Fall is known as the Vata season. As the temperatures begin to cool, we see the leaves begin to dry and fall off the trees, the winds can pick up leaving us chilled and the weather itself feels erratic from cloudy to sunny within hours.
The properties of Vata dosha are much like the fall — cool, dry, rough, windy and erratic. Vata is governed by the elements of air and ether, which we can see and feel more in fall. Because like increases like, fall can often throw the Vata dosha out of balance.
Vata translated from Sanskrit means “that which moves things.” Vata lies in the colon and governs the movement of the body and the mind. Vata dosha is the source of our vitality and it is important that we keep it balanced.
Out of balance Vata dosha can show up as dry skin, depression, mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, arthritis or constipation. While it’s most important for predominately Vata types to be mindful of pacifying their Vata in the fall, Vata imbalance can easily affect Pitta and Kapha types too.
Simple changes in your seasonal routine can make all the difference in grounding and balancing Vata in the fall and winter months.
Follow a Vata-pacifying diet by favoring warm, cooked foods and avoid foods that are dry or uncooked.
Try to consume room temperature of hot water as a way to stay hydrated and warm throughout the day. Sipping on hot ginger tea can be a great way to ground yourself.
Favor the tastes of sweet, sour and salty and stick to foods that are soft, mushy and well cooked. Cooked grains, steamed vegetables and soups are great ways to nourish yourself.
Ingredients to favor:
All Nuts and Seeds
Keep yourself warm by wearing layers and avoiding drafts. Drink warming tea throughout the day and be sure to cover your head and ears when going out into the cold.
Fight the dry air by keeping your environment moist with humidifiers. Avoid cold beverages as you hydrate throughout the day and consider steam baths as a way to help internal moisture.
Try the ancient Ayurvedic practice of Abhyanga, or self massage. Use warm sesame oil to gently massage your body and calm your nervous system. Follow up with a warm shower.
Rest and Meditate
Vata doshas can seem to go on and on until they crash. Getting the right amount of rest, especially as our circadian clock adjust to less sunlight, is crucial in the fall.
Keep your routine consistent and try to wake and sleep at the same time every day.
Plan time for exercise, but also for rest and relaxation.
Try to devote 5 to 10 minutes in your morning or night routine to meditation. Mediation can help to calm the overactive Vata mind.
Armed with a little knowledge we can adjust our routines to ensure balance during this Vata season. If you are still struggling to feel grounded during this time, consider a little help from YouVeda My Healthy Digestion formula to help excessive Vata of the body or YouVeda My Healthy Mood for excessive Vata of the mind.