Around Maha Shivratri, the Sun and the Moon align in such a way that the Vata component of our body gets activated. Activity is maximum during this time of year.
Vata is one of the three components of the body, the other two being pitta and kapha. Anything related to movement in the body is directly related to Vata. Accordingly, Vata directly affects the following –
- At the physical level (gross), Vata influences the nervous system, and controls all bodily activities.
- At the cellular level (subtle), Vata “moves” nutrients into the body, as well as “moves” wastes out of the cell.
- In the natural plan (Karan), Vata helps to retrieve information from memory, and enables cause-and-effect analysis.
Such is the importance of Vata. Even a slight imbalance of Vata significantly affects the points mentioned above. In case of Vata imbalance, the person will experience issues like lethargy, apathy, forgetfulness, bad temper, depressed, aggressive, mood swings and in extreme cases antisocial and suicidal tendencies.
A major characteristic of Vata is dryness. Most of us must have noticed that during this time of the year the body becomes very dry and hence at night.
Shivratri night is the best time for us to balance the Vata in ourselves. As yogis, we identify 5 types of Vata.
- Prana vata responsible for inhalation
- Apan Vata responsible for the removal of waste
- Udana Vata responsible for exhalation
- Equal vata responsible for consolidation
- Responsible for Vyan Vata movement
If one does Vata Kriya during the week of Mahashivratri or at least on that one day, all the above Vata becomes clean and lubricated. A person with a balanced and pure Vata will display a positive demeanor and will exhibit extrovert, happy, calm and presence of mind.
Note that in order for Vata to move easily, it is necessary that the main nadis are perpendicular to the ground. This is possible only when you are either sitting or standing, not when you are sleeping. This is the reason why we usually ask our followers to stay awake during Shivratri, so that the body is vertical and not horizontal.