Introduction of Vata

Space and Air Pancha Mahabhuta combine to form the Vata Dosha, the air principle or energy in the body. It needs to be understood differently from the actual air that we breathe in our environment. It is the motivating energy /driving force responsible for all forms of movement in every cell. As the principle of mobility, Vata regulates all the activity in the body, both
mental and physiological. When Vata is in balance, it promotes creativity and flexibility, feeling of freshness, lightness, happiness and joy. Out of balance Vata produces fear, anxiety, nervousness and even tremors, spasms.


Thatra rooksho laghuh sheethah kharah sookshmashchalo anilah.||A.H. 10.5|| Vata is dry, light, cold, rough, clear and mobile

  • Dryness – Lack of unctuousness/oiliness in the forming elements makes Vata a dry energy.
  • Lightness – As air and ether elements lack mass/weight therefore Vata is described to be light.
  • Cold – The sensory perception of the air element is cold.
  • Rough – Due to the drying aspect of air element it creates a scraping effect that makes Vata rough in nature
  • Clear – Air and Ether elements are invisible to the eye therefore Vata can only be perceived and not seen
  • Mobile – Mobility or movement being the major property of Vata allows it to spread and penetrate any empty space and occupy it

Dosha Locations

Though each dosha is present in every cell of the body at a subtle level, due to functionality these dosha are predominantly situated in certain parts and perform their specific functions.

Ayurveda divides the human body into three halves within which each dosha displays their gross presence and functions.

In the region above the chest including head and neck, Kapha dosha is grossly present and performs its main function of nourishment for the root of the body – the central nervous system/brain.

Vata dosha controls and maintains all movement in the body therefore is present predominantly in the lower half of the body below the navel as this region is rich in nervous and movement related activities.

The most important area is Pakavasaya (large intestine/colon), along with Kati/waist, Sakthi/hip, Asthi/bones and the sensory organs of Twak/skin and Shrotra/ear.

Deviation from the natural/internal state of equilibrium can lead to an imbalanced state of the dosha. This imbalance can either be through the increase or decrease of the dosha in the tissues, which manifests as various disorders or illness.

Effects of increased Vata–

Karshya – emaciation/loss of tissue
Karshnya – dark discoloration
Ushnakamitva – desire for hot things
Kampa – tremors
Anaha – bloating, fullness, distention of the abdomen
Shakrut Graha – constipation
Bala bhramsha – loss of strength
Nidra bhramsha – loss of sleep or insomina
Indriya bhramsha – loss of sensory functions
Pralapa – irrelevant thoughts and speech
Bhrama – delusion, dizziness or giddiness
Deenata – timidity

Effects of decreased/functionally diminished Vata-

Diminished/reduced desire to talk
Loss of awareness, perception
Loss sensation
Loss of consciousness
Loss of energy and enthusiasm
Sluggishness of reflexes, motor functions

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