By now you can surely feel it. Vata season is here again. Time to adapt.
There are three Ayurvedic seasons that correspond with the nature of the doshas, or elemental constitutions: Vata, pitta, and kapha. Vata season is now as the temperature gets cooler, the wind blows the leaves from their twiggy posts, and the air feels crisp and dry. The elements of space and air govern this time of year in Colorado. And while they offer a refreshing change from the heat and activity of summer, they may also stir up some mental restlessness and leave you feeling fatigued much more quickly than you did a month ago.
The wind of vata, or prana, governs all life’s functioning and movement. It is the circulation of breath and the vitality of cellular activity. It vibrates the nerves and beats the heart. It is the dynamic essence of our animation. We cannot live without it. But when those winds get out of balance, as is the case in all of nature, they can blow the whole house down.
Ayurveda reminds us that balance is the key to living a healthy, abundant life. This balance is found in Nature as she continuously adapts to stay vibrant in her cycle of change and renewal. When we take her lead, Ma Earth will always guide us back to the source of balance.
Ma says: Chill out. It is time to reduce the pitta heat and energy from the summer months. Start November with a juice cleanse to flush your system and prepare for winter. Use fruits and veggies that are vata reducing like bananas, pumpkin, carrots, beets, asparagus, cherries, peaches, figs, dates, and avocado. Check out the FREE Make it Real, Make it Raw Detox Blast with expert nutritionists, Rachelle Anslyn and Thomas Radtke.
Ma says: Go ahead and sleep more. You know you want to. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, shift your bedtime to follow the earlier sunset. Drink some warm coco-mint milk before bed. Heat up some coconut milk on the stove, stirring continuously until hot. Then pour over a peppermint tea bag. Let steep and sip. You can find tons more tips for putting vata induced insomnia to rest in my article: Yoga vs. Insomnia.
Ma says: Indulge your sweet tooth. In vata season you get permission to eat sticky, sweet, oily, mushy foods. Think sweet potatoes with walnut oil and maple syrup, coco-sesame date balls, carrot ginger soup, or yummy vegan rice pudding. Find recipes HERE.
Ma says: Get a massage. Massage is the best medicine to nurture your body on all levels. It has been shown to lower cortisol levels and boost the immune system. Massage oils nourish your skin as skillful kneading brings balance to your muscles and joints. Self massage provides an opportunity for you to check in with your own body and mental state. To pacify vata, use almond, sesame, or hemp seed oil with essences of clary sage, cypress, sandalwood, rosewood, vetiver or ginger. Until Dec. 1st., hOMe Yoga Spa is offering $30 massages for your first time visit. Relax and Renew.
Ma says: Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Drink plenty of water these days. Start the day with a nourishing flush by squeezing half a lemon into warm water and adding a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey. Drink it down before your breakfast.
Ma says: Breathe! Invite the force of prana to inspire you. Take some deep, intentional breaths. Enjoy a moment first thing in the morning, at night before you go to bed, and with each mealtime simply breathing. Follow the breath in and out of your body for several minutes allowing it to fall into it’s own authentic and nourishing rhythm.
Ma says: Slow down. Eat more mindfully. Take time to relax and actually chew your food. Walk or bike to your destination, enjoying the radiance of this golden season. Practice Yoga. Body sites for vata include the low back and hip joints, therefore hip openers and spinal twists are amazing this time of year. Listen to mellowing music. Turn the lights down low, and burn soy candles in the evening.
She is speaking to you, through you, for you. And she always knows best.