Keep Calm and Centered: A Daily Balancing Routine for Vata

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. You might wake up at 6 a.m. one morning, and then sleep in past 10 a.m. the next day. You may live in a whirl of activity, eat on the run, and find your thoughts racing through your mind.

While our society encourages rushing and multitasking, Vatas are particularly vulnerable to becoming imbalanced and ill when they don’t have a daily routine that includes regular periods of both rest and activity. When you accumulate too much of the Vata elements of space and wind, this imbalance can manifest as illness, including anxiety, insomnia, arthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia, and digestive disorders. However, by creating a nurturing daily routine, you can restore and maintain balance and radiant health.

Ayurveda prescribes a complete daily routine that balances all of the doshas. However, in modern society many people would struggle to find the time to complete all of the steps of the traditional routine. For this reason, we’re offering you a simpler, more doable daily routine tailored to the specific needs of the Vata dosha.

Not a Vata?


Morning

  • 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, who tend to push themselves to the point of physical or mental exhaustion.
  • When you get up, drink a glass of warm water. This signals your physiology to eliminate toxins.
  • Meditate for 10 minutes, or longer if you can, letting the inner quiet set the tone for your day. Set an intention, something simple such as, “Today I feel centered and joyful in everything I do.”
  • Massage your body with a nourishing, warming oil such as sesame or almond. You may also want to gently rub a drop of sesame oil inside your nasal passages, which have a tendency to become dry in Vata types.
  • Bathe.
  • Wear clothing made with soft fabrics in earth tones and mild pastel shades, which calm Vata types.
  • Practice a Vata-balancing yoga sequence (this takes less than 10 minutes).
  • Eat a healthy breakfast with awareness.
  • Perform your morning work and activity. Focus on one thing at a time. The brain can’t actually multitask, so trying to type an email while answering a call and planning a trip will only create Vata imbalances in your mind-body system.
  • Throughout the day, drink lots of warm liquids such as hot water and herbal teas to prevent dehydration. You can prepare a fresh ginger tea by placing a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger into a pint thermos bottle and filling it with hot water.

Mid-Day

  • Eat lunch between noon and 1 p.m. in a calm, peaceful environment. In Ayurveda, lunch is the largest meal of the day because your digestive fire is strongest at this time. Eat foods that are warming, fresh, and well cooked; avoid dry or uncooked foods, especially salads and raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Sit quietly for five minutes after eating.
  • Walk for 5 to 15 minutes to aid digestion.
  • Perform your afternoon work and activity.
  • If you like, take a short nap sometime between 2 and 4 p.m.
  • Remember to stay warm. Vata is a cold, dry dosha, so it’s important to make sure your home and work place are well heated and that the air has enough humidity. Since Vata is extremely sensitive to moving air, it’s wise to avoid drafts or sitting near fans or ventilators.
  • Meditate around sunset.

 Evening

  • Give yourself time to wind down before dinner. You may want to get some light exercise or spend a little time outside in nature.
  • Eat a light dinner by 7 p.m. Enjoy some time with friends or family in a relaxed, loving setting.
  • Sit quietly for five minutes after eating.
  • Walk for 5 to 15 minutes to aid digestion.

 Bedtime

  • Avoid overly exciting, dynamic, or intensely concentrated work in the evening. Begin winding down for sleep at least 30 minutes before you intend to go to bed. Enjoy some inspirational or light reading.
  • Enjoy a relaxing, warm bath before bed; add a few drops of aromatic oil such as vanilla, lavender, sandalwood, or rose to the water.
  • Aim to be in bed with the lights off by 10:30 p.m.

Commit to following an ideal daily routine for one week. Without being overly compulsive, try following a program that aligns your daily rhythms with those of nature.

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This article was written as a combined effort of the editors for Chopra.com and the Chopra Centered Lifestyle community. The editors take advantage of the wisdom and knowledge at the Chopra Center through access to Master Educators, Program Developers, and Speakers, and bring you the healing wisdom in a simple, online format. Want to submit content for the editors to consider? Visit our content submission guidelines .Read more