Subtypes of Vata Dosha

Subtypes of Vata Dosha Introduction

In the three doshas, Vayu is the first and foremost in terms of origin and karma, so Vayu comes first in the list of Tridoshas. Sushruta has called Vayu the real self-evident God. After the Chaitanya is established by the soul in the womb during pregnancy, it is the work of Vayu to spread that Chaitanya throughout the body. All authors of Ayurveda have accepted the primacy of Vata Dosha in all respects and termed the other two Doshas as expected Pangu (weak). As much as the contribution of Vayu is in health, so is the causation in disease. The number of air-borne minor disorders is the highest (80).

Vayu, which performs physiological functions like a dear friend, also proves to be a murderous enemy in perversion. Vayu is the life of animals and the origin and destruction of the world. As important as Vayu is in the external world, so much is Vata dosha in the body. This gas, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, achieves its direct importance with its unique properties. In Ayurveda, Vata Dosha is further classified into five subtypes known as Vata sub doshas. Each sub-dosha exhibits unique characteristics and influences different aspects of our physical and mental well-being. The five subtypes of Vata Dosha are:

1) Prana Vayu

Prana Vayu is subtypes of Vata dosha which helps to take in the useful elements from nature (like air, food, and water). This is also energy on which life is dependent.

“स्थानम्‌ प्राणस्य मूर्घोर: ।

कण्ठ: जिह्लास्य नासिका:’ ॥

The head and chest are the two main locations. Head, throat, mouth, tongue, nose, heart, mind, and intelligence are also included.

Functions —

“उर:कण्ठचरों बुद्धिहदयेन्द्रियचित्तधृक्‌ ।

ष्ठीवनक्षवथूद्गारनि: श्वासान्नप्रवेशकृत्‌’ ॥  (A.H.Su 12:4)

1) To keep the Buddhi (intelligence), heart, mind, and sensory organs functioning properly and smoothly. mental processes include dhi (choosing between right and wrong), Dhrit (courage), and Smriti (memory).

2) To recognize the sensation and determine the roles played by the sensory and motor systems.

The most crucial roles of prana are inspiration and deglutition. Food (external prana) and pure air are consumed. The movement of Prana Vayu is from the natural world to the body (external to internal). Asthma issues start if these inward motions are impeded.

4) Sneezing, belching, and spitting serve rather few purposes.

Actually, the body is making an effort to eliminate waste through all of these functions. These activities may appear to be going in the opposite direction from what was described in point 2 earlier. However, because these actions bypass the usual Prana channel, they are regarded as Prana’s functions. The following roles have been mentioned by Charaka: Shthivana, Kshvathu, Shvasa, Udgara, and Aharana.

Disease due to vitiation of Pranavayu

“प्रायश: कुरुते दुष्ठो: (प्राण: ) हिक्काश्वासादिकान्‌ गदान्‌’ ।   (SN 1:14)

The causes of hiccoughs (Hikka), bronchial asthma (Shwas), etc. are vitiated prana. This category can include issues with the chest, head, throat, tongue, mouth, nose, and Pranavaha and Annavaha srotas. Cold, cough, difficulty digesting, exhaustion, memory loss, unconsciousness, and even coma may be among the symptoms seen.

2) Udana Vayu

Udana Vayu is subtypes of Vata Dosha. If Prana activity from nature to the human body is considered as anuloma, then the direction of Udana Vayu activity is Pratiloma.

“उर:स्थानम्‌ उदानस्य’ ।   (A.H.su. 12:57)

Its location is the nose, pharynx, chest, and abdominal organs near the umbilicus.

Functions –

वाकप्रवृत्तिप्रयत्नोजाबिलवर्णस्मृतिक्रिया’ ।  (A.H.Su. 12:57)

The functions of Udana Vayu are speech, and action, giving energy and strength, color to the skin, and maintaining memory.

1) Vak Pravritti (speech) ~ It’s related to speaking physiology.

2) Prayatna (efforts) – Action to gain something.

3) Urja (energy) and Bala (strength) — Both these are needed for action.

4) Varna (color of skin) — Normal colors are fair, dusty, and dark.

5) Smriti (memory) – To reproduce stored commands, in the brain.

Charaka has mentioned the aforementioned duties. Sushruta stated vocal and speech abilities, whereas Vagbhata mentioned all the Charaka-described abilities, including mind-strengthening and channel-controlling.

All of the aforementioned activities share one thing in common: they are all outward manifestations of the human body that correspond to the direction of udand vayu activity. Expiration’s purposes and speech’s purposes are clear. However, it is difficult to understand how efforts, energy, and color functions relate to one another, if at all. Let’s examine this relationship between Udana’s activities presently.

Expiration—Expiration is Udana’s primary job, but when it’s interfered with, CO2 builds up inside the body. The patient loses energy and strength as cyanosis (discoloration) progresses, causing acidosis and impairing several functions. Patients may experience drowsiness in serious cases, memory loss, and irrelevant speech.

Diseases due to vitiation of Udana Vayu

“उर्ध्वजत्रुगतान्‌ रोगान्‌ करोति च विशेषत:’ ।   (SN.1:15)

Diseases of the body above the collarbone are caused by damage to Udana. Diseases of the nose, eyes, mouth, ears, and head. Indeed, in many cases, problems arise due to the lack of coordination between Prana and Udana. Hiccups, bronchial asthma. Word and color anomalies are also present in Udana vayu.

3) Vyana Vayu

“व्यानो हृदि स्थित: ।  (A.H.Su. 12:6)

The location is the heart, but the whole body is the activity area. Vyana Vayu is the Subtypes of Vata Dosha.

Functions: 

“कृत्स्नदेहचरो व्यानो रससंवहनोद्यत: ।

स्वेदासृकूस्त्रावणश्वापि पश्चधा चेष्टयत्यपि’ ॥  (S.N. 1:16)

Various bodily functions are controlled by Vyana vayu. Some Ayurvedic scholars explain that the word Hridaya is used for two different organs. 1) Heart is related to the circulatory system and 2) Hridaya also means Brian.

1) Cardiac output (Rasa-samvahanadyatah): blood circulation (Asrik-sravam) – Vyana vayu is responsible for stimulating blood circulation (cardiac pacing – cardiac output). Due to circulation, only food, water, and air can support body tissues with external nutrients.

2) Sweating (Sweda-sravan) ~ Sweating is controlled by Vyana. Rasa and rakta are water elements. The blood circulation supplies nutrients to the problem while removing the waste products produced in the metabolic process of the skin by Vyans vay. Thus, transport and sweat are under the control of Vyana. In fact, you may see profuse sweating during cardiac arrest (Vyana effect).

3) Five types of activities – Many activities depend on Vyana. This is because normal activities such as sitting, standing, and walking can be affected if body tissues do not receive enough nutrients from circulation. All body activities can be divided into five types.

“गत्यपक्षेपणोत्क्षेपनिमेषोन्मेषणादिका: ।

प्राय: सर्वा: क्रियास्तस्मिन्‌ प्रतिबद्धा: शरीरिणाम्‌ ॥   (A.H.Su 12:8)

  1. Utkshepana — upward direction, 
  2. Apakshepana – downwards direction, 
  3. Vinamana — transverse direction, 
  4. Akunchana ~ contraction and 
  5. Prasarana ~ relaxation (expansion).

Diseases due to vitiation of Vyana

“क्रद्धध (व्यान:) कुरुते रोगान्‌ प्रायश: सर्वदेहगान्‌’ ।

The whole body is the activity area of Vyana, hence diseases can manifest in any part of the body. In practice, the following problems are common — i) cardiac problems ~ e.g. cardiac arrest, or hypertension, ii) circulatory problems — problems regarding sweating, hyper or hypotension, cold hands, feet, etc.

4) Samana Vayu

Samana vayu is subtypes of Vata Dosha. Maintaining a balanced state of the body is the main function of Saman vayu.

समानो5ग्निसमीपस्थ:।  (A.H.Su.12:8)

The main location is Koshtha. According to Charaka, it is Svedavaha, Ambuvaha, and Doshavaha Srotas. Sushruta has mentioned its site near Agni, stomach, and large intestine, while Vagbhata has mentioned all above and near Shukra and Artava,

Functions —

अन्न॑ गृहमाति पचति विवेचयति मुझति’ । | (A.H.Su. 12:8)

Primary digestion occurs smoothly, due to the stimulation of Saman vayu. The following different functions are under the control of saman vayu.

i) To receive the food (Grihnati),

ii) Digestion of food (Pachana),

iii) Separation between useful (Nutrition) and waste parts (stool, urine) of the human body. This function of separation is called vivechan,

iv) To move the waste material to the colon and rectum (Munchati).

In fact, digestion is a chemical function for which Pachak pitta is mainly responsible, but Samana vayu indirectly facilitates digestion. Samana vayu helps the secretory mechanism and produces various movements of the digestive system.

Diseases due to vitiation of Samana

“गुल्माग्निसादातीसारप्रभृतीन्‌ कुरुते गदान्‌ । (S.Ni.1:17)

Violation of Samana often affects digestion. For example, i) Gulma means glands are swollen due to retention of contents (during movement), i) Agnimandya – weak digestive fire when appetite and digestion are weak, ii) Atisara – diarrhea. It can also cause problems like indigestion, acidity, vomiting, and colic.

5) Apana Vayu

Apana vayu is located in the lower part of the trunk. So, the Vayu controls the activity in the Apana region. (i.e. urination, defecation, etc) is called as Apana vayu.

“अपानोअपानग: श्रोणिबस्तिमेद़ोरुगोचर:’ ।   (A.H Su. 12:9)

Usually in the abdomen or pelvic region. Apan vayu controls diseases around the stomach and pelvis, bladder, genitals, anus, and thighs.

Functions –

“शुक्रारतवशकृन्मूत्रगर्भनिष्क्रमणक्रिय: ‘ ।  (A.H.Su. 12:9)

Control excretion of semen, pregnancy secretions, feces, urine, intestinal tract, and fetus. The management consists of keeping all these items for a limited time (until their work is done in the system) and then deleting them at that time.

1) Elimination of semen – The function of Apana is to eliminate Sukra Dhatu from the body.

2) Menstrual discharge – Artava means female gamete and Raja means menstruation. If Artava attaches to a male gamete, conception occurs, but otherwise the woman’s bleeding causes the egg to be rejected and Apanvayu is responsible for the menstrual secretion. All stages remain the same when the activity of Apana is normal and ageless menstruation.

3) Expulsion of the fetus — During pregnancy, the cervix continues to contract until the ninth month. During labor, the cervix expands and the muscles of the uterus begin to contract. All these phenomena are under the control of Apana Vayu. Violation of Apana causes miscarriage or abortion.

4) Defecation – After the Sara-Kitta separation, waste, which is feces, is produced. When the urge to defecate occurs, the anal sphincter expands and stool is expelled from the anus. Obstruction of Apana vayu gers can cause incontinence.

5) Urination — When the bladder is full of urine, the Apana simulation opens the urethral sphincter to expel urine. Apana vayu weakness causes urination or urinary incontinence. Thus, the functioning of the abdominal cavity is under the control of Apana vayu.

Related: https://ayurvedadvise.com/subtypes-of-pitta-dosha/

Related: https://ayurvedadvise.com/subtypes-of-kapha-dosha/

Diseases due to vitiation of Apana

“कुद्धध कुरुते रोगान्‌ घोरान्‌ बस्तिगुदाश्रयान्‌’ ।  (S.Ni. 1:20)

Due to the vitiation of Apan, many serious diseases in the bladder, and rectum can occur like retention or incontinence of urine or stool, miscarriage, or abortion.

Pathology of Vata

1) Vaa-vriddhi (Hyperactivity of Vata)

कार्श्यकाष्ण्योष्णकामत्वकम्पानाहशकृद्यहानू ।

बलनिद्रेन्द्रिय्भ्रन्शप्रलापभ्रमदीनता:’ ॥   (A.H.Su. 11:6)

1) Karshya (weight loss) – This is due to excessive light and dryness qualities. This can occur due to frequent fasting or dieting, taking a low-calorie diet, excessive physical activities, and chronic illness. These patients get benefited from adequate physical and mental rest, a high-nourishing diet, and herbal combinations like milk with powder of asparagus (shatavari-kalpa).

2) Karshnya (black discoloration) – This can be local or general. Excess dry and cold properties are causative agents. Normal color depends on raka and Pitta Dosha. Due to excessive cold properties, vessels get constricted circulation hampers and discoloration takes place.

3) Ushnakamitva — This means the desire for warm things. Like food and atmosphere. Due to Vata’s aggravation, cold property increases, and the desire for warm substances develop.

4) Kampa (Tremor) – Excess, uncontrolled movement of any. part of the body or of muscles is called a tremor. It’s a natural reaction to balance excessive cold. Tremor is due to the mobile property of Vata. Warm gentle oil application can reduce tremors.

5) Anaha (bulging of the abdomen) – Due to the excess dry quality of Vata, peristaltic movements get disturbed and air, stool, etc. get accumulated in the colon. This causes bulging of the lower abdomen.

6) Shakitgrathana – This Means constipation. As explained above, due to the excessive dry quality of Vata, peristalsis slows down and constipation develops. 1 cup of warm milk with 1 spoon of ghee at night can relieve this symptom.

7) Bala-nidra-indriya-bhramsha ~ Bhramsha means improper functioning, When light and dry qualities become excess, strength lowers down, and excess mobile activity of Vata disturbs sleep. Due to dryness (improper nourishment and smoothening) senses cannot function normally. Nervine degeneration can sometimes lead to paralysis.

8) Pralap — Delirium or irrelevant talk. This can occur in the hyperactivity of Vata.

9) Bhrama – Means giddiness. This is the effect of the excess mobile and light properties of Vata. These patients can be improved by tonic, nourishing and smoothening diet, and adequate rest.

10) Dinata – Weak mind. The person can not think and make a decision with confidence. Inferiority complex develops. This is due to the mobile, dry, and light quality of Vata. Psychological counseling and meditation can reduce this problem.

Vata-Kshaya (Hypoactivity of Vata)

‘लिड्ं क्षीणेडनिले5ज़्स्य सादो5ल्प॑ भाषितेहितम्‌’ ।  (A.H.Sa. 11:15)

Usually, the low activity of any dosha does not cause any disease. However, due to the hypo-activity of Vata, certain symptoms can be noted:

1) Angasada — This Means weakness or debility of the body. Due to less stimulation of Vata sensory and motor activity gets reduced. Therefore physical activity also slows down.

2) Alpa bhashite – Means less desire to talk. Vata stimulation is lacking.

General Principle of Treatment

According to the principle of homologous and heterologous, in the hyperactivity of Vata the diet, behavior, and medicines should be of antagonistic nature to Vata properties e.g. use of milk, ghee, oil, nourishing food, physical and mental rest, oil applications and medicines like Shatavari kalpa (made from asparagus), Balarishta (medicinal wine prepared from Sida cordifolia) are useful.

Importance of Vata-dosha

Till now students must have understood the importance of Vata-dosha. Therefore all Ayurvedic texts are full of praise for Vata in the following words:

“वायुरायुरबलं वायुर्वायुर्धाताशरीरिणाम्‌ ।

वायुर्विश्वमिदं सर्व प्रभुर्वायुश कीर्तित:’ ॥।  (C.Chi. 28:2)

Union of the physical body, senses, mind, and soul can be maintained due to Vata only. Therefore maintenance of the quality of life depends on the physiological status of Vata dosha. Vata is responsible for feeding air, food, and water and keeping the body strong.

स्वयम्भूरेष भगवान्‌ वायुरित्यभिशब्दित: ।

स्थित्युत्पत्तिविनाशेषु भूतानामेव कारणम्‌ ॥  (S.Ni. 1:56)

Ultimately, we can say the Godliness and leadership of this universe go to Vata dosha. As vayu is responsible for the creation, sustenance, and timely destruction, it can be termed as ‘God’.

By Dr.Dimpal Baldha

I'm DR. Dimple Baldha, an Ayurvedic doctor and I have treated more than a thousand patients in my couple of years of experience in this field. This has given me a lot of insights and positive areas to work with people from different parts of the world managing arthritis issues, Dietary changes, healthy lifestyles, and metabolic disorders. I have good knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine, Panchkarma treatment, Healthy lifestyle and yoga. I have treated so many diseases like spondylitis, psoriasis, allergies and bronchial asthma. Talks about #health, #ayurveda, #wellness, #healthylifestyle

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