Free like the wind! Creative, adaptable Vata people
They're the dancers, the artists, the poets, the dreamers... People who are predominantly air and space in their elemental make-up (called Vata dosha in Ayurveda) are creative, enthusisatic, like change, and adapt easily. They are free spirits! They are light and airy, they often seem to have their head in the clouds, they think creatively, are full of ideas, love to try new things, and see things as colours not black and white. They love to chat to anyone and everyone, about anything (the person doesn't even really have to be listening; they'll just be happy chatting away, as they're expressing themselves!).
Their elemental nature of wind and space means they have a light body frame, feel the cold easily, lose weight easily, and can easily be irregular and changeable in their lifestyle, routine, appetite, moods and energy level. They'll have lots of things on the go at once – but don't finish them all.
Their enthusiasm and creativity leads them to have lots of things on the go, but their excess movement can leave them physically and mentally depleted, and prone to particular ailments such as dryness, constipation, and pain and stiffness in the body. Their mind can be constantly overactive and prone to anxiety (too many thoughts moving around in there!).
Vata mentality and motivation
Positive tendencies Artistic, enthusiastic, flexible, adaptable, open to change, creative, good imagination, communicative, quick to grasp new information. Has a desire to help others through sharing and communication.
Negative tendencies Worry, anxiety, fear, erratic, fickle, unorganised, gets nervous, false enthusiasm, moods change quickly, forgets things quickly. Over-exerts and tires quickly, mental and physical energy comes in bursts, finds it hard to rest, relax and be still, mentally and physically. Loves movement and activity.
Motivation Likes change and stimulation.
Vata body type and digestion
Physical Vata types have a long, thin or small face, the skin can be dull, the eyes and lips are small. Vatas are often tall or short. The body is thin in relation to height, with an under-developed physique. Vata people easily lose weight and find it hard to keep weight on.
Appetite Variable, erratic, eats at erratic times, often undecided what to eat, snacks, can feel fearful when hungry.
Stools Dry, small, dark, hard, can be difficult to pass, can come at irregular times. Tends to gas (flatulence) and constipation (often doesn’t have a bowel movement every day). The constipation can be chronic.
Menstruation The cycle can be 24–27 days with a flow that is light and irregular. Flow lasts two to four days and the blood may be dark. There may be fatigue, sharp pains and cramps before the flow starts and during it.
In the Ayurvedic way of living, eating specific foods and making certain lifestyle choices can balance our elemental nature, and keep body and mind in balance. If you are a Vata type, look for Vata-balancing recipes and advice (unless you have ny sort of ailment, such as PMS or poor digestion, in which case see an Ayurvedic practitioner). Good beginners' (but comprehensive) books on Ayurveda are A Pukka Life by Sebastian Pole, or Prakriti by Dr Robert Svoboda