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What is Vata Dosha and its Sub Doshas?

Vata dosha is the concept in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is our ancient medical system that is widely used even today. It is known as the “The Art of Life” as this system not only cures our health system but educates us about how to live our life healthily and holistically. It is the oldest medicinal system that developed almost 5000 years ago and is also considered the most surviving one in the world. It is renowned as the art of healing that increases longevity and leads us to a happier life.

Vata is a Sanskrit word and its meaning in Sanskrit is air and wind. When we figure out Vata in Ayurveda, it basically means to blow or to move like the wind. As shown from the meaning, Vata contains air and space in itself and manages all the movements related to functions of the mind and body. It is responsible for controlling blood flow, evacuation of waste materials, breathing, and the movements of thoughts across the brain.

As Vata is the dosha responsible for all the movements in the mind and the body, the other two doshas that are Kapha and Pitta doshas are not capable of moving in the body without the help of Vata dosha. Vata is considered as the pioneer of the three Ayurvedic body types. It is very important to maintain Vata dosha in balance.

What are the sub doshas of Vata dosha?

The best way to understand Vata dosha is by its segmental parts and we can call them Sub doshas of Vata Dosha. There are mainly five types of Vata doshas or we can say there are only 5 Sub doshas. Among all the sub doshas, each one is classified as a dosha which signifies a specific direction of movement and controls a specific function in the body. The five sub doshas are:-

  1. Pranavayu
  2. Samanavayu
  3. Vyanavayu
  4. Udanavayu
  5. Apanavayu
  1. Pranavayu (Forward-moving air)

This is the primary air of the entire Vata dosha also known as the nervous force of the system. It comes out from the stomach to the throat and is mainly focused on the cerebrum. It administers inhaling, swallowing, sneezing, spitting, and belching. It is responsible for taking food, water, and air into the framework. As this is the nervous force of the system, it has to control the senses, brain, heart, and individual consciousness. It is our segment of cosmic life energy and it maintains coordination with the other vatas of my body. It is also responsible for deciding our positive spirits and motivation in life and connects these positive energies to our inner self.

  1. Samanavayu (Equalizing air)

This sub dosha plays a key role in our digestion. The main task of this sub dosha of the Vata is to take care of the digestive system from the naval region to the chest. The Samana Vayu is situated in the small intestine of the body and performs various crucial functions. It absorbs the nutrients for the nourishment of the tissues and also manages the process of waste elimination. If this sub Vata dosha may get imbalance, then you may face issues related to digestion such as gas bloating, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation, leaky gut, IBS, and many more. That’s why it is essential for us to maintain Samanavayu in balance as this is known for maintaining equilibrium in all bodily functions.

  1. Vyanavayu (Pervasive air)

This is the sub dosha that deals with the circulation of rasa and rakta from the heart throughout the entire body. Simply, it has to do all the tasks related to the circulation department of the body. This sub dosha is located in the heart and gives us a connection to our consciousness and love. It plays a vital in causing the heartbeats, contractions, and relaxation of blood which enables easy pumping of the blood, nutrients, and oxygen to other parts of the body. Vyanavayu is the center of our emotions, sensory movement, nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and cold extremities and circulates different liquids and also produces locomotion.

  1. Udanavayu (Upward moving air)

This sub dosha is responsible for the speech and facial expression. This is located in the chest area and is thas to take care of the chest area. The direction of this sub dosha is upward and it travels through the naval to the heart, lungs, throat, and brain. It is responsible for performing the functions related to the chest and lungs and these functions include speech, memory, endeavour, enthusiasm, energy, swallowing, exhalation, and facial expression. It also governs growth and metabolism through the thyroid and parathyroid glands. If the imbalance occurs in the sub dosha, you may face issues in breathing, tightness in the chest, congestion, hoarseness in the throat, and issues of inability to express yourself.

  1. Apanavayu (Downward moving air)

This sub dosha cares for the downward movement of the colon and reproductive organs. Apanavyu plays a key role and is mainly responsible for the elimination. It is located in the lower abdomen. Its primary functions are elimination, reproduction, and bone health. It also regulates the absorption and retaining of minerals. As it is the downward moving force, it keeps checking on the elimination, urination, menstruation, parturition, sexual activities, and the pelvic region. A good or stable downward flow will experience better results in these activities. If Apanavayu may get imbalanced, then we may face irregularity in these activities and it can also cause decay and disintegration.

What does Vata dosha look like?

In Ayurveda, there are three doshas mentioned that are responsible for all the bodily functions of the human body. If there is imbalance occurred in any dosha, your entire bodily function will be affected. So, it’s essential to keep balance in our tridosha.

It is also mentioned that every person is said to have a unique percentage of each dosha, generally with one standing out more than the others. For example, a person may be more pitta, while another person may be more vata. You can get to know about your dosha from An Ayurvedic practitioner. He can determine your dosha based on your physical, mental, behavioural, and emotional characteristics.

As we earlier discussed, Vata consists of two elements that are air and space and it is generally defined as cold, light, dry, rough, flowing, and spacious. A Vata dominant person is described as slim, energetic, and creative. They can become easily distracted and renowned for thinking out of the box ideas. They are considered to be as moody as their mood highly depends on the weather, food, and people around them.

The person with Vata dominant personality has some strengths and weaknesses too. Some of their strengths are they are quick learner, multitasker, highly creative, kind-hearted, flexible, and usually naturally slim. Their weaknesses are they are forgetful, anxious, unstable mood, highly sensitive to the cold, get overwhelmed easily, trouble sleeping, irregular appetite and eating patterns, prone to digestive disorders like gas, and inappropriate blood circulation.

According to Ayurvedic treatment for Vata dosha, a person with the dominance of Vata dosha should follow a healthy daily routine in which he should eat and drink warm foods and beverages. By doing this, they can maintain a warm body temperature and they should avoid cold weather conditions too. To improve unstable mood and to manage stress, they should do Yoga and other meditation and calming therapies. By including all these healthy tips, they can balance Vata dosha and stay a step away from Vata dosha related issues.

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