The Vata Energy Pattern of Movement

Radiant ManToday l'd like to spend some time discussing the physiologic energy pattern of Vata that are observable in Nature and energetically make up our energy mindbodies  It's a different way of thinking of our bodies  We are so accustomed to thinking about them in molecular terms it's a bit of a stretch to see the body in energy terms But that's the model I talk about at this blog 

In the medical energy science of Ayurveda, there are three identifiable energy patterns in Nature, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha There is the energy of movement, that of transformation and the energy of stability  All three are necessary for Nature to function and for us as well as a bodymind

Vata   The Energy of Movement

Any activity in the physiology that has to do with movement is under the guise of the energy pattern Vata  The movement of blood, nerve impulses, food through the GI tract, movement of the mindbody through space are all gross or subtle movements  But as I have discussed in a previous blog, mind is a participatory field of energy inclusive of the body's energy field  So movement of thought is also part of the energy movement of Vata  Energy patterns have specific qualities and Vata has seven qualities which are cold, light, mobile,dry, rough,subtle,and clear  And this is how we can understand the workings of the energy patterns in our body  The qualities are our window of observation of what the energy pattern is doing at any point in time 

For example, if we observe none of these qualities at work then we can say that this energy pattern is in balance  That's a good thing!  But what happens if we notice the cold quality because we're outside and it's cold, then we could say that there's a possibility that the cold quality outside our body is being stimulated  Another way of saying this is that the energy pattern of Vata is being provoked

But more than likely if we stay warm and pay attention to getting warm food when we get inside that no imbalance is created, that is, we stay in balance  But what were to happen if we got inside and had ice tea, and a cold salad then went outside again without a coat or wrap  Then over time with this kind of behavior, this cold quality would build and the result would be constipation, believe the unbelievable or not!

Examples of the Vata energy pattern

What famous people do we know who exhibit the tendency to predominant Vata energy pattern? President Obama, Mick Jagger and Johnny Depp come to mind. They are thin, move a lot and are creative in their profession

There is a tendency for people with a great deal of Vata energy pattern controlling their physiology to have dry, rough skin and large intestine linings which predispose them to constipation  They may have trouble being warm due to the cold quality. Vata tends to predispose to lots of activity due to the mobile quality  With the mobile quality they may have a lot of mental activity which can lead to distraction and lack of clarity  Those of us with cardiac rhythm disturbances happen to have too much Vata energy pattern  People with osteoporosis have too much Vata energy pattern in the bone tissue layer  Popping joints do so because they have dryness in their joints

Nutrition and Vata

So how can we relate this to nutrition? If Vata people have the dry quality then adding more dry nutritionally would produce imbalance. So cooked foods would be preferable over dry and cold foods. Raw vegetables would bring about imbalance for Vata because they are rough  Vata finds it difficult to gain weight due to the light and mobile qualities. As a matter of fact, Vata does best with heavy foods such as dairy, meat and root vegetables to balance the qualities of light and mobile To counter the dry quality using oily foods would be best

By understanding the imbalancing nature of foods through their tastes and effects on our physiologies we can begin to nourish ourselves from an energetic standpoint

To Health as a Skill  Dr Bill        

In the next two weeks I'll discuss the other energy patterns of Pitta and Kapha and how they relate to nutrition   For more info go to

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