Vata Dosha Attributes

Dry •Cold • Light • Mobile • Subtle • Irregular

Attributes of the Vata Dosha

Like increases like and opposite qualities will balance.

”Like a current of electricity, vata is busy: it is responsible for regulating all electrical impulses in the body-mind, carrying information in and out.  In fact, without vata the other doshas are inert.  As it says in the Ayurvedic literature, “Pitta is lame, kapha is lame. They go wherever the wind (vata) takes them, just like the clouds.” -Sebastian Pole, Discovering the True You with Ayurveda

Vata Personality Traits

Vata as a dosha is the combination of the air and ether (can be referred to as the space element as well) elements.  The Vata energy controls communication and actions.  Vata is all movements - flow of breath, expression of speech, blood circulation, elimination of wastes, through processes.  Vata is the wind; the cool breeze you feel on your skin, the element that is held within a vast expanse(space, your body, a hollow cave). Vata’s main qualities are dry, cold, light, mobile, erratic, rough, and naturally gravitate towards the tastes of sweet, sour and salty.

Vata can tend towards constipation and cannot tolerate gaseous foods well.  They tend to be spiritually insightful and typically have a disciplined mind.  Vata may find the most pleasure and peace from spending time in the wholesome beauty of nature.  Vata loves regularity and routine.  They can eat the same foods every day and white they might intellectually get tired of it, they will keep the routines in place by nature. Many will thrive as counselors and teachers with a natural creative flare.

Typical Vata Characteristics

Vata sounds like...


Dry, hoarse, high-pitched, or quiet
Fast talker, jumps from subject to subject

Other noises

Cracking joints, burping, a bit windy

Vata feels like...


Cold, hard, thin, fast, irregular


Cold and dry, especially hands, knees, nose, feet, abdomen

Vata's appearance can be...

Physical Frame

Very tall or short, thin, narrow, delicately slender
Knobbly knees and elbows (big jointed)
Flat-chested, sharp or bent nose


Low weight
Finds it difficult to put on weight
When gains weight, tends to accumulate in the midriff


Dry, rough, chapped, cracks on hands and feet; Veins visible through skin
Pale lips, nail beds and skin; blue when very cold
Leathery, tans easily and rarely burns that can be sallow and prone to premature wrinkling


Dry, thin, tightly curled, wiry, dark, frizzy
Scant hair over body that tends to be very fine or very coarse


Dry, rough and ridged, irregular length and shape
May have white spots and ridges; may be brittle
Tendency to bite nails


Gray, dark blue, or dark brown; Small, darting, cavant
Small in relation to head and can feel dry
Eyebrows thin, regular in shape


Thin, small, dry, cracked, and thin
Pale in color with a white or black coating


Hardly any body odor
Rarely sweats

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Vata's habits can look like...


Variable, irregular, and “nervous” appetite
Can suffer from bloating and flatulence
Constipation, dry stools, irregular bowel movements


Irregular patter, light to very deep, averaging 4-7 hours; can suffer from insomnia
Prone to sleepwalking and walking; teeth-grinding common
Wakes early, feels a it “burned-out”
Rarely remembers dreams, usually about motion
Prefers a soft bed with heavy cover

Energy Levels

Erratic, comes in waves
Bad managers of vitality, often try to sustain energy with stimulants

Sex Drive

Varies; avid fantasizers
Intensely passionate, then needs rest
Can have weaker fertility

Temperature Needs

Easily feels cold, wears lots of warm clothes
Likes hot drinks and food
Likes a warm and humid climate
Dislikes cold, dry, and windy weather

Mood and Emotions

When balanced, is creative and inspirational; If imbalance, can be a bit anxious and fearful
Low tolerance to pain, noise, bright lights
Indecisive, fidgety, frigid, introspective, disciplined
Fast, enthusiastic speech

Vata's optimal timing is...


Prevalent very early morning and early afternoon (often the windiest time of day); predominantly 3am- 7am and 3pm - 7pm


The change of the seasons, especially spring and fall


Later life, above the age of 50 (older people are full of wisdom and like vata, are thinner, drier, lighter)

Vata tastes tend towards...


Pungent, astringent, bitter


Sweet, sour, salty

Learn more about...

The Vata Dosha Profile

What is Vata Season? Ayurvedic Seasonal Guide

What is a Vata Diet?

Vata Support and Tools

Ayurvedic Seasonal Food List

Ayurvedic Morning Routine