10 Signs You Have a Vata Imbalance (and How to Help!)


If you know anything about Ayurveda, you may have heard that Autumn into early Winter is Vata season. If not handled with care, Vata, one of our three Ayurvedic doshas or biological energies found throughout the body and mind, can really throw us into a frenzy. Here are ten signs that you may be experiencing a Vata imbalance, along with ten Ayurvedic-inspired ways to help stabilize during this tricky time.

10 Signs of Imbalance

  1. You are reading more than three books at the same time. And they are all interesting, but you can’t seem to stay with them for longer than six minutes at a stretch.
  2. You have a GREAT idea for a television series. No, wait, it would be better as a movie. Come to think of it, actually it would make a great play. Or web series. Or book.
  3. You are reading this column from your closet, while wearing all black clothing and listening to Massive Attack on repeat.
  4. You can’t remember ANY of your usernames or passwords.
  5. You’re late to yoga because you forgot your mat, and then got off at the wrong exit or stop, and then realized you didn’t bring your yoga pants, so you have to buy a new pair and there are so many colors to choose from.
  6. Out of nowhere, you now have to hold your ears when dogs bark or babies cry, and you can’t walk through Bed Bath & Beyond, Forever 21, or Whole Foods at dinnertime without having a major panic attack.
  7. You are consulting your Magic 8-Ball or Ouija Board for major life decisions.
  8. You have SO much to do. So you made a list. And then you lost the list.
  9. You’re up all night surfing the web about tattoo designs, discount airfare to India, the latest new music on Spotify, and what each of your exes is up to these days.
  10. You make a plan to have a lunch date, and text your friend at 11:00 a.m. that you can’t wait to meet her at your favorite sandwich spot at 1:00 p.m. At 11:11 a.m., Thai food seems like a better choice, so you text again. At 11:43 a.m., you have a sudden craving for a dosa, so you text her to meet you at your local Indian restaurant. At 12:17 p.m., you decide that you are on a juice cleanse and cancel the lunch date.

Vata Intervention Moment

First off, don’t panic! Ayurveda Ali has got you covered. Here are some easy remedies.

10 Easy Remedies

  1. Eat some warm, grounding foods. Roasted root veggies with some coconut or sesame oil on top, thick stews and soups, quinoa with chopped almonds and cumin, coriander and fennel on top. Khichdi is an Ayurvedic cleansing dish that is yummy, quick, nutritious, and inexpensive to make.
  2. Drink warm beverages all day. My favorite tonic is CCF tea. Get a teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds. Boil them gently in two cups water for twenty minutes, strain, and drink. This is great for digestion and hormone balancing.
  3. In your yoga practice, add more seated poses, leg and arm balancing poses, and don’t forget restoratives and a good long savasana.
  4. Color choices: earthy tones like brown and rust, rich tones like maroon and deep purple. Stay away from too much black.
  5. No breath of fire or kapalabhati breath for you right now. Nadi Shodhana is great.
  6. Give yourself more time than you think you need to get places. Way more. It does not take fifteen minutes to get there. It takes at least twenty-three minutes, and running is not going to help right now.
  7. No walking while eating. Or standing while eating. Or eating in the car, on the subway, on your bike, or on your rollerblades. In fact, stay off them completely for now. Put your feet on the earth.
  8. And while you’re at it, get or give yourself some reflexology. Show some love for the first chakra, associated with the element of Earth, which is so good for airy/spacey Vata. Get a handful of fractionated coconut oil and add a couple drops each of lavender and clary sage.
  9. Get a new mala, preferably with some tiger’s eye, rose quartz, pearl and/or citrine. Do some Japa with the mantra “LAM,” which is the seed sound for the first chakra. Commit to doing it at the same time each day, one round of 108 LAM’s takes about three minutes.
  10. Try one of my Ayurvedic practices for Vata soothing. There is one for the day that is more active and one for the evening that is more restorative. You may also try one of my new Rasa sequences. The Sweet, Salty, or Sour Practices would be best for Vata.

Remember to go slow, do less, and stabilize with routine. The ancient practices of Ayurveda can be easily applied to our modern lives. Blessings for good health and prosperity!

About the Author

Ali Cramer

Ali is a yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner based in New York City. She believes deeply that the practices of yoga and Ayurveda can teach us to live our lives with integrity, balance, and grace, if we are willing to do the work. You can practice with Ali on Yoga Anytime in Yoga and Ayurveda and Ayurveda: Yoga Practices to Feel Like Yourself.


3 people like this.
This is such a wonderful description. I do not suffer from this but watch people who do. Is there any advice for when it abruptly wears off? Usually people "crash" and are de-energized. Thank you for any thought on this.
4 people like this.
Susan, thank you for reading and asking. The Ayurvedic perspective recognizes “stages” of disease. The symptoms I mentioned are the disease showing itself, what you described sounds like a more advanced stage. And yes, people crash hard when Vata imbalance goes too far. Hopefully these suggestions can work to prevent that. If it’s too late and the crash happens, sleep will help! And restorative yoga. And all the above mentioned tools, plus some sunshine and/or time in nature-such a great way to replenish Prana. Take care! Namaste, Ali
3 people like this.
Love it, thank you for sharing... :) I am just starting to watch your series and learn more about Ayurveda... Being a clinician it's a great compliment to my 'scienfic-analytical' brain... ;) Now learning to be that more tuned into my body at a deeper level. :)
2 people like this.
Chris thanks so much for your receptivity! Hope you enjoy the other videos. Namaste, Ali
2 people like this.
Thank you Ali Cramer for your explanation, I am totally new to Ayurveda and I can identify a couple of symptoms of Vata misbalance. Working on grounding my self and balance. Great post!
3 people like this.
Janeissy glad you enjoyed. May I recommend my Intro to Ayurveda talk from the first season of the Ayurveda show-it will give you an overview of the basics. Namaste and thanks for reading!
2 people like this.
Hello Ali Cramer , thank you for the recommendation. It was an awesome introduction. Will continue to learn and following this show!
2 people like this.
Janeissy awww thanks! Enjoy!
I suffer from many of these things if not all. I am however still unsure what my dosha is, I've taken many online tests and they all say different things though I've got pitta the most. Is there a test you recommend? 
Dayna Wildern there are two concepts in terms of dosha in Ayurveda. One is prakruti, which is your constitution at birth, and the other is vikruti, which is your current state. I think quizzes can be a great jumping off point, but they are not the whole story. If you are really curious about a tailored Ayurvedic wellness plan, please get in touch with me at alicramer.com or get in touch with another Ayurvedic practitioner. Self diagnosing can be very tricky, and mistakes can throw us off balance. Wishing you good health, Ali 

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