The Gerson Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine

Scott Gerson, M.D., Ph.D. (Ayurveda) Medical Director, Jupiter Medical Center Dept. of Integrative Medicine Division of Education and Research






Lake Mary Clinic, Gerson Ayurvedic Spa, and Panchakarma Facility: at 635 Primera Blvd. Lake Mary, Florida 32746

Jupiter Medical Center at The Calcagnini Center for Mindfulness
1210 S. Old Dixie Highway, Jupiter, Florida 33458, Suite M-117.2




 Telephone: (561) 263-MIND (6463); option 2 (407) 549-2800


Basic Principles Of Ayurveda


Vata Dosha

The term vata stems from a Sanskrit word "vaayu" which means “that which moves things”; it is sometimes translated as wind. It is composed of the elements space and air--the lightest and subtlest of the five elements. It is considered in some ways to be the most influential of the three doshas because it is the moving force behind the other two doshas, which are incapable of movement without it. Vata dosha is responsible for all the somatic activities and sensations. It is the intelligence which channels perceptions (temperature, pressure, sweetness, lightening, violin music, etc.) through the appropriate sensory organs, converts them into internal psychological events, and then orchestrates the appropriate response via the organs of action. it is responsible for all movements in the mind and body: the movement of air in and out of the lungs, the flow of blood through the circulatory system, nutrients through the alimentary tract, and thoughts through the mind. Vata promotes a healthy balance between the thought and emotion and gives rise to creativity, activity and clear comprehension.

because, among other functions, Vata regulates the nervous processes involved with movement, thoughts, emotions, eating, drinking, elimination, and our general functioning, its disturbance can often have far-reaching consequences.

Here is a table which summarizes the manifestations of a balanced or unbalanced (excessive) Vata dosha:

Effects of Vata Dosha


Effect of balanced Vata

Effect of Unbalanced (Excess)Vata

Proper coordination of all body functions body functions impaired or disorganized.
Normal movements associated with eating, digestion, and elimination Movements for eating, digestion, and elimination disturbed (bloating, constipation, gas)
Mental activity controlled and precise Mental agitation, confusion; impaired memory
Control of the organs of perception and the organs of action Perception and action are inappropriate; senses are dulled; responses untimely
Stimulation of digestive juices Deficiency of the digestive juices
Desire to lead an active life; vitality, curiosity and natural interest Loss of energy and joy for life
Normal drying of occasional mucous discharges Persistent bodily discharges
Normal respiratory function Shortness of breath, dry cough, disturbance in respiratory movements
Normal sleep pattern Insomnia, light or interrupted sleep
Excellent energy level Non-specific fatigue, anxiety, worry, cold-intolerance, depletion of Life Force