The Ayurveda Experience Blog

Vata Imbalance & Reproductive Health

To create balance in your menstrual cycle and hormones, it’s essential that we look at how doshic imbalances that affect your reproductive system.

Vata Dosha: If you recognize that you have scanty menses, cramping at menstruation, or your cycle is irregular or if you are experiencing infertility, you want to pay attention to how to pacify vata.

The first and most important factor is reduce stress, incorporate daily exercise routines into your life, spend time every day in nature. And whenever possible move at the pace of nature. Incorporate relaxation practices into your daily life, you could try guided meditation. Focus to be in the present as much as possible, as when vata went is out of balance we try to be in too many places at one time.

Regulate Agni or digestive fire by making the right food choices. Vata likes to indulge in food that are heavy, moist and dense. But because their digestive fire is little bit wobbly or  irregular,  it is recommended that you consume food in small portion sizes.

If you ever hear yourself say ‘I forgot to eat’, it is a clear indication of vata imbalance. To bring your body back in balance, make sure you eat little but at regular intervals. You must focus on bringing in enough food into your digestive system so that you have enough fuel to build the body tissues.  

One of the things that Vata dosha imbalance person must practice is to indulge in conscious eating. You could do this by saying grace with your meal, or being in space without any distractions. This will allow you to bring your nervous system back to state of calm. This will ensure that you are able to digest the food in a better manner.

Ayurveda also recommends adding specific spices and herbs to restore balance. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and fennel are wonderful spices for vata digestion.

Vata dosha tends to eat too fast or eat too much or eat too little food, this creates either spaciousness in the digestive system in which the gas moves in. This can only be corrected with a proper diet and herbal spices that act as gas removers. If I take care of your digestive fire, you help remove the ‘ama’ from the system. Vata does well when they take the time to cook their food. If they put in more time in preparing their meals, they’ll feel more stable and connected to the foods that they are eating.

Vatas also must do daily exercise. Not strenuous exercise that will wear them out but rather daily exercise that will allow them to stay connected between physical body, breath and mind. The breath is the bridge between the physical body and the mind.

Going on a walk consciously wherein they can feel their feet touching the ground, dancing, riding a bike doing something that gets them in rhythmic movement and increases their breath. With all this, it is of crucial importance that they bring their awareness and attention back  to their physical body.

Yoga asanas are very good as they ensure a union between the physical body and the mind. So vata dosha does very well when they exercise with awareness and attention on the breath.

What vata tends to do when they go out of balance they over do everything, if little bit is good and a lot is better. But to come back in balance vata dosha must recognize that a little bit may be all that is needed as long as it’s a little bit every single day. Continuity, routine and regularity are all key factors in keeping vata dosha in balance.

Due to vata imbalance, rasa dhatu depletes rapidly. And, the deficiency is reflected in the quality of the menses and the fluidity of the body. So vata dosha needs to take special care to build rasa dhatu.

We build rasa dhatu by taking the demulcents in our food and our beverages. In our foods many whole grains such as oats, brown rice and wheat have the demulcents properties. The demulcents means that they hold water and because they do that they release water sparingly throughout the system. So vata dosha ends up having excess of water in their digestive system.

By taking in demulcent foods we can build rasa dhatu. Demulcents drinks like marshmallow tea, marshmallow root tea, liquorice root tea have many health benefits. Many types of seeds have demulcents properties, the seeds also have a lot of oily components to them. Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds these are all considered demulcents as well.

We want to take in enough water, so that we can replenish water in our body and we want to  take in foods or herbs which help to hold that water in body. We can also do so with oils or oily vegetables or oily fruits like avocado and olives.

It is equally important to build medo dhatu. Omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids with an emphasis on omega 3 helps to get us good quality fats in the system. Our liver is responsible for breaking down those fats so that they are not stored in the body as excess pocket of fats in any place. If we keep our stress levels low then the body can use these quality fats to build healthy cell membrane. We can get these quality fats and oil by taking supplements of omega 3 acids that is found in nuts and seeds.

However, poor quality medo dhatu is made when we take in too many sugars. Taking too much sugar results in fat accumulation around the belly and hip area. Fat uses fat to build healthy cell membrane and to build healthy fats through the body. So we need healthy fats in our diet. Vata dosha needs them more than anyone else.

In addition to this, the quality of the shukra dhatu can be undertaken by consuming herbs which supports shukra dhatu formation. For women there is an herb called Shatavari which is wonderful in building healthy shukra dhatu. It’s dhatu builder. For men ashwagandha is often used to build the strength of the male reproductive system. There are some specific foods that are shukra builders – almonds, milk, ghee.

Mary Thompson, C.A.S., P.K.S., is a founding member and former secretary of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. She graduated from the California College of Ayurveda in 1997 where she's also taught for the past 18 years. She is not only a Certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist but a Pancha Karma Specialist. In 2008 she received the Charaka Award for Excellence in Ayurvedic Teaching and was given the title 'Ayurvedacharya', respected teacher of Ayurveda.

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