Ayurveda 101 // Vata body type

Watercolour human skull

"Colours of Vata"

Vata dosha is strongly connected to the human skeleton, or bony issue. That is ashti, in Sanskrit. In balance this is the dosha of creativity and vibrancy. Like the colour, innocence, freedom and song of a child. You can get the full low down on Vata here.

“Music is the space between the notes”
- Claude Debussy

The simplest and most complex rhythms have the same substance; the recurrent alteration in a variable beat is marked by the gaps. We move with the oscillation of sound, and absorb in the nothingness.

In the world of Vata there is an abundance of air and ether elements. Air is the burst of activity that sets up the ripple, ether is the space in between. Together they dance like the wind. That's why the wind is your typical Vata analogy.

But the air element is more than just matter in gaseous state. No, no, no. Ayurveda is more conceptual. A main quality of the wind is its propulsive nature. That's "cala", in Sanskrit. What is "cala" in terms of human biology?

The air element is (of course) gases that are transferred through respiration or produced by digestion. But 'air' is also ions - the charged or unbound elements - that establish polarity. Polarity is the magnetism between opposing forces. It drives the conversion of potential to kinetic energy, giving the body movement at every level. Ions are called electrolytes when dissolved. They literally conduct electricity.

Key electrolytes for muscle performance are calcium and magnesium. Calcium is the powerhouse of muscle contraction. Magnesium binds to the same sites as calcium. To turn off. To quieten.

Ever wonder why you reach for that magnesium supplement when you pull up sore? Now you know. But a little extra magnesium (fuel) doesn't help a malfunctioning system. That's what herbs are for.

Potassium (K+) and sodium (Na+) are another important duo. They underpin your nerve impulse transmission. In terms of mass, electrolytes aren't so big. We are talking around 3.5% body weight. In the absence of water these ions fuse to form crystals. 

Did you get that?

The incorporation of high frequency air element into solid form by the human body produces crystals. Caaaaaaute!

Crystallisation of calcium, phosphate and ions (Vata factors) gives bone mineral. That is why bone (ashti, in Sanksrit) is the only solid tissue of the human body connected with Vata dosha.

Ashti (bony tissue) is more than structural integrity. It is what gives you the courage to stand up. When ashti is weak, so too is your ability to weather adversity. Ether, the other Vata element, has negligible mass and very little form. It is the highest layer of the physical, and lowest layer of the energetic body.

So, there you have it, Vata is your rhythm. It is inherently changeable over the very smallest window of time, but ultimately cycles to give a regulated succession of opposing elements.

Out of balance, Vata is like following Mozart on rewind in full speed.

In balance, the chaos of oscillating biological fields layer to form that classical masterpiece; the most colourful skeleton you have ever seen.

MA // Modern Ayurvedic TM

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