When you really start digging into the subject of Ayurveda, it can quickly start to seem complex. However, one of my favorite Ayurveda teachers used to say, “Ayurveda is common sense!” I believe this is true. Though Ayurveda is a vast, rich, deep ancient science, once you understand the foundational concepts much of what to do will fall into place. In thinking about how to bring balance to Vata dosha, it is helpful to come back to the qualities of Vata: light, cool, dry, rough, and subtle. From there you will see that warmth, oil, heaviness, and regular routine will balance Vata dosha. Let’s take a look at Vata oil and how to use oil for balancing Vata dosha.
Oil For Vata
Since Vata dosha is light and dry by nature, it fits that oils balance Vata dosha. Oil adds moisture and heaviness to soothe Vata’s dry, light nature. What kind of oil and how to use it you may ask? There are no shortage of options! There are many wonderful oils to choose from for both internal and external use. When it comes to Vata oil, ghee (or better yet, ghruta) and sesame oil are held in high regard.
Ghee and ghruta are rich and nourishing, yet also stimulate agni (the digestive fire) and build ojas (vitality and vigor). This is desirable for all doshas. However, Vata dosha, with its tendency to cause an irregular appetite, can especially benefit from ghee. Also, those with a predominant Vata constitution are likely to deplete their ojas through too much movement, activity, and nervous tension. Therefore, foods that build ojas, such as ghee and almonds, are particularly good for Vata types or those with a Vata imbalance.
Sesame oil is also a nice choice as a Vata oil. You can use gently warmed sesame oil for daily abhyanga (self-massage with oil). And, sesame oil can be used in salads, for low-temperature cooking, or enjoyed as a drizzling oil.
Ways to Enjoy Oil for Vata Balance
We have covered a couple of good oil choices for Vata dosha. You may be wondering now how to use oil to balance Vata dosha. Vata types tend to need to consume ample amounts of oil. In fact, the amount of ghee that some Vata types consume may be shocking to their Pitta and Kapha counterparts! Of course, one always needs to be reasonable and mindful of one’s specific health conditions. However, as long as it is good quality oil, such as organic, grass-fed or free-range ghee or ghruta, most people with a Vata constitution can enjoy lipids generously.
Add ghee or ghruta to your morning porridge or kitchari, use it for roasting or frying, or even stir a teaspoon into hot water or tea and drink up!
Vata Oil for Your Body
I also mentioned earlier that oil massage is a great way to enjoy the Vata-balancing effects of oil. You can massage your face, feet, and whole body with sesame oil, ghee, or special herbal-infused oils on a daily basis. This is a wonderful way to nourish your skin, muscles, and connective tissue.
In addition, the medas dhatu, or fat tissue, is connected to self-love. So, by nourishing ourselves with good Vata oils from the inside out and outside in, we are showing ourselves love.