have more energy, better digestion, normal weight and good mood most of the time.
Physical exercises are essential for you, but they should not be too intensive and exhausting. The best are those that are grounding, slow, gentle and rhythmic. Consider Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Walking, Golf, Dance, Bicycling, etc.
Short travelling may be OK, but the prolonged one is not very good for Vata dosha, because it disrupts the routine, which grounds this dosha. Swimming and oily massage are also good.
The keys to balancing your lifestyle are stability, consistency, routine and rhythm. Vata always tends to ‘fly away’ (in Sanskrit Vata means ‘air’), so you need to ground it through these ‘keys’.
Why grounding my dosha, if it has such natural tendencies?
Because dosha in Sanskrit means ‘the flaw’ or ‘drawback’. It is not a ‘natural merit’, so you need to tame it to be healthier and happier.