Ayurveda 101 // Anatomy of Vata

Image by Thu' Anh

Image by Thu' Anh

In nature, wind is the sound of calm, the song of trees and the carrier of wings; it is literally a breeze. But it is also the unseen force that slowly corrodes, the knot at the eye of the storm, and the raging spiral of the hurricane’s eye-wall. There is no more versatile combination of natural elements, and no force more powerful.

Historians will tell you that the first device to harness the abundance of wind power was the windmill. The creator and the timeline of this invention are up for debate. Was it Heron Alexandria in 200 BCE?
Or the Persians in 500 AD?
Or the Chinese in 1200 AD?
Daniel Halliday is often credited as manufacturing the first industrial windmills in 1850, and Charles F. Bush the first electricity-generating windmill in 1888.

Your Mother Ayurveda teaches quite a different story.

The human body has been harnessing wind power since the beginning of human form. Long before any man-made machine.
1 point if you’ve heard of the word Chakra.
10 points if you knew the word Chakra means wheel.
20 points if you can guess where we’re going.

Eastern traditions have educated us on the location of the Chakra, but anatomically speaking they are harder to peg down. These energy generators are no less real. The word Chakra is loosely translated to wheel or circle but, as with most Sanskrit translations, the significance is lost in the simple interpretation. To understand, we must piece the words together in their traditional context.

Vata is air and ether, air and ether together form wind. Like earth, water and fire, the air element is physical. It is built from your micros - that’s vitamins and minerals (aka electrolytes in their dissolved state). You can get the full low down on Vata hereEther, on the other hand, is in a class of its own. It cannot be seen, it is experienced.

The wind turbines of a windmill spin to capture air, providing the mechanical power to generate electrical (wind) energy.

Your Chakras are the hubs Vata (ether + air). You could even say they are your Chakra-mills; the wind turbines of the physical body. These turbines spin, providing the mechanical power to transmute the ethereal imprint it an energetic current in your body. The Chakras are literally capture the ionic (energetic) potential of the ether element and using it to generate electrical (wind) power.

Vata dosha (air + ether) is closely connected to the nervous system. The electrical power produced in your Chakras is stored in cell membrane potentials. Membrane potentials are the difference in ionic gradients that is maintained between conducting cells. If your transmitting cells (like neurons) receive an impulse, they fire. In the world of physiology, firing is called generating an Action Potential. The stimulating impulse takes the form of an influx of positively charged ions into the cell, rendering the cell less negative. 

Could cellular biology be any cheekier?
More positivity = less negativity = more action. The occult has a serious sense of humour.

The Chakras have a memory of their own - imprinted with a series of impressions that come from your external and internal world. They are your energetic lynch pin, and whether or not they in balance determines which side of the divided line you live in.

Ayurveda teaches us that everything we see around us is also in us. That means your experience of the wind element is just like we see in nature. When you’re Chakras are aligned, the air and ether elements become integrated in a balanced way. The mind is still, clear, calm and open. Vata delivers inspiration, clarity, and, if you stop to listen, a level of insight that can blow your mind. Action is fueled from inspiration.

When you become disconnected from your energetic being, the air and ether also fall out of sync. It is in this state that we get dismantled from the entire centre of our cosmic being.

Just like that hidden, corrosive wind, sometimes we get stuck in a state of incongruence that silently eats us away. Other times we can feel that knot at the eye of the storm swirl. Meet Vata’s other face. She is one destructive bitch. If you don’t heed her warning she will blow your mind to bits. Vata in cyclonic form can leave you feeling frantic, fractured and broken.

Unlike the other elements, which depend on the physical matter you consume, ether is not remodeled from food. 

Ether is abundant.
Ether is eternal.
Ether is what keeps us alive.
Your connection to ether comes (unsurprisingly) from time spent in union.
Yoga is union, not a series of poses.
In fact, the poses (asana) are only 1/8th of it (there are 8 limbs of yoga).

Ayurveda and Yoga speak the same language. Ayrveda's daily routines and rituals are also a point of connection to the authentic self. Yoga and Ayurveda work together in Chakra balancing. 

So, there you have it, now every time you visit that place you can think of your Chakra-mills turning, feeding your body with the potential to do.

This is the (wind) power of Vata.

MA // Modern Ayurvedic TM

Like this notebook entry? 
Share it.
Or comment so we know to bring you more like this.

Older Post
Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


Close (esc)


Followers will be kept in the know with new product launches, exclusive discounts and MA special events. We promise quality not quantity. This is Ayurveda, after all.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Main menu

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now