Balancing Vata Energy: By Creating Boundaries
With the qualities of space, air, ether, irregularity and movement, the Vata dosha is characterised by a noticeable lack of boundaries. Where the Kapha dosha is all about structure, rigidity, and holding everything together. Vata types (and those with a Vata imbalance) can find it difficult to cultivate a sense of structure physically, mentally and in life.
One of the classic aspects of Vata is movement of energy, and when we have excessive Vata energy within us, it can be easy to ‘spend’ energy a little too easily. Without any sense of control (in the form of physical energy, mental focus, enthusiasm, money, time etc). Vata types tend to work in bursts of energy – focussing intensely for a short period of time, but becoming distracted or fatigued easily. They tend to find it difficult to know how to manage their energy levels and time. Also, they may often feel overwhelmed or rushed. They may also lose interest in people or passions quickly, unable to fully focus or immerse themselves in projects or relationships (commitment ‘issues’ are a common Vata problem. Although they often crave the comfort and feeling of safety relationships bring).
When Vata types are in a well-balanced place, they’re able to be creative, imaginative, adventurous and sociable, but in order for all of these qualities to exist in a balanced state, it’s important to practice setting boundaries. If any of the aspects on the list below match you, it’s time to start setting those boundaries.
How lack of boundaries can show up with a Vata imbalance:
- Difficulty separating work and home life
- Exercising to the point of exhaustion
- Taking on too much, or saying ‘yes’ to too many things
- Being late
- Allowing others to cross personal or professional boundaries (often without realising at first)
- Unconsciously crossing other people’s boundaries
- Poor time-management
- Over-spending money
- Feeling scattered and overwhelmed
Setting boundaries to balance Vata:
- Separate your work from your leisure time (click THIS link to read a blog all about that, especially if you’re working from home)
- Balance movement and stillness. If you love working out, make sure you rest on rest days, and listen to the Ayurvedic wisdom which advises to exercise just to the point of sweating on the forehead, armpits and along the spine – roughly 50% of your capacity.
- Reflect upon whether or why you’re saying yes to too many things. Are you fearful of letting people down? Do you overestimate how much time you have to complete tasks? Can you strip away what you no longer need to say yes to, so you have space for the things that really matter? Great reading resources for this are Sarah Knight’s books. You Do You, The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck, and F*ck No
- Manage your time by maintaining a calendar, writing down the tasks you need to or want to do each week, and sticking to them. This can help keep you focussed throughout the day.
Tips To Balancing Vata Energy:
- Spend less time on social media, less time in front of screens, and less time around loud noises. The Vata dosha is very sensitive to external stimulus. And too much of it can be very taxing on the nervous system. Rest the eyes and ears by spending more time in silence. Lie down with an eye pillow gently over your eyes for a few minutes sometime between 2pm and 6pm. The afternoon hours are when more Vata energy is ‘in the air’, so this can help maintain a sense of calm.
- Respect your own boundaries by only committing to what you know you can get done without over-stressing yourself. Don’t take on too many professional or personal tasks, and if someone has crossed a boundary with you, tell them.
- Respect other people’s boundaries by being aware of how you would like to be treated. Don’t send work emails after 5pm. Be on time for appointments, give people space when they need it, and practice listening without interrupting when someone needs to be heard.
- When it comes to skincare, nourish yourself and prevent dryness with Urban Veda’s Radiance range, or the wonderful Reviving Range.
- Keep a regular practice of abhyanga (self-massage). As Vata types and Vata imbalances can mean that physical and mental energy is dissipated quickly (a little like trying to keep sand held in a sieve!). Massaging the body with warm sesame oil can work to calm and restore energy. Focus on any areas of the body that are particularly cold, dry or painful. And use plenty of oil on the joints. Think of it a little like using the oil to ‘seal in’ your prana, or life-force energy!