Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Autumn is Vata season

Come October, change is in the air. Outdoors the temperature is cool, the air is dry, and the winds pick up -- in other words, it's Vata season! For all doshas, the Vata inside your body will increase because of the condition of the weather outdoors. This is because like increases like in Ayurveda. Until the weather transforms into Kapha in late-winter and early spring, when it is cold and wet outside, everyone will feel better tending to their heightened Vata for these coming months.

As your Vata gets aggravated, you may start feeling stressed or fatigued, experiencing some constipation, dry skin, and lack of sleep. To offset this internal cold and dry restlessness, make sure to establish a steady routine to your days, staying calm, warm and nourished...

Start by going to bed at the same time every night (preferably around 10pm) and waking at the same hour every morning. Regulate your mealtimes by having lunch at noon, and dinner in the early evening, without skipping breakfast.

Warm, moist, heavy foods will soothe and heat your Vata. Have fresh and hot stews, soups, dahls and porridge at mealtimes. Do not have leftovers, or dry food like popcorn and raw fruits and vegetables, or light foods like steamed vegetables or crunchy salads. Add a bit of oil or ghee while cooking, with some heating spices like cinnamon or ginger.

Going hours without eating between meals can further aggravate Vata in this season, so prepare some moist rice pudding or stewed fruits for snacking. Do not snack on cold, dry foods like sandwiches or cereal. Sipping warm ginger tea throughout the day will keep you warmed and hydrated. Before bed, have a cup of warm milk (can be rice milk or almond milk) with a pinch of ginger and some honey.

Vatas in particular suffer from extra dry skin, so give your body a daily massage with sesame oil or rich cream every night and/or after bathing. Pittas and Kaphas tend to have oily skin so these doshas do well with a light non-greasy moisturizer used daily.

Reconnect with your body and calm your energy with light yoga and stretching. Walking is also excellent exercise but bundle up and wear a hat to cover your Vata-sensitive ears! Daily meditation will also help de-stress. Incorporating these activities into a daily routine will further reinforce a sense of calm and personal nurturing that will soothe Vatas especially, but also all doshas.

Colour is another source of balance for doshas. Since Vata is cold, like the colours blue and violet, we do best with warm colours like golden yellow, orange and red. Luckily, autumn is a time of these rich, golden colours as the leaves turn! Try to wear these colours on particularly cold and windy days. Also, when the sun is shining, close your eyes and face the sun as the beams wash your face in warmth and the golden heat penetrates your eyelids. Feel the Pitta of the sun tend to your Vata.


veronika said...

Thank you! I will follow all of your advice, I felt better just reading it.

Tam said...

Me too! My Facebook status last week read "Dear Vata,please come back into balance.." Thank you Fran for your reminders. I ma traveling for 5 months on sabbatical, leaving posts now and again if you are interested at:


Unknown said...

Autumn is not Vata season at all. Autumn is what brings vata back down to baseline if the proper intake and lifestyle has been followed. Autumn is the time that the moister has been coming up which has now aggravated pitta. The dryness of summer kept pitta down. The moisture of autumn has brought vata back down. this is from Charaka, Astanga Samhita, Sushruta and Bhavaprakash. Where are you getting your information?

Claudia Davila said...

Thank you to the last commenter! Every country and region is different, although Ayurveda was born in India. I live in a North American city where summers are hot and sticky and humid -- positively Pitta conditions! In the fall here, the weather is cool, windy and dry. That is Vata. I'm sure where you live, and in India, summer is dry and autumn is moist, but certainly not here! :-)