The Weird Reason Your Vata Dosha Is Going Haywire Right Now & What To Do About It
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Those well-versed in ancient Ayurvedic medicine likely know: Each person has a combination of all three doshas in varying amounts (it's like a deck of cards you were given, Ayurveda expert and author Sahara Rose recently mentions on the mindbodygreen podcast). That said, when you identify with a certain dosha—like, say, in a personality quiz—it's because you may have an imbalance of that dosha at that given moment, even if it's not necessarily the dosha you were born with.
So even if you weren't born a tried-and-true vata, you can still experience an excess of the vata dosha. In fact, Rose states, people frequently face a vata imbalance this time of year.
Why your vata dosha is probably imbalanced.
"Vata is the air and space dosha," says Rose, and some natural qualities of this dosha are cold, dry, light, and rough. Lo and behold, vata excess is especially vulnerable to a dip in temperature (aka, during autumn's daybreak). "Especially in the colder months, everyone's vata falls out of balance," Rose adds. Here's what that looks like: When people have a vata imbalance, they typically have trouble sitting still, anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, gas, bloating, and loss of appetite (peek the full list here).
Here's what to do.
If this sounds like you, not to fret: While vata can fall out of balance rather quickly, it's also one of the easiest doshas to rein in. According to Rose, you'll want to quite literally bring the airy dosha back down to Earth: To start, eat grounding foods—think root vegetables, potatoes, any food that grows under the ground. "Warm stews, curries, all things that would warm your body," Rose adds.
And on the skin care front, Rose suggests massaging an oil on your skin. (If you've ever thought about dipping your toes into oil cleansing, consider this your friendly shove). Specifically, she's partial to sesame oil: "Sesame oil is called the mother oil because it's so warm and grounding." Regardless, face oils and cleansers are great for dry, cracked skin, as they feed the skin barrier and eliminate excess sebum without ever stripping it down. For vatas with characteristically dry skin, it's a healthy investment—just make sure the oil you choose is noncomedogenic and works for your skin.
"These tips will help you balance your vata, no matter whether you're textbook vata or are just experiencing these imbalances," Rose explains. If you skew toward the cold, dry dosha in the cooler months, try focusing on grounding foods and oils to keep it from going haywire. And once the weather warms and you experience inflammation? Well, that's pitta's doing, and it requires a few different tweaks.
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