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How to Spot a Lotta VATA
by Sharyn Galindo

My son turned to me and said ” It’s so great Mom I can listen to Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid on my Play Away and play “Call of Duty Zombies” on my IPAD all while I eat breakfast. Don’t worry I will be ready to catch the bus on time.” He’s 11 years old and this is my house at 7:30 am and the way of the world these days. I too have found myself helping with homework, cooking dinner, and answering a text or work email all at the same time. Kids are may be newly wired to adjust to changing times, that seem to be moving faster and faster. But whether adults or children, we are speeding up not only to match the pace of technological devices but the demands of life in the 21st century, forgetting to stop, breathe, and be present.

This kind of behavior is typical Vata derangement! Vata is one of the three metabolic types or doshas, as described by the ancient health science of Ayurveda. Vata is the principle of movement, ruled by air and ether. The other two doshas are Pitta, the principle of transformation ruled by fire and water, and Kapha, the principle of stability ruled by earth and water. We are each a unique combination of the three and for most of us, one type is predominant and another secondary. But whatever one’s inherent nature, which is determined at the time of conception, when a person goes out of balance, the vata principle destabilizes most easily. Being composed of air and ether, vata is the subtlest of the three doshas and most vulnerable to life’s vicissitudes. Seated in the colon, vata governs all movements in the body, allowing our wastes to pass, our breath to flow, limbs to move, nerve impulses to fire, and of course the mind’s ceaseless thoughts, words, and images to flow. Travel, weather changes, fragmented schedules, excessive mental or sensory stimulation, insufficient sleep, use of drugs, alcohol and other stimulants all lead to vata vitiation. In our world or trying to accomplish everything that needs to get done, it is no wonder we suffer from chronic vata problems: anxiety, depression, worry, overwhelm, insomnia, constipation, flatulence, dry skin, variable appetite, and irregular menstruation to name a few! So it’s pretty easy to spot who’s gotta lotta vata…..

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