Vata can be recognized by its attributes: dry, cold, light, mobile, subtle, hard, rough, changeable and clear. It is the most powerful of the Doshas, being the life-force itself. It is the strongest force to create disease and governs all movement, carrying both Pitta and Kapha.
In its natural state, Vata is responsible for maintaining energy, breathing, movement, impulses, equilibrium and sensual acuity. When it’s aggravated it will cause dryness, dark discolorations, cold and tremors, abdominal distention, constipation, loss of strength, insomnia, loss of sensory acuity, incoherent speech and rambling, and fatigue.
Vata lives in the colon, hips, thighs, ears, bones, and sense of touch. Its chief location is the colon where it accumulates and begins the disease process. From the colon, it can also be directly expelled from the body.
People with a predominant Vata constitution tend to be physically underdeveloped, with flat chest and prominent veins and tendons. Their complexion may be tinged brown with cold, rough, dry, or cracked skin. They will have few moles present and those will tend to be dark.
Vata people tend to be either tall or short, with thin frames, prominent joints and low muscle development. Their hair is usually curly and scanty, and their eyelashes are thin. They have small active eyes they may be sunken or lack lustre, with a dryer darker conjunctiva. The nails may be brittle or rough, while the nose can be bent or up-turned.
Their appetite and digestion are variable, sometimes easily eating a large meal and other times having no appetite at all. They prefer warm food and drinks.
Their urine is scanty and dark, and their feces tends to be dry, hard, or small in quantity with constipation. They don’t sweat much or easily and their sleep is also light, short, and often disturbed. Their hands and feet are often cold.
Vatas can be creative, active, alert, and restless. They talk fast, move fast, walk fast, and tire fast. They have quick understanding, but short memory and scattered attention. They can be flexible and adjust quickly or indecisive and impatient.
Vatas need more endurance, confidence, and boldness. They think and worry too much and are afflicted with fear, anxiety, and nervousness.