The description of Vata individuals below is deliberately exaggerated and extreme, to allow to fully grasp the configuration and tendencies of Vata types. Most often only some of the characteristics are present in a Vata person, and only rarely will someone manifest all of the features described.

The word Vata is derived from the Sanskrit root meaning “to move”, giving an important clue to the character of Vata. Air (wind)is the dominant element of the Vata constitution, and much like air, Vata individual sare quite mobile and restless, moving in air-like irregular patterns. Their mood changes alternately from happy, creative, talkative and active, to sad, insecure, weak and anxious. To keep their energies high, they are attracted to thrills and stimulants such as coffee or cigarettes, which are ultimately destructive to their fragile structure leading to exhaustion and being worn out.

The main qualities of Vata are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle, and mobile. Having a Vata-predominant structure means that these qualities express themselves generously throughout your mental, emotional, and physical make up. A Vata-predominant individual’s strengths and weaknesses both reflect these qualities.

In excess, the dry and rough qualities may manifest themselves as dry or brittle skin, lips, hair, nails, or bones (e.g. osteoporosis), as constipation, or as feeling “dry” emotionally.

The “light” quality may manifest itself as giving you a lanky physique but excess lightness may manifest as being underweight, having muscle wasting, light bones, insomnia, or feeling “spacey” or insecure.

The cold quality of Vata may lead you to feel cold more easily than others around you, have cold hands and feet, and crave warmth.

The subtle quality may express itself as being introverted, creative, and having an active fantasy life.

The mobile quality may lead to a healthy ability to “multi-task” or, in excess, to scattered attention, a fidgety tendency, tremors, and nervousness. It may manifest as extremes; as in being very tall or very short or being drastically different weights at different times in your life.

Vata individuals have small-framed, light and flexible bodies, with tender muscles and only very little body fat, so they tend to be slim or even underweight. They often appear to be “too tall” or “too short” or they may appear physically underdeveloped, with flat chests and less strength and stamina than the other types. Their veins and muscles are often quite prominent, and their joints sometimes make a popping sound, due to excess air and dryness.

Vata individuals often have generally dry and rough skin. Their hands and feet are cold as a result of their poor circulation. Vata Dosha is cold, dry, light and mobile, and people with a Vata constitution tend to lack proper “insulation” (fatty tissue under the skin and the fatty myelin layer covering the nervous system), which is why they are uncomfortable in cold, dry and windy weather, nor are they fond of air conditioning. They prefer spring and summer and enjoy basking in the sun. Because of their dry nature they hardly sweat or have body odor.

The digestive strength of these individuals can be quite irregular, just as their thirst and appetite can be diverse. They often are attracted to the astringent taste of unripe fruit, dry wine and peels of various fruits, vegetables and nuts, but their bodies actually need the sweet, sour and salty tastes. Raw vegetables, crackers, legumes, popcorn and other drying foods increase, rather than balance Vata energy, which is why they should be avoided. Vata types need rich and fatty food for energy and grounding, yet they must pay attention to consume quality nutritious foods instead of junk food. Vata individuals often experience digestive difficulties and problems with absorption of nutrients. They tend to have scanty urination and their feces tend to be hard, dry and small in size and quantity. Constipation is one of their most common ailments, but their tendency towards irregularity may manifest as alternating constipation and loose stools. Vata people are the most likely of body types to go on a fast or to eat very little,sometimes because they simply forget to eat, but this actually increases Vata and causes inner imbalance.They may either go for days at a time scarcely eating anything, or indulging excessively with food.

Other physical characteristics typical of Vata types include small, recessed eyes, which are often quite lusterless; dry, thin hair, often curly or kinky; dry, rough skin and nails; cracking, popping, joints; and teeth that may be irregular, broken or protruding.Most often they will have some facial asymmetry, typical of the influence of Wind, and asymmetry between the nostrils or ears.

Vata’s walk quickly or jerkily, tending to be in a rush. Due to the mobile quality of Vata, they don’t like to sitidlyand prefer constant activity. They also like to do a lot of traveling. Not doing anything may feel awful for them. They are attracted to jogging, jumping and vigorous physical activity, but their staminas often low, and they get strained or overtired rather easily.

Vata individuals sleep less than other body types and have a tendency towards interrupted sleep or insomnia, especially when Vata is aggravated. Nevertheless, they generally wake up feeling alert and fresh and ready to go. They are very sensitive to pain and loud noise. Their exposed nervous system makes them squeamish.

Psychologically, Vata’s are blessed with quick minds, mental flexibility and creativity. They have well-developed imaginations, they like to daydream, and they excel at coming up with new ideas. When in balance, they are joyful and happy. Vata’s tend to talk quickly and talk a lot. They are easily excited, alert and quick to act, but may not think things through before acting, so they may give a wrong answer or make a wrong decision with great confidence. On the other hand, they may have trouble making decisions because they change their minds easily and feel insecure about regretting their choices.

Vata’s naturally shower love, but may love someone out of fear and loneliness. Fear is one of the symptoms of increased Vata. These individuals may experience fear of loneliness, darkness, heights and closed places. Anxiety, insecurity, and nervousness are also common among them. They tend to worry.

One of the main psychological qualities of Vata individuals is readiness (or ability) to change, stemming from their difficulty with stability and commitment. They may often change furniture, housing, jobs, towns or partners, and they get bored easily.Much like their character, their faith is also quite variable. Vata’s may be low on will power and they may be lacking persistence, often feeling unstable or ungrounded.

Clarity is one of the attributes of Vata, and Vata individuals generally are clear minded and even clairvoyant. Along with their lively minds and fertile imagination, they are usually highly alert and grasp new ideas quickly. However, they are also quick to forget. They think and speak quickly, but are restless and easily fatigued. They are generally less tolerant, less confident, and lack boldness.

Vata types tend to make money quickly and spend it just as fast, often impulsively or on trivial things. A Vata individual may go to the flea market and come home with a lot of stuff. They are not good savers,nor are they good planners, and as consequence, they experience financial hardship.

As mentioned earlier, Vata manifests the principle of mobility,and provides the power for all mental and bodily processes. Vata regulates all bodily activities, from the number of thoughts we have to how quickly and efficiently food moves through our digestive tract.

While Vata’s are drawn to travel, erratic hours, continual stimulation, frequent change, these behaviors can easily upset their balance and lead to Vata disorders such as constipation, flatulence, weakness, arthritis, pneumonia, excessively dry skin, dry lips, dry hair, cracked nipples and cracked heels. Nervous disorders, twitches and tics, mental confusion, palpitations, and breathlessness, as well as muscle tightness, lower back pain and sciatica, are also due to aggravated Vata. Excess Vata makes the mind restless and hyperactive. Loud noises, drugs, sugar, caffeine and alcohol also unhinge and increase Vata Dosha, as does exposure to cold weather and cold foods.

Excess Vata is a major player in PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome). When the period approaches and symptoms appear such as bloating, lower backand lower abdomen pains, cramps, aching calf muscle, insomnia, anxiety, fear and insecurity, it is due to the aggravation of the Vata Dosha.

Like the wind, Vata types have a hard time settling down and staying grounded.When their Vata becomes aggravated, it is difficult to calm them down. Sticking to a routine is difficult for them, but is vital if they are to remain healthy.

The dry, cold, windy season of autumn and winter tend to increase and aggravate Vata Dosha.To stay balanced, Vata individuals need to emphasize the opposite qualities of their constitution in their daily lives: Heat, Oiliness and grounding.  They should dress warmly and eat warm, heavier and oily foods, with warm spices. Steam baths, wet sauna, and moisture in general are helpful.

Qualities opposite to Vata are moist, grounding, warming, smooth, oily, and stabilizing. It is therefore best for Vata individuals to seek out physical and emotional environments, routines, and foods that possess these opposite qualities.

Opposites in Diet as Medicine

A Vata individual does well to have warming, freshly cooked, nourishing, mushy foods, like soups, stews, and one-pot-meals. Because of the inherent “light” quality in Vata, you may think that heavy foods would nicely balance that quality but actually too much heavy food—or just too much food at a sitting—is too heavy for the lightness of the Vata digestive system.

Because the sweet, sour, and salty tastes decrease Vata, these tastes should be predominant in your diet.

When selecting sweet foods, note that naturally sweet foods like many grains, squashes, and most fruits are appropriate, but processed foods high in refined sugars are not at all balancing for Vata. Refined sugars merely offer a quick burst of energy, followed by a “crash,” a pattern that is already a hallmark feature of Vata, and one that the Vata individual does well to avoid.

Herbal Support for a Vata Constitution

Using herbs to manage your constitution compliments the changes you make in your diet and lifestyle. Ashwagandha, Astragalus and Ginseng are three of the primary herbs used to remove excess Vata from the body and maintain balance.

Opposites in Climate and Lifestyle as Medicine

The ideal environment for a Vata individual is warm and wet, like Costa Rica. Sweet scents, sweet music, and sweet emotions are also good “medicines” for Vata. A daily, 10–20 minute, gentle self-massage with warm sesame oil can positively change the life of a Vata-type.

The mobile quality of Vata can drive Vata-types to do “1000” things at one time. This can lead to exhaustion of the nervous system, which in turn causes emotional and physical restlessness and eventual “dis-ease.” While a routine can feel contrary to your nature, it can be extremely beneficial for you to incorporate into your life. For example, rising and going to bed at about the same time every day, giving regular time to meditation, gentle yoga or other strengthening exercise that is easy on the joints. Also try having regular meals, chewing them thoroughly and taking a breath before moving on to your next activity.

Vata’s may find great ease in the presence of Kapha individuals who will provide them with the grounding and routine they need for balance.

General guidelines for balancing Vata:

  • Keep a regular routine – nothing balances Vata’s irregularity better than routine
  • Food – Avoid raw foods and cold foods. Eat warm foods with spices
  • Drink – avoid cold, iced or sparkling beverages all year round. Drink either room temperature or warm water, and add other nutritious drinks for balance
  • Meals – make sure to eat at least 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, at regular hours
  • Oil – make sure to oil yourselves externally and internally. Eat oily foods and oil your skin with sesame oil as often as possible
  • Sleep – aim for 8 sleeping hours at night, going to sleep early
  • Warmth – dress warm,with soft and cozyattire during autumn and winter
  • Relaxation – practice a soothing and relaxing activity such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi, gentle Yoga or other soft and gentle practices. Avoid excess and straining physical activity
  • Focus – narrow down your interests and activities and focus on up to two areas of expertise in your life. This way you can delve deep and enjoy meaningfully evolvement. Don’t be seduced by the Vata nature which seeks many different activities –simultaneously and thus, superficially


Superior Health and Disease Prevention in a 5-Day miraculous Life-Changing Challenge!