Vata

My test results defined me as mainly vata (15) followed by pitta (14) and kapha (11). The score seems fairly balanced and accurate. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to observe any further imbalances that are yet to be discovered. What would be my natural state? Given the highest score in vata I have explored further on how to balance this as following.

Temperature

According to Ayurveda vata is happiest when warm and this includes climate-wise. Warm oil massages can be beneficial to keep muscles and joints well lubricated and nourished whilst preventing the skin from drying out and cracking. Steam therapy and sauna can also prove to be beneficial.

Autumn and early winter is apparently the least attractive season for vatas. This would prove to be a good time to stay indoors to reflect, nurture and nourish self with plenty of rest and warm food, gentle yoga coupled with light activity.

Food

Foods that aggravate vata include bitter, pungent and astringent flavours. Instead vatas benefit from foods with naturally sweet, salty and sour flavours including sweet potatoes, seawater fish, sweet and sour fruit and root vegetables. Good quality of oils and fats to counter the dryness of vata is important. Lightly cooked and steamed foods with plenty of spices are easy to digest and will help warm up this cold type.

Exercise

Due to a tendency of having bursts of energy throughout the day activities including focus, core heat, balancing challenges and multi-functional are good for vatas. This includes holding in plank (e.g. regular, one legged, one-armed, arms or feet resting on a Bosu Ball), which requires focus, increases core temperature, uses vata’s variable energy without over-exerting the adrenal system.

Meditation

Due to vata’s busy mind meditations including the use of a focal point can prove to be beneficial to calm down the mind and let go of thoughts. Various active and non-active techniques including Vipassana, Khapalabhati, Bhastrika can be useful here.

Yoga

Poses that require longer holds whilst not taxing the adrenal system are useful for vatas. Challenging balancing poses and styles that engage the mind can be suitable. Styles including Hatha, Jivamukti, Mysore, Restorative Yoga including Yin would also prove to be suitable. Vatas require poses that stimulate energy flow whist releasing pressure on the lower back, floor poses and spinal flexion, such as Urdhva Danurasana (floor bow pose), Bhujangasana (cobra pose) and Urdhva Mukha Savasana (upward facing dog pose).

In order to test out the balancing of my doshas according to the above observations, I would need to re-tune my diet whilst adopting a consistent exercise and yoga practice. As a vata-dominated person, variety is key therefore consistency is often challenged. Nevertheless, testing out the Ayurvedic system could prove to be an interesting experiment in the near future.