If you’re feeling unusually anxious, fatigued, forgetful, unable to sleep or just generally spaced-out, it might mean your Vata is out of balance. Vata is one of the three energy types, or doshas, according to Ayurveda. Each of us possesses all three doshas in varying quantities, yet one or two types are dominant. When our doshas are in balance, we live healthfully and harmoniously. Out of balance doshas lay the foundation for disease and distress.
Vata represents air or ether and is in some ways the most delicate of the doshas. When in balance, Vata types are creative, energetic and free-spirited. Yet when Vata is out of balance, they can become nervous, anxious and frazzled. Using specific essential oils is an amazing way to ground and balance your Vata, restoring homeostasis to the body, mind and soul.
You can read more about Ayurveda and all three doshas in this blog post.
Vata types are usually naturally thin, with a light frame and excellent agility. Even if they are not thin, Vatas often have small wrists and ankles. Vatas have an oblong shaped face with small, bright eyes. Their skin and hair is often dry and they have a tendency to store weight around the midsection.
Vatas are creative thinkers. Their light and fluid nature allows them to think out of the box and move effortlessly along with the changing nature of things. They take initiative and are quick to learn, but also often quick to forget. They favour jumping around from one new idea to the next rather than knuckling down and putting a plan into action.
Vata dominant types are spontaneous and love excitement. They are friendly, joyful and open-minded beings when in balance. They may at times be quick to anger, but will be equally quick to forgive. They love to talk and have a deep appreciation of beauty. Spirituality comes naturally to them due to their connection with the ethereal realm.
Out of Balance Vata
Like a leaf swept up into the ether on a windy day, Vata is out of balance when there is lack of grounding.
An out of balance Vata often suffers from poor circulation, characterised by cold feet and hands. Their already dry skin will be increasingly drier, and they may have chapped lips, as well as brittle hair and nails. Vata have a very sensitive digestion system. Out of balance may mean constipation and bloating.
Vata is the ‘over-thinker’ dosha. When out of balance, all those great ideas may turn to overwhelm, leaving Vata anxious, restless and paranoid. Their appetite may become erratic, as well as their sleep. Insomnia, followed by fatigue is a sign that Vata may be out of whack. Forgetfulness is another sign that Vata needs grounding.
Worried thoughts can turn to chronic anxiety for an out of balance dosha. And when something does go wrong, Vata will be the first to blame themselves. When left unchecked, this cycle of self loathing will further unbalance Vata, until they feel they can do nothing right.
Simply becoming aware of an imbalance gives us the opportunity to rectify it. When Vata energy feels overwhelming, the key word to remember is grounding. Spend time in nature, really digging your hands into the dirt if possible. Take time to meditate. Cut back on caffeine and other stimulants. Ground with warming food and soothing non caffeinated tea. If possible, avoid the wind, which can be especially aggravating to Vata. Practice yoga and deep breathing to bring you back down to earth.
When choosing essential oils for Vata, we want to focus on earthy, sweet, soothing and warm aromatics. Anything too stimulating, like peppermint or coffee will not be the best choices until you are back in balance.
Essential Oils to Balance Vata
Patchouli Essential Oil is known for its alluring earthy aroma. It has been used for centuries in religious rituals to calm the mind and the spirit. This grounding earthiness is perfect for balancing the erratic Vata energies.
The warming, spicy aroma of Clove Essential Oil is highly therapeutic for Vata out of balance. This essential oil invokes the soothing energy of a warm cup of spiced Chai tea, bringing about a sense of safety that an off balance Vata may lack.
The sweet scent of Rose Essential Oil has been shown to alleviate anxiety, nervousness and stress. This powerful aroma provides a sense of calm to an anxious Vata. Simultaneously grounding and uplifting to restore Vata to balance.
These oils can be used by adding a few drops to your bath, oil burner or diffuser to create a grounding, safe atmosphere. Alternatively use in mediation by applying a drop to your pressure points. These are the wrists, soles of the feet and temples. You can even add a few drops to your moisturiser to enjoy the aromatmerpeutic and skin loving effects of these essential oils.