Vata is the dosha of air and thus is responsible for movement. It is dry, volatile, cold, irregular and flighty. A person who has a predominance of vata will usually be thin, with dry skin, frizzy hair, hard but brittle nails, uneven teeth and the eyes may have a greyish tinge. Vata people have great ideas, good short-term memory and are often impulsive, but lack the stamina and discipline to go through with things. A disturbance in vata is usually brought about by unstable circumstances, windy conditions and upheaval or change in general. It is exacerbated by raw foods, marijuana and psychedelic drugs, and a lack of routine.
If vata (air) prevails, you need to focus on grounding and strengthening. Excess vata makes it difficult to concentrate; one feels spacey and often anxious. You may be a vata-type or an imbalance in this field may just be a result of unsettling circumstances, such as a move, travel, a break-up or even just a windy day. The extremities often feel cold and special attention should be paid to safeguarding ankles and wrists. Standing balances and any postures that posit an altered foundation and therefore challenge one’s relationship with gravity are very useful. The breath is often shallow and needs to be deepened and lengthened through such pranayama practices as nadi shodana.