According to Ayurveda, our bodies require different foods and lifestyle routines in different seasons to stay balanced.
Balance is considered to be a key to the perfect health. Nature is our guide and all we need to do, is to listen to it, since we are part of our environment. By adapting to the changes in seasons we are protecting our health the best we can.
Autumn is mainly a cold time of the year. Based on Ayurveda, it is a season, when Vata dosha dominates inside and outside our bodies. Vata dosha is composed of the air and space elements and its qualities are cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, quick, mobile, subtle and changeable.
Vata is responsible for movement in the body, nerve impulses, waste elimination, speech, breathing and other functions relating to movement. It is mainly located in the colon, so bloating, constipation and gas are common signs of its build up. Other signs include dry skin, irregular appetite, insomnia, stress, worries and lack of energy. Autumn is a time of the year, when we are especially vulnerable to Vata aggravation. Therefore we need to focus on balancing it by a grounding, hearty and heavier diet and calming, regular lifestyle. Key word is routine.
If Vata dosha creates mainly your body type, movement and change are typical of your nature. You are always on the go, with an energetic and bubbly personality. As long as Vata is balanced, you will be lively, enthusiastic, creative individual with a lean body. Especially Vata types need to balance their dosha during the autumn and make sure to stay warm, grounded, nourished and under a healthy routine.
1. Stay Warm Inside & Out
Avoid becoming cold. Wear warm layers of clothes appropriate for the season and keep your head covered when the temperature drops. Sip warm ginger or herbal tea throughout the day and enjoy warming, nourishing diet, rich in healthy oils and ghee, spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cumin. Make a fresh, warm porridge or stewed fruits for breakfast, hearty soups, stews, kitchari for lunch and dinner. Root veggies, local and seasonal are the best choice. Before bed time treat yourself with a warm milk with pinch of ginger, nutmeg, turmeric and a little honey or maple syrup to help you stay balanced. In general eat foods which are salty, sweet and sour to keep your Vata on a track. Minimize astringent, bitter and pungent flavors in your diet, since these aggravate Vata same as raw, dry, rough and cold food.
Bring consistency to your life. Try to get to bed before 10 PM, rise by 6 AM, and most importantly eat your meals at regular times. Make lunch your main meal, and dinner the smaller one, eaten as early as possible. Try to take regular breaks from work, sipping herbal teas throughout the day and not working too hard.
3. Protect & Moisturize Your Skin
Ground and nourish yourself with a daily self-massage in a warm room. Warm up a heavier type of oil such as sesame oil or mahanarayan oil. Begin with your feet and work up the body to the head in sweeping strokes along muscles, and circular movements around joints. Leave the oil on for 10 minutes then wash it off with a warm water. Use a special towel you don’t mind to damage.
Autumn is a perfect time to slow down and connect with yourself. Vata dosha is aggravated by stress, anxiety, worries, fear and also by excessive activity, movement, rushing and travelling. Pamper yourself, take a relaxing walk, practice gentle yoga, meditate, write a diary, read a book, take a warm bath with essential oils…
This article by Jitka Robinson was originally posted on www.jitkarobinson.com