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The subtle energy of MOVEMENT.

Vah = Vehicle/ to carry/ to move. 

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Vata dosha is a combination of the elements air + space. It is the dosha that governs all movement within the body and all of nature. Here we take note of the qualities of vata and how we can identify the energy of this dosha active within and around us. We also look at the parts of the body that the energy of vata governs/dominates and the important functions of this dosha. We further discuss the physical attributes of vata and personality influences and tendencies vata has within us and how we can identify some symptoms/diseases due to an imbalanced/aggravated vata dosha.

Qualities of Vata:

  • Dry

  • Light

  • Cold

  • Rough

  • Subtle

  • Mobile

  • Clear

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Sites of Vata

The energy of vata dominates the lower half of the body and governs the pelvic region. The main sites of vata include the head, lower abdomen, pelvic girdle, colon, thighs, ears (governs the sense of hearing), bones, skin (governs the sense of touch) and hair (a waste product of bone).

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Vata being a combination of air and space (wind) governs all body movement and regulation. It is the carrier of Prana (life force energy) and is the maintainer of life. It is the energy of communication, sensory perception and motor functions including speech and muscular co-ordination. Vata governs the mind, therefore the movement of thought, feelings, and nerve impulses. It relates to respiration (the movement of inhalation and exhalation), the functioning of the heart and the body’s circulation. Vata controls ingestion, peristalsis, enzyme secretion, assimilation, and absorption. It is the mover of elimination working the release of urine, faeces, sweat, menstruation, birth, and orgasm. It co-ordinates cellular respiration and division and the vibratory and subtle sense organs of hearing and touch. When in balance, vata is expressed within us as clarity, creativity, and joy.

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Did you know that our physical make up is the reflection of the unique dominance of the doshic combination within us? Therefore, the societal body image aspirations of “health” does not suit everyone? It really is the vata body type that society and the media have promoted for years as “healthy”, “beautiful”, “fit” and “sexy”. And that’s great and quite easy for a vata person to appear and remain in balance… but what about the individuals who have little vata dominance within them…? This is a topic we will continue to uncover as we dive further into the doshas! 


  • Very tall or very short.

  • Very slim and struggle to gain muscle.

  • Protruding joints.

  • Movements are often discombobulated.

  • Features are irregular.

  • Skin is generally dark, grey/transparent, unevenly toned, cold, leathery, rough. 

  • Hair is often dry, dull, wiry, and thin.

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Here is a table to explore where you may observe vata in your body in relation to the qualities of this force of energy within us. This table gives you an understanding of the metaphorical classification of what we physical see and experience.

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A person who has a high vata dominance within them, when in balance expresses as creative, talkative, entertaining, dynamic, and enthusiastic person. They’re the people who have a thousand creative ideas at once and tend to move through life jumping from one creative download to another, or multi-tasking all thousand activities at a time… well attempting to! Vata can lose focus quite quickly and could be describe as those who tend to be “off with the fairies”. They’re fast to learn and quick to forget.  Due to their subtle quality, their emotions are deeply affected by the words, energy and actions of those around them. They feel not only their own emotions but easily pick up on the collective energy and vibe of a room. They are easily rattled by stimulating environments and as much as they love to socialise and communicate, they a very easily drained after social gatherings. The subtle quality of vata too gives greater ability for clairvoyance, an easier connection to the subtle realms, profound spiritual understanding and a natural sense of expansiveness.
Due to the light, mobile and subtle nature of Vata, when out of balance, those with high vata dominance tend towards anxiety, nervousness, worry, stress and fatigue easily. The mobile quality dominates the movement of thoughts and vata can very much be consumed by the fast-moving mind chatter. The mobile quality too causes their emotions to change rapidly.
When out of balanced, the light quality can cause vata to suffer feelings of being very ungrounded, scattered and lost in life.

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As discussed, vata governs many functions, locations and aspects within the body and mind. Simply, any symptoms or disease of imbalance in relation to these areas and functions most likely is a manifestation of an unhappy vata dosha.

Examples of Vata imbalance:

  • Anxiety

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Lower back pain

  • Sciatica 

  • Constipation, gas, bloating and irregular digestion and appetite.

  • Arthritis and osteoporosis

  • Irregular menstrual cycle and reproductive issues

  • Epilepsy

  • Issues of the central nervous system etc. Fibromyalgia

  • Abnormal movements

  • Anaemia

  • Anorexia/disordered eating

  • Malabsorption 

  • Heart palpitations/arrhythmia

  • Poor circulation

  • Cracking joints

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And this is just the tip of the Vata iceberg!

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