Yoga and Ayurveda are Vedic sciences that have been practiced for thousands of years for the sake of healing the body, mind, and consciousness. Yoga is the realization of one’s true Self while Ayurveda is the realization of one’s optimal health. Both understand that imbalance and attachment are at the root of suffering and that the ultimate state of health is expressed when we abide, balanced, in our true nature. Both Yoga and Ayurveda apply mindfulness of diet, asana, pranayama, herbs, and meditation for healing the whole being.
There are three doshas in Ayurveda. They are bio-energetic conditions that are created out of the gunas by the five elements.
* Space (in Sanskit, akasha) possesses the qualities of being light, fine, smooth, and soft.
* Air (in Sanskrit, vayu) possesses the qualities of being agile, cold, light, dry, rough, and fine.
* Fire (in Sanskrit, tejas)possesses the qualities of being hot, sharp, clear, fine, light, and dry.
* Water (in Sanskrit, ap) possesses the qualities of being cold, soft, liquid, oily, slimy, agile, and heavy.
* Earth (in Sanskrit, prithivi) possesses the qualities of being heavy, hard, course, rough, solid, compact, and slow.
The combination of space and air together form vata. Its primary characteristic is movement. Therefore, vata is regarded as the energy that governs processes in the human body which involve movement. These include nerve impulses, the circulation of blood, respiration and excretion. Vata is increased in fall and early winter and as we age.
Each individual has their very own unique pattern of the three doshas: Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. It is important to maintain a balance in respect to one's own unique pattern, to prevent illness.
Vata allows for creativity, spontaneity and lightness. It gives us the space to allow everything to exist, to juggle our modern lives with ease. When air and space are out of balance in our minds and bodies, spiritual practice is not effective. When Vata is in balance, there is creativity, spiritual inclination, lightness and good humor. There is space for everything to exist without too much reactivity.
When vata is excessive, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
In the mind:
In the body:
Yoga and Ayurvedic techniques may be applied to maintain healthy and balanced vata for overall health to the body and mind.