The nature of Vata is cold, dry, light, unstable and erratic and therefore herbs, foods, beverages and lifestyle habits used to pacify Vata should be opposite in nature, i.e. warming, moistening, heavy, stable and grounding.
Foods to Avoid
Fruits - dried fruit, cranberries, citrus, uncooked apples, unripe fruit
Vegetables - raw vegetables generally, mushrooms
Carbohydrates - granola, muesli, corn, millet, bread, popcorn, rice cakes, potatoes
Legumes - soy, lentils, split peas, kidney, garbanzo, lima, pinto, navy, peanut
Nuts and Seeds - none, except in excess
Dairy - ice cream, cold milk, non-organic milk, cheese
Meat - pork
Oils - margarine, lard, corn, canola, peanut
Spices - none; except chilies, black pepper and salt in excess
Beverages - cold water, ice water, soy milk, coffee, spirits
Sweeteners - white sugar, fruit sugar, refined sweeteners
Foods to Emphasize
Fruits - all local fruits, in small amounts and eaten by itself, IN SEASON; baked apples, baked pears, stewed fruit (prunes, raisins etc.)
Vegetables - all cooked vegetables especially root vegetables and squash, preferably steamed, boiled or baked; well-cooked onions and garlic, cook cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage etc.) with ginger and/or other herbs such as cumin, rosemary, garlic etc., seaweed
Carbohydrates - oats, basmati rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, khus khus, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat chapati or tortilla
Legumes - adzuki, mung, tofu
Nuts and Seeds - sesame, pumpkin, walnut, cashew, sunflower, coconut, pecan, filbert, brazil
Dairy - butter, ghee, yoghurt, boiled milk
Meat - organic or free range ONLY: eggs, chicken, cold water fish (salmon, halibut etc.), lake fish (trout, pike etc.), game (venison, elk, moose, caribou etc.)
Oils - use olive, butter, ghee, coconut and sesame for cooking; use cold-pressed walnut, flax or hemp as a condiment or daily supplement (1-2 tsp twice daily)
Spices - all spices in moderation, but especially cardamon, nutmeg, fennel, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano, tamari, five-spice, black bean, nutritional yeast
Beverages - water, warming/sweet herbal teas (e.g. Bengali Spice, Tahitian Vanilla, Licorice/Ginger), fresh vegetable juices (especially carrot, beet and celery, always with a little ginger root), fortified rice milk, almond milk, wine (in modest amounts)
Sweeteners - in modest amounts: unpasteurised honey, maple syrup, raw sugar, molasses
As the nature of Vata is instable, erratic and extreme it is important to emphasize ritual and routine in one’s lifestyle. Exercise, particularly anaerobic is encouraged, to build muscle mass. Regular hours for eating, sleeping, bathing and working should be adhered to. Home and office space should be a well-ventilated, warm, safe, quiet and nurturing environment, filled gently with harmonious background music (Baroque classical, Indian classical). They should be free of excessive exposure to electromagnetic radiation (e.g. computer monitors, electric stoves etc.) and toxic chemicals.
Lifestyle habits to avoid
- Excessive travel and movement
- Excessive media influence (TV, radio, newspapers)
- Inadequate sleep, irregular hours
- Exposure to wind and cold
- Excessive sexual activity
Oils for Vata should be generally warming, soothing and/or clearing, such as chamomile, lavender, rose, geranium, neroli, vetivert, rosemary, lemon balm, peppermint, basil, sweet marjoram, bergamot, hyssop, lemon, clary sage, myrrh, frankincense, sandalwood, aniseed, cinnamon, eucalyptus and camphor.
Most colours are good for Vata, but emphasize natural pastel colours, not overly stimulating, bright (neon), dark or metallic colours. Examples include small amounts of yellow, orange, red, with moderate amounts of maroon, purple, blue, green, hazel, tan, khaki, and ivory.
Calming and relaxing asanas, mostly lying (mritasana, “the corpse”) or sitting (svastikasana, “fortunate posture), but also back bends (bhujangasana, “the cobra”) and inverted postures (e.g. viparitakaranimudra, “shoulder stand”). Chanting such calming and fear-dispelling mantras such as Ram, Sham, Hum, Hrim and Shrim is useful. Chi Gong and Tai Chi are excellent practices to develop.
The goal of meditation to pacify Vata is to create an internal balance between the male and female energies, reconnect the spirit and soul to the body and develop an aura of spiritual protection. This can be realized by the use of psycho-physical techniques as pranayama and nadishodhana (alternate nostril breathing), meditating upon and ritually using sacred objects, and visualizing beneficent deities to ask for their assistance. Modern day examples of paths that utilize these techniques include Tantric Buddhism and Raja Yoga.
Neelam Toprani is an Ayurvedic researcher and the formulator of Sewanti herbal remedies and Padmashri massage oils. Neelam has been studying various healing modalities and eastern spiritualties from many masters. One of the objectives her Company is to take the timeless wisdom of Ayurveda and translate it into practical solutions to improve the quality of life.The company is based in Vancouver, Canada.
All the information on our products and their components is for general information only and was made with the best of our knowldege. It does not claim in any way of suggesting a diagnosis or a treatment.