As we shift into fall we are leaving the Pitta season and entering into the Vata season.
The Vata element is associated with air and ether. It functions as movement and energy, and seasonally it is the time of year when the atmosphere is dry, cool, and rough (windy).
It is easy to see how Vata presents itself if we look at what is happening in nature (especially those of us that live in a four season climate). The cool air begins to dry the leaves making them brittle and rough and eventually they fall. These qualities translate to our own inner climate as well. Often with the rise of Vata our skin can become more dry and rough, our hair and nails more brittle, and it is not uncommon that our digestion and immunity may suffer. The sometimes erratic nature of the Vata element can also make our minds feel more scattered, disrupt our sleep, and even contribute to unwanted mood swings.
So, how do we avoid the usual struggles of fall?
Balancing Vata can be simple if we are diligent about balancing our system as a whole. This means we have to look to not only our diet but, exercise, self care and lifestyle habits as well.
- Favor more warm or cooked foods
- Add more healthy fats like ghee, avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil to your dishes
- Spice things up with more warming spices: black pepper, cumin, ginger, mustard seed, cayenne, and cinnamon
- Eat more tubers! Pumpkin, beets, Sweet potatoes, and all types of other hardy winter squash
- Drink more warming teas in between meals
- Make golden mama milk
- Add soups or stews into your weekly meal routine
- Walk more and run less
- Favor resistance training over cardio loading
- Gentle yoga and meditation
- Take a sauna break !
- Make self oil massage a daily ritual
- Read a book by the fire
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day (vata craves routine for balance)
- Try not to overdo it with too many social obligations
- Take more time to pause throughout the day and observe your breath