vata digestion and menstruation issues

Healing Vata Digestion and Menstruation Issues

Vāta digestion and menstruation issues are quite common. These digestive issues and menstrual health disturbances follow patterns related to the five vayus. The five vayus are how vāta dosha moves through the body. When you balance the five vayus, vāta digestion and menstruation issues such as period pain, PMS, and constipation, go away naturally.

Vata Digestion and Menstruation Issues

Common vata digestion and menstruation issues include constipation, bloating, gas, IBS, period pain, irregular periods, and dizziness during your period.

Vata dosha impacts the digestion because it is responsible for moving things in the body. Vāta dosha moves food through the digestive tract and directs absorption of key nutrients. It also is in charge of the peristalsis that makes the body eliminate feces.

Vata dosha impacts menstrual health through its impact on the movement of hormones as well as the movement of menstrual blood. Excess or deficient vata dosha can lead to imbalances in when and how much menstrual blood is released.

What is Vata Dosha?

Vata dosha is one of the three doshas in Ayurveda, a holistic system of medicine originating in the Indus Valley over 5,000 years ago. Vata dosha is the way that air (wind) and ether (space) functions in nature. It has the qualities of being light, mobile, dry, hard, cold, sharp, rough, subtle, and clear.

In our body, vata dosha is responsible for movement. It helps to circulate the blood, move food through the digestive tract, transmit nerve signals, and absorb nutrients. Vata dosha is needed for our bodies to function correctly. Vata digestion and menstruation issues are quite common because both digestion and menstruation are processes that require movement.

Vata dosha is also the element that’s most likely to go out of balance due to its light and airy nature.

You can learn about how much vata dosha exists in you by taking my Ayurvedic dosha quiz.

What are the Five Vayus?

Vayu is another name for vata. The five vayus are the five ways that vata moves through the body. They’re responsible for the movement of energy, nutrients, and waste products throughout your system. Vata digestion and menstruation issues are caused by imbalances in the one or more of the five vayus.

Because the five vayus govern the way that vata moves through the body, they are intimately related to the disease process. 

The five vayus are:

  • Prana vayu,  the vayu of inspiration and inhalation. It moves inward.
  • Udana vayu, the vayu of thinking and upward moving energy. It moves upward and outwards.
  • Samana vayu, the vayu of digestion and peristalsis. It moves in a spiral inward.
  • Vyana vayu, the vayu of circulation. It radiates outward.
  • Apana vayu, the vayu of menstruation and elimination. It moves downward.

How The Five Vayus Impact Women’s Health

All menstrual system disturbances relate to vata dosha and the five vayus. Some examples include:

  • heavy menstruation (excess apāna vayu)
  • light or absent menstruation (deficient apāna vayu)
  • PMS mood swings (imbalanced prāna vayu)
  • clumsiness before your period (imbalanced vyāna vayu). 

The five vayus are always at play when it comes to women’s health, which is why balancing the five vayus is a main focus of my work helping women reduce period pain and PMS without meds. 

Imbalances within these winds are also at the root of many digestive problems that accompany menstrual difficulties.

Vata Digestion and Menstruation Issues: Overplanning, Acid Reflux, and Period Pain

Apana rules downward movement in the body, including urination, defecation, and menstruation. Udana vayu, on the other hand, moves up through the body towards the brain. Overthinking or overplanning draws the energy of the body upwards to help support the brain activity. Stress and anxiety about the future also act to increase brain activity and increase udana vayu. 

This upward moving energy of excess udana vayu manifests as acid reflux, constipation, and period pain.

How to balance udana vayu

The practices of Yoga breathing (pranayama) and movement (asana) can help alleviate this imbalance of excess udana vayu. I teach a Yoga method called Supreme Release Yoga, which is particularly helpful for balancing out the vayus in the body.

Try out this ~10 minute Yoga sequence to support a calmer mind and fewer cramps. 

Vata Digestion and Menstruation Issues: Food sensitivities and PMS bloating

Samana vayu is responsible for separating nutrients and deciding what the body needs to digest. It also separates our thoughts to direct our focus.

Insufficient samana vayu results in food sensitivities because our body doesn’t completely digest and assimilate nutrients. Samana vayu also decreases during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, leading to PMS bloating and a heavy feeling after eating. 

How to balance samana vayu

How to help create balance: You can help support samana vayu by drinking 8oz warm water first thing in the morning. You can practice a gentle belly massage:

  1. Place the right palm on the belly and draw it up the right side of the belly, across the torso right below the ribs, and down the left side of the belly, creating circles. Create 10-20 circles, slow and steady.
  2. You can do this movement first thing in the morning when you’re laying in bed, or anytime you’re feeling that sense of heaviness or fullness. 

Vata Digestion and Menstruation Issues: Diarrhea and heavy periods

If you have too much downward movement and apana vayu, you might struggle with diarrhea, heavy periods, or prolonged periods. You might also experience “heavier” emotions and lack of motivation and energy. 

How to balance apana vayu

If you’re experiencing excess apana vayu, do some journaling to help release old, heavy emotions. Write stream of consciousness — no editing necessary. Just get your feelings out of your head and onto the page. See if it helps you to feel lighter and more free. You might also like my guided meditation to feel more lightness in body and mind. 

Vata Digestion and Menstruation Issues: Dizziness and Blood Sugar Dips

Do you get dizzy during your period, or experience blood sugar dips in the pre-menstrual phase? That suggests an imbalance in vyāna vayu, the vayu that is responsible for circulation and outward moving energy.

How to balance vyana vayu

If you’re experiencing issues with vyana vayu, try this mudra (hand position) to help balance vyana vayu. It can help you regulate your blood pressure and feel more even energy levels.

Vata Digestion and Menstruation Issues: Anxiety and Irregular Hunger

Excess prana vayu can manifest as worrying, stress, and anxiety. Imbalances in prana vayu can lead to energy swings and mood dips. Prana vayu can affect digestion by creating irregular hunger. This in turn leads to irregular eating schedules and poor digestion. Imbalances in prana vayu can lead to menstruation issues, including PMS and period pain.

How to balance prana vayu

The best ways to balance prana vayu include meditation and relaxation practices. If you’re experiencing issues with prana vayu, try this mudra (hand position) to help balance prana vayu.

Solutions for Vata Digestion and Menstruation Issues

If you’re experience vata digestion and menstruation issues, here are diet strategies you can do to help balance vata dosha and the five vayus:

  • Eat at regular meal times, 4-6 hours apart.
  • Eat while sitting in a relaxed manner. Shut off phones, screens, and other electronic devices.
  • Take 3 deep breaths before eating, to help yourself settle into a more relaxed state.
  • Eat cooked, whole foods, adding 1-2 tbsp oil per serving.
  • Avoid crunchy, dry, raw foods like crackers and popcorn. 


Does vata affect periods?

Yes, vata affects periods. Because vata dosha rules movement of the body, imbalances in vata dosha can manifest as period pain, PMS, irregular cycles, or absent menstruation.

Which dosha causes irregular periods?

Vata dosha causes irregular periods. With excess vata dosha, the light, dry, and mobile qualities creates imbalances that result in irregular or absent menstruation.

What happens if you have too much vata in your colon?

Too much vata in your colon can cause digestion issues, menstruation problems, dry skin, and anxiety. Excess vata in your colon can manifest as gas, hard stool, and constipation. You may also experience painful periods, PMS, and irregular periods. The colon is the home site of vata dosha.

What are the symptoms of vata digestion?

The symptoms of vata digestion are excess gas and bloating, constipation, food sensitivities, irregular hunger, and low energy after eating.

What is a vata period?

A vata period will have a lighter flow and be accompanied by cramps and pain. A vata period will likely include brown blood, spotting, and the menstrual cycle length may be irregular. A vata period is usually accompanied by anxiety, stress, and worry.

Which vayu is responsible for digestion?

The primary vayu responsible for digestion is samāna. Samana vayu is responsible for the movement of bile, movement of food through the digestive tract, assimilation of nutrients, and absorption of water. Apana vayu relates to the elimination of feces.

Next Steps

Do you have symptoms of excess vata dosha? Try some balancing strategies from the article above, or learn more about balancing all three doshas with this Ayurvedic dosha quiz.

Get personalized strategies to eliminate period pain and PMS naturally. Book a free strategy call with me to learn more.

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