Fall and early winter are the seasons governed by the Vata dosha.
Vata is considered the king of doshas because it governs all movement in the body, including breathing, heart beat, motor and nerve impulses, speech, touch, elimination, childbirith, intake of prana, absorption of nutrients and it kindles digestion. In short without the movement of vata – nothing happens. Vata represents air and ether and by nature is dry, cold, light, rough, subtle and mobile.
Fall is when blowing winds dry up many of earth’s plants, animals scurry around storing food for winter, leaves fall from the trees, grass starts to brown. All driven by vata’s movement. In a sense humans do a little of this too as vata increases.
Signs of Vata Imbalance: dry skin, chapped lips, constipation and/or bloat, twitch or spasm of muscles, restlessness, racing mind, scatterbrained, anxious or uneasy feeling. These are all signs that vata has become imbalanced and while that can happen more easily for someone with a vata constitution it can also affect people with other predominate doshas as well. Mother Nature is a very powerful force and we will feel better and be healthier if we acknowledge her changes.
What to do? In Ayurveda we always seek balance by doing the opposite. As Mother Nature changes her routine, days get shorter, weather gets dryer, breezier and colder. Therefore to stay in balance one of the most important things we can do is tend to our routine. Vata is mobile and irregular so the more consistent we can keep our daily routine, sleeping patterns and eating at proper times the smoother our transition into fall and winter will be. Our bodies can relax a little more when our habits of eating and sleeping are regular.
It’s a good idea to practice abhyanga (Oil application to our skin) on a daily basis before we shower, or at least 2 or 3 times per week. Using warm oils such as sesame or almond will nourish our skin and combat dryness, especially if you tend to have cold hands and feet. If you always feel warm to the touch then use coconut oil.
Eating warm juicier foods with more sweet, sour and salty tastes we will internally keep our digestive fire kindled. Never drink iced drinks with a meal!!!
It is better to eat mostly cooked foods during vata’s season and always a good idea to eat a rainbow of colors in every meal so fall is a good time to make more complex curries, stirfry’s and soups.
When cooking vegetables with proper spices you can alter the digestibility. Most spices become more bioavailable when heated first in a little oil.
Fall is a great time to enjoy fresh ginger tea and sweet and warm spices like cinnamon, basil, bay, cardamon, cumin, cloves, lavender, oregano, sage, turmeric and vanilla. Remember that many spices such as turmeric become more bioavailable when mixed into warm oil like in a stir fry.
Vata responds so well to grounding activities, fall is a great time to listen to more soothing music, meditate on a regular basis or sit quietly and commune with nature. I love to meditate outside in he morning. The soft background sounds of birds singing and leaves rustling in the breeze are very soothing and start my day off in a very calm place. Regardless of where or when…
MAKE TIME TO RELAX EVERY DAY! 🙂