The fall equinox is today and that means we are entering a vata season from an Ayurvedic point of view. Vata is made up of air and ether and is a very light energy. Coming from the summer, a pitta time of fire and water, the energies are quite different at this time of year. We begin drying out and if you are a vata dosha you might be feeling quite flighty and overly light now. Vata season is not only light and airy, it’s also cooler, and a little unpredictable. The same can be said for people as we move more deeply into the season.
Ayurveda is all about balance; balancing the doshas, ensuring one doesn’t get out of hand and give way to the symptoms of imbalance. For vata season, those symptoms include:
The diet changes in fall from the light fare of summer to more substantive foods: think about warmer, wetter and spicier foods this time of year. You might also want to increase your intake a bit (it’s important to be honest about your intake, though, here in North America our portion sizes tend to be on the larger side). Generally it’s time to move from the raw veggies of summer to the cooked which provide the warmth and moisture your body will begin to crave. Some of the spices to start adding include cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and those of the spicier variety. Spices in general are good this time of year, so it’s time to play with your combinations.
It’s also time to think about activities that support warmth and moisture: Hot baths or showers, steam baths, massage with a warm oil and yoga postures that will ground and heat internally. Stay warm by dressing in warmer materials and start using essential oils that will also be more warming to the senses; vetiver and geranium are good choices.
Routine is one of the most important tools for balancing the vata energy of fall. It’s no surprise that our schools start this time of year, that we generally move into more routine after the carefree summer months. Our minds and bodies collectively know what will benefit and balance. We naturally want to move with the rhythm of the seasons. Follow your deep inner knowing and let it guide you in mediation and exercise routines that benefit your particular dosha.
Interested in learning more about your particular dosha? Here’s a test that you can take: dosha quiz.
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