How To Calm Vata Dosha During Autumn
During the autumn season, you will experience the presence of Vata dosha all around you in the forms of cold air, dry leaves, falling leaves, and erratic winds. A major shift happens in nature during this season, which means a major shift also happens in our body as the Vata dosha begins to affect our mental state and accumulates internally in our body.
The cool, erratic, and dry qualities of Vata could bring with it anxiety, dry skin, and a feeling of being unsettled.
Ayurveda recommends following a ritucharya, or a seasonal routine, to calm the dominant dosha in each season. By adjusting your diet and lifestyle habits based on the seasons, you are able to harmonize your mind and body with the seasonal flows and ebbs of nature and prevent imbalances and illnesses.
Come autumn, most of us adopt some of these shifts intuitively. You no longer crave cooling watermelons and iced drinks that you love to consume during summer. Instead, many gravitate naturally toward foods and practices like drinking hot soups and wearing a sweater to warm yourself up.
Your body knows what exactly it needs to maintain balance and the challenging part here is to listen and comply.
Keep reading to learn more about how to keep the Vata dosha in check this autumn and avoid the symptoms that can come up due to the drying and other qualities of this dosha.
Vata is unpredictable and erratic by nature. As 'like increases like', any form of erratic behavior, like multitasking, could aggravate Vata.
Vata dosha can become unstable, when your mind jumps from one thought to another, again and again. This Vata-aggravating behavior needs to be tamed, especially during autumn. Instead of multitasking or jumping from one thought to another too quickly, try to focus on starting and completing one task at a time.
Scale back on workouts
Ayurveda advises adjusting your workouts routine according to the seasons. In autumn, your energy levels and strength are a little on the lower sides as a result of which your capacity to exercise may be reduced.
Hence, during autumn, it is advisable to change your exercise routine and include slower, gentle exercises into your workout program. Intense and fast workouts and erratic physical movements should be scaled back. Yoga, especially a grounding yin, can be the best workout in the fall season to calm the Vata dosha.
While most of us dislike the idea of routine, our mind and body crave it. You do not have to restrict yourself to the exact pattern of work day in and day out. However, you should try your best to eat your meals around the same time every day and follow a rhythmic sleep-wake schedule to calm the Vata dosha.
This kind of regularity clams Vata allowing your nervous system to relax. It also strengthens your digestion, and ensures your energy levels are stable.
Dry skin is a very common complaint during the fall. Ayurveda recommends massaging the skin with oil (abhyanga) to lubricate the body from the within.
Warm oils are the best and the most balancing substances for pacifying Vata.
Abhyanga with warm oils could calm the dry and cold qualities of Vata. When massaged rhythmically into the skin, it helps balance the erratic quality of Vata, too.
The practice of abhyanga calms your mind, improves blood circulation, strengthens the body, and boosts your immunity.
Make time for yourself
Too much of physical and mental activity and/or stimulation may derange the Vata dosha. It is a good practice to start saying ‘no’ when the possibility of over booking activities for yourself comes up.
Scaling back our activities could be a wonderful Vata-pacifying practice!
If it is not possible for you to reduce your activities, you can take 5 minutes of quiet time, preferably in the early morning hours, to bask in the sun, practice pranayama, or meditate. You can also take a short walk outside to keep your Vata in check.
Vata is cold by nature. So, staying warm is considered the simplest way to keep this dosha calm and in balance. This is particularly important for those with a Vata constitution.
Stay warm in the fall season by snuggling up yourself in layers, rocking your wool sweaters, and wearing slippers and socks at home. Make sure you dry your hair thoroughly after bathing as a cold head could cause you to get sick in this weather.
Follow a seasonal diet
In autumn, eat foods that are warm and unctuous such as soups, and stews. These foods can be the perfect antidotes to the dryness and coldness of Vata.
Vegetables and sweet, juicy fruits like zucchini, pomegranate, okra, and oranges are great too. You would also need a bit of oil to ensure your body is well lubricated. Hence, including a teaspoon of ghee or olive or sesame oil in each meal is recommended. This helps the digestive fire burn brightly.
Foods that are very cold or dry must be avoided. These include raw foods, salads, iced drinks, and airy foods like chips and popcorn.
Your digestive strength becomes a little weak during autumn. As a result, you may experience a very low appetite, bloating, constipation, and gas. So, the foods you eat should be nourishing and have Vata-calming qualities. At the same time, they should also be easier to digest. Hence, it is advisable to consume foods that are cooked over a low flame and gently spiced.
Pranayama offers an incredible way of balancing Vata. Simple belly breathing can help to tame Vata dosha and calm your mind. By making the breaths rhythmic and fluid, the Vata dosha is stabilized allowing you to have a steadier and clearer mind and more energy.
When we make changes in your diet and lifestyle based on the seasons and your dominant dosha, your whole being feels supported! Living in harmony with the seasonal rhythm of nature is the Ayurvedic secret to balancing the effect of the seasons.