Establishing a supportive daily routine is a crucial part of the Ayurvedic lifestyle (1), but it is particularly essential for a Vata dosha lifestyle. With Vata as your predominant dosha, you love to be spontaneous and creative. You can easily get so absorbed in a creative project that you forget to eat and stay up half the night. Of all the doshas, Vata types tend to have the most inconsistent daily routine.
According to the Ayurveda, we are all ruled by three different energies, or doshas, known as vata, pitta, and kapha. These doshas are governed by the elements, earth, water, air, ether, and fire. We’re all made up of a unique combination of these three forces. If you don’t know which dosha is most predominant for you, the Ayurvedic Body Type quiz is a fun and easy way to find out.
The Vata dosha lifestyle contains the properties of the elements ether and air. Vata is responsible for our energy and movement as well as for nerve impulses. The characteristics of vata include dryness and coolness, so qualities that are opposite to these can help to restore a vata imbalance. Certain foods can help to pacify vata on a short term basis, but the only way to correct a vata imbalance and remain healthy on a long term basis is through a vata balancing daily routine (2).
Due to Vata’s mobile nature, a daily routine is most important for this dosha.
Routine for Your Vata Dosha Lifestyle
A regular daily routine is the best-kept secret of the ages. By adopting a regular daily routine much of the niggling discomforts caused by Vata imbalance are spontaneously addressed.
A regular daily routine is like health insurance for sustainable wellbeing today, tomorrow and into your future. As the Ayurvedic wisdom guides “Your body today is the result of your choices yesterday and your body tomorrow will be the result of your choices today”.
- Choose to establish a regular daily routine as the framework for daily activities.
- To get started, tick off what you are already doing, and then consider what you would like to add to your daily routine.
- Adopt changes easily, one step at a time.
Vata Morning Routine
The first step in creating a morning routine for the vata dosha lifestyle is to choose a consistent time to wake up. Wake up at the same time every day. This will help you develop a good routine and ensure you get abundant, restful sleep. This is vital for Vatas.
Because rest is essential, please give yourself permission to sleep later than you normally might if your schedule requires you to stay up late, or if your bedtime routine is disrupted for some reason.
Otherwise, vata does best to awaken in time to take full advantage of the peaceful stillness surrounding dawn—ideally around 6 or 7 a.m.
We’ve included the most vata-pacifying Ayurvedic practices below.
- Evacuate bowel and bladder first thing upon rising.
- Clean teeth and scrape tongue to remove accumulated toxins and bacteria from the tongue
- Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that helps to nourish and rejuvenate the teeth and gums, balance oral bacteria, and relax the muscles of the neck and jaw.
- Drink warm water to stimulate and gently awaken the digestive tract
- Perform a Vata oil massage on your full body then bathe or shower
- Add in grounding mediation or exercises to balance the airy nature of vata.
- Eat a warming breakfast that includes vata balancing foods like hot cereals, oats, or quinoa porridge. (See Vata food guide)
Vata Afternoon Routine
- Though morning and evening are the most important places to focus your attention when you are first establishing a daily routine, there are a few other things to be mindful of as you navigate your day.
- Eat at regular and consistent times. Excess vata can easily leave us feeling spacey and forgetful—so much so that we may forget to eat. Select a time to have lunch between 11.30 and 1.00 pm and eat lunch at this time most days.
- Be mindful and give eating your full attention for the best nutrition.
- Aim to drink water at room temperature (or warmer) throughout the day, as this is both cleansing and hydrating for Vata’s dry quality.
Vata Evening Routine
Choosing to be intentional about the flow of your evening ensures that you are grounded at the end of your day, that you get enough rest, and that you sleep as soundly as possible.
- Relax in the evenings to calm the mind well before you go to bed to aid a good night sleep. Vata is also associated with talkativeness, so a few minutes spent in isolated silence will help to calm your mind and lower your stress levels.
- Practice breathing exercises to relax the body and mind.
- Massage your feet, scalp, or both with oil. This Ayurvedic practice helps to calm the mind and ground the energy before sleep.
- Avoid computers, work, or studying after 7pm and avoid fast moving and aggressive movies, TV etc.
- Go to bed early around 9.30 to 9.50 pm, with lights out by 10.00 pm.
- Keep the bedroom minimalistic and as a sleep zone. No computers, phones, tablets, books etc.
Honoring a Vata Dosha Lifestyle
Vata is linked to restlessness, so the main signs of vata imbalance are anxiety and fear coupled with scattered thoughts and mental stress. Individuals with high vata are also more likely to suffer digestive problems such as constipation and bloating. If your vata is imbalanced, you may also notice frequent muscle tics or twitches. People with vata imbalance are also more likely to have dry or chapped skin.
Because vata is so deeply supported by a sense of routine, following a vata dosha lifestyle can be a turning point in your path toward balance.
It’s important to note that following an Ayurvedic daily routine does not mean that you should schedule every moment of every day. Instead, it’s about creating consistency with a handful of habits that are repeated each day at similar times. This invites the body to relax into a sense of safety, normalcy, and ease.
Remember to keep it simple. It’s best to start with a few consistent activities throughout each day, work with those for a couple of weeks, and then re-assess your capacity to stick with them.