Vata Dosha Cycles

Doshas ebb and flow through different cycles -daily, yearly, and throughout life.

The Cycles of Vata

Doshas ebb and flow through different cycles of the day, the year, and life.  Each dosha needs to go through the cycles of accumulation(the qualities of your primary doshas naturally increases), aggravation (hits it peak), and alleviation (decreases and comes backdown to your natural doshic baseline). The onset and pattern of disease is a product of a dosha that is not brought into the alleviation cycle/phase and is left in aggravation too long. The following times of day, year, and life is where each dosha needs to be nurtured and nourished to balance when it’s in a heightened state.

finsweet Image 2

Vata Lifetime Cycles 

Senior(typically age 60) to Death

The very last stage of life is that of reflection.  It is a time of sharing wisdom, experiences, and learnings. Spirituality becomes much more important as the Vata will become more Intune with the ether (space) as they prepare for the journey from this life to the next.  During this period of life, someone who is predominantly Vata but hasn’t worked to balance will be more likely to have diseases of the mind - dementia - or be very frail and sickly.

The first stage of life (birth, childhood, youth) is supported by and infused with increased elements of the Kapha dosha -water and earth.  This period of time inmost people’s lives is marked by resilience and thriving on structure and routine.  Your childhood is full of rapid growth where you accumulate body mass and build new tissue (physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, etc.).  This time in our lives is all about building, nourishing our nature, and provides fuel for our mind and bodies - think of that layer of “baby fat”.  During that period of life, most seem to crave sweet and grounding foods - whole grains, legumes, root vegetables, and milk.  The Kapha imbalances during this cycle present as congestion, coughs, runny noses, frequent colds, and excess mucus.

Vata Yearly and Seasonal Cycles

Falland Early Winter

The cooling shift into the fall and the dry nature of the winter seasons is considered to be the Vata time of year as its qualities are cold and dry.  

All of fall and early winter are considered to be Vata Season and if you identify as primarily Vata, this is when difficulties can arise.  During this transitional period of seasons, the Vata person can feel the elements in an extreme way -excessive coldness - and notice increased dryness.

Vata Daily Cycles

An hour before the sun rise to mid morning (6 am - 10 am)

It’s important to keep the three As in mind when thinking of the daily cycles - accumulation, aggravation, and alleviation.  As a Vata, you’ll typically wake in a state of alleviation.  You’ll get into a period of accumulation in the middle of the day, and then in the evening, you’re going to enter into the aggravation period.  If you’re off your routine or cycle one day, it’s not the end of the world.  However, if you’re remaining in any of those states for too long, that’s when your body and mind will start to transition into disease.

Optimal Daily Moments

It’s not what you do every now and then that matters. It’s what you do most days that matters.

Vata types will have the optimum energy and digestion during the period of 6 am to 10 am and then again from 6 pm to 10pm.  

Ideal Daily Routine for the Vata Constitution 

6 am - 10 am - Alleviation
Practice waking up at sunrise and rise promptly

  • Engage in vital activities such as…

Stretch immediately at your bed(just a quick session will do!) to help get the blood flowing to your tissues.

Basic Bathroom necessities such as…
Tongue Scraping to remove toxins that have built up over night.  This activates peristalsis!
Brushing teeth with a cooling mint toothpaste and/or pulling oil with the same as it will help to clear ama and excess pitta from the mouth

  • Perform physical activities such as…

Pranayama (breathing exercises)
Nadi Shodhana (commonly known as Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Yoga (warming asanas) and/or meditation
Any exercise that feels right for your body at the time is good here.  It should not be too intense or too late in the morning.
Walking bare feet on a cool, dewey lawn is incredibly beneficial to Vata as it sets the tone of being grounded for the rest of the day

  • Perform Abyhangha with dry brushing and light body oil
  • Take a warm shower
  • Avoid being on your devices first thing in the morning as it can be distracting to Vata
  • 7:00 - 8:30 am - Breakfast
    Try to eat your meals at the same time daily.
    Take your time when eating.  Don’t hesitate to rest your fork in between bites and be in the moment.  
    Try to avoid screen time during this meal time as well so that you can stay focused on the meal and it’s nourishing qualities.  

10 am -2 pm - Accumulation

  • 11am - 2 pm - Lunch
    Try to eat your meals at the same time daily; ideally lunch should be your biggest meal of the day.

2 pm -6 pm - Aggravation

6 pm -10 pm - Alleviation

  • Try to eat your meals at the same time daily; ideally dinner should be between 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm.  Dinner should be your smallest meal of the day.
  • It’s time to transition into the sleep state

10 pm -2 am - Accumulation

2 am -6 am - Aggravation

  • Practice going to bed at the same time every night, maintaining eight hours of restful sleep

Learn more about the Vata Dosha

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