Ayurveda is an ancient healing science that originated in India. It is a sister science of yoga. These ancient sciences are written down in the scriptures or Vedas. There are 4 main sacred scriptures or Vedas namely, the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sam Veda, and the Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda is comprised of descriptions and knowledge about yoga and the Atharva Veda comprises knowledge of the Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that translated to Ayur “life” and Veda “science”, meaning the science of life. Ayurveda is a holistic healing ancient Indian practice that involves healing by natural medicines, practices, massages, and potions to heal the body intrinsically and eventually outwardly.

In Ayurveda, it is believed that every person is made of the combination and ratios of the 5 elements of nature: water (Jala), wind (Vayu), earth (Prithvi), fire (Agni) and ether (Akash).

These elements are existent in different ratios within a person to form 3 different types of body types or Doshas namely:

Vata Dosha
  1. The Pitta dosha (this is usually the fire energy):
    This is the dosha that is associated and is composed of majorly the fire and water elements in one’s body. This is the kind of energy that is responsible for characteristics such as intelligence and contentment in a person.
    Generally hot and sharp, oily and subtle in their essence, a person with the correct Vata balance is usually spreading, immobile, unstable, intelligent, content, outspoken and sharp about their structure and the way they lead their lives.
  2. The Kapha Dosha (this is usually the earth energy)
    This is the Dosha that is associated and is composed of majorly the Earth and water elements in one’s body. This is the kind of energy that is responsible for characteristics such as cohesiveness solidity and structure in a person.
    Generally loving and forgiving in their essence, a person with the correct Kapha balance is usually calm, stable, patient, thoughtful, filled with stamina and a strong built about their structure and the way they lead their lives.
  3. The Vata Dosha (this is mostly Wind energy):
    This is the Dosha that is associated and is composed of majorly the wind and ether elements in one’s body. This is the kind of energy that is responsible for characteristics such as flexibility and creativity in a person.
    Generally cold and dry in their essence, a person with the correct Vata balance is usually energetic, lean and enthusiastic about their structure and the way they lead their lives.

Now to talk a little more about the vata dosha:

What exactly is the Vata Dosha? The word Vata in Sanskrit is translated to blow or to move like the wind. In essence this Dosha is responsible for functions of the body such as motion, such as blood circulation, blinking, movement of the tissues, breathing, heartbeats, movement of the cells and essentially the connection of the nervous system and the mind.

The vata dosha is a dosha that is associated with qualities such as being dry, cold, mobile, sharp, flowing, subtle, clear, hard and rough. So basically anybody that is excessive of these qualities in their existence is of the Vata Dosha.

The vata dosha is divided into sub categories that are:

  1. Prana vayu:
    It is the force in the vata dosha that draws towards us, the experience that is sensory in nature. It resides in the areas of the head and the heart (chest) the parts of the body where the choices and decisions are made, an array of desires inculcate, and the processing of the sensory experiences happen. Often when the prana vayu is imbalanced, one misuses their senses and causes mental illnesses and physical ailments.
  2. Samana vayu:
    Samana vayu is related to the force of absorption, the force of attraction and keeping us drawn towards the centre of our being. This undertakes functions in the body such as carrying nutrients from the digestive system to the circulatory system, and the sensory impulses are carried from the skin to the nervous system. In a state of samana vayu dysfunction, the circulation and absorption becomes tougher, numbness of a sort and malnourishment may occur.
  3. Vyana vayu:
    After the absorption of senses the impulses must be reacted or acted upon. This is the part of the vata dosha that is responsible for the circulation of the responses made by the brain. It carries out functions such as sending signals from the central nervous system to the muscle and organs.
  4. Udana vayu:
    The udana vayu is the part of vata dosha that is responsible for actions and expression, which includes producing energy for work. It carries out functions for supplying nutrients to the cellular level.
  5. Apana vayu:
    A cellular activation produces energy as well as waste. Apana vayu is the part of the vata dosha that is responsible for the cleaning up of the waste. It clears waste through the process of urination, menstruation, and defecation. It is responsible for the downward flow of energy, also for the energy needed for a woman to carry a child out of the womb and into the world.

The vata dosha in Ayurveda consists of the following qualities and this is what happens when they are properly functioning as well as when they are dysfunctional:

Quality Function Dysfunction
Light The bones are narrower and sturdy The body loses weight
Dry The skin and eyes have drier tendencies The lips become chapped
Subtle The mind is expansive and open to new ideas A person may be too easily affected by the feelings of other people
Flowing The mind flows easily from one idea to the next Inability to focus the mind
Rough Skin becomes drier and rougher The skin becomes coarse
Clear The eyes are clearer and the vision is wide The eyes and mind is mostly vacant
Cold A person may be chilled easier than others A person feels chilled
Mobile A person moves quickly and without focus The voice is rambling and more quicker while talking

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