Ruksha (dryness), laghu (lightness), sita (coldness), khara (roughness), sukshma (thinness) and calo (agility) are the characteristic qualities of Vata energy. – Astanga Hrdayam Ch1./v.11.
Anything that displays the above qualities, although not necessarily all together, manifests the presence of Vata energy.
The coolness of the air we inhale which regulates body temperature and its subtlety allows it to rapidly oxygenate all the cells of the body.
The north wind which is cold and penetrating, makes the lips dry and quickly reduces body temperature.
Foods characterised by coldness and lightness (e.g. lettuce, cabbage, rocket and greens), which are ideal for losing weight, make the body more agile and active.
Fluorescent light has a cold, dry quality, is airy in an imbalanced way, similar to a cloudy, grey sky.
The imperceptible way the vocal cords produce sounds during exhalation, manifests as our voice. Language, which expresses our thoughts and feelings, shaped our technical and cultural civilisation. Harsh, mechanical speech, lacking warmth and feeling, increases the air energy in an imbalanced way and distances the listener, causing them to either leave the room or to become absent-minded.
Tree bark that is cracked, skin that is dry and chaffed needing moisturising cream, the taste in one’s mouth after an astrigent or bitter taste are all the effects of the qualities of air, in sanskrit Vata or Anilah.
All these are examples of the characteristic qualities that indicate the presence of Vata.
- Dr Nikolaos Kostopoulos