If you’ve read our blog about eating food to help improve your performance in your yoga classes, then you were introduced to the belief system of Ayurveda and the three doshas, or body types, that an Ayurvedic diet aims to bring into balance. You can take this quiz to find out what your strongest and most out of balance doshas are.
Each dosha represents a different element of nature, and each element has different qualities that can overpower the body. Vata represents air, pitta represents fire; and kapha represents earth and water. If you discover that vata is the dosha that is most imbalanced in your system, then continue reading for information about foods that will help bring you back into balance.
If you’re looking for somewhere to continue your yoga practice, Duality Fit in Sloan Lake offers a couple of yoga classes to help you improve your practice. Become a member and attend as many yoga classes every month as you like.
Balance Vata with Food
Vata represents air, meaning that its qualities are cool, dry, rough, and light. To counteract an imbalanced vata and these qualities, eat foods that are warm, moist, oily, smooth, and deeply nourishing.
To balance out the cooling effect of vata, eat foods that are warm in temperature and have a warm energy. Create a warm energy in your food by using spices that create a warming effect in the body. Eat food that is freshly cooked and still warm. Also, try drinking beverages that are warm or hot to counteract the coolness you probably feel in your body.
Avoid eating raw food; food that is cold or leftover from the fridge; or drinks that are cold, frozen, or carbonated. Freshly cooked food is best, but it’s still better to eat reheated leftovers than a cold salad or food with preservatives.
Moist and Oily Foods
Vata is naturally dry so to offset this, eat foods that are cooked in healthy fats like coconut oil or clarified butter. Raw foods tend to be drier than cooked foods for this reason, so limit your intake.
Staying hydrated is incredibly important for vata. Drink water that is no cooler than room temperature.
Naturally juicy and moist foods like berries, melons, summer squash, zucchini, and yogurt help balance vata. Oily foods like avocado, coconut, olives, dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts, and seeds also help offset the dryness of vata.
Limit or avoid foods that make you feel parched. These foods include popcorn, crackers, white potatoes, beans, and dried fruits.
With a vata imbalance, your body is more sensitive to high-fiber fruits and vegetables that are rough in texture. Cooking these foods can help break down the fiber, but you should also limit the amount of raw fruits and vegetables you eat. After cooking these foods, serve them with oily foods like butter, oil, or ghee.
Smooth foods also pacify the roughness associated with vata. Try foods like bananas, pudding, hot cereal, root vegetables, and puréed soups. These foods have less fiber and are more soothing for vata.
Vata has the quality of lightness, so it’s natural to think that heavier foods would help balance out vata. On the contrary, heavy foods tend to be an overcorrection and can also wreak havoc on the digestive tract. Instead, focus on foods that are grounding, nourishing, and provide prana, vital life-force energy. Foods like these include cooked grains like pasta and rice, root vegetables, cooked fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Avoid foods that are canned or have a lot of preservatives. Dense foods like cakes and pastries are also too heavy for vata. Cut out caffeine, nicotine, and hard alcohol as much as possible as these substances interfere with the grounding effect.
Certain flavors help pacify a vata imbalance as well. Eat foods that are sweet, sour, or salty. These flavors are more grounding, can improve digestion, and help retain moisture.
Avoid flavors that are pungent, bitter, and astringent as they can create a cooling and drying effect that will worsen discomfort associated with a vata imbalance.
As you begin to find balance from the food you eat, continue to find balance in your yoga practice. Become a member at Duality Fit and gain access to an unlimited number of yoga classes. We offer DualityFlow that is sequenced and helps you focus inward. Align & Flow helps you focus on breath and balance. Become a member or contact us for information about our yoga classes.