Find Peace & Stay Healthy this Vata Season
Fall has finally arrived and I'm so excited! With the shift in weather (sweaters!!!), fun holidays around the corner, and delicious hot soups and teas to indulge in, this is easily my favorite time of year. I recently wrote a piece on my dear friend's blog over at Wild Sun Wellness about how to stay healthy, balanced, and at peace during this time of year and I think it's an important topic to bring up on my own page as well.
So! I'm sharing that blog here with you today :)
We’re in vata season, friends! But what does that mean? In Ayurveda, it’s understood that the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) are the foundation for everything in the universe, including our own minds and bodies. The elements are then combined and further broken down into what we call the doshas; the three physical, tangible forces that establish specific qualities, tendencies, and behaviors within our own mind-body, as well as the natural world around us.
They are vata (air and ether), pitta (fire and a smidge of water), and kapha (earth and water).
Vata season is autumn. It arrives during the transition from summer to fall, when the winds pick up, the air cools down, the flowers start to fade, trees become bare, and animals begin to harvest for winter. And it lasts until early-to-mid-winter, when kapha season starts to kick in.
Ayurveda medicine is founded on the fact that “like attracts like and opposites pacify.” The qualities of vata season are dry, cold, rough, flowing, unstable, subtle, and light. When these qualities are in excess or get out of hand, they wreak havoc within us (think colds, flus, cracked skin, anxiety, depression, constipation, inability to concentrate, insomnia, etc.). If we’re not mindful of the transition happening within nature and our own bodies, vata season can shock our immune system and throw us out of balance.
And nobody wants to be sick or gloomy during fall. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, am I right?!
By slightly shifting our daily habits at this time to pacify those qualities, we can align our mind-body with autumn and stay healthy, grounded, and peaceful the whole season long.
Here are some simple ways you can keep your vata dosha balanced right now:
Eat warming, grounding, hearty meals.
This one is HUGE! Food is powerful medicine. To combat vata’s dry, rough, cold, light qualities, eat foods that are warm, soft, hearty, and full of nutrition. Soups, stews, curries, chili, oatmeal, and kitchari should be a household staple during fall season. Focus on grains like rice and root veggies like potatoes, yams, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, turmeric, ginger, and garlic. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and other leafy greens are great during this time too. If you shop at your local farmers market, this is essentially what should be available anyway! (Remember, local, seasonal foods are best for your health!) Our warming, grounding Stay Golden herbal powder is going to be your number one go to during vata season!
Abhyanga, or Ayurvedic oil massages, are your best friend during the dry season of autumn! By practicing abhyanga every day or at least a few times a week, you’ll keep your skin and tissues moisturized, as well as strengthen your immune response by draining the lymph system and improving circulation in general. Abhyanga is an incredible self-care tool that cultivates love and gratitude for your body. The best oils to use will depend upon your dominant/imbalanced dosha, but sesame seed oil is a nice choice to pacify the qualities of vata dosha. We’ve talked about abhyanga in previous blog posts, so if you’re not sure how to do it, go here for a quick tutorial!
Routine is so incredibly important throughout the entire year, but especially during vata season. Vata dosha does extremely well when there is regularity within your schedule. Try to create a daily routine and stick to it. Cultivate sacred, joyous rituals in your normal life that bring you a sense of ease. Here’s an example of a daily routine: Rise before the sun, scrape tongue, practice yoga and meditation, do your oil massage, and bathe. As the day goes on, do your work with gratitude and take breaks when you need to. Mindfully cook and eat three meals (inspired by the foods above) at the same time every day. Relax in the evening with your loved ones. Go to bed before 10pm.
Incorporate more herbs.
You know we had to put this one in here. We’re in love with herbal remedies! Drink more hot herbal tea during vata season to keep your body hydrated and mineralized. Some great plants to incorporate into your daily life at this time are elderberry, ginger, olive leaf, chaga, reishi, cacao, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, goji berry, and eleuthero. Luckily, our herbal blends are filled with amazing immune boosting, mind-body supportive ingredients like these, so we’ve got you covered there.
These simple tools will keep you balanced and well during vata season. Practice them and feel the difference for yourself! If you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding anything in this post, please feel free to drop a comment or send us a private message. We’re here to support you in all the ways we can.
Cheers to your health!