Just as each of us has a Dosha, so do the seasons. As autumn begins in the northern hemisphere, we start the transition from the hot Pitta months of summer in the cool, dry Vata months of fall and early winter (generally October – February). It is important to adjust our daily activities and the foods we eat to help our bodies stay balanced during this transition and into autumn and winter.
Vata energy, which is prevalent this time of year, is cold, dry and windy – just like the weather during autumn and early winter. It is important to pacify Vata to keep it from aggravating or accumulating in our bodies in order to stay balanced and healthy. When Vata is aggravated, as it can be this time of year, or accumulates, it brings coldness and dryness to the body and causes anxiety and stress. This can weaken your immune system and make you susceptible to illness. If your primary Dosha is Vata, you should be particularly careful to ensure Vata stays balanced and does not accumulate. (Take the Dosha Quiz to determine your primary Dosha).
How to Keep Vata Balanced and Stay Healthy
Not only is Vata cold, dry and windy, it is mobile and erratic. It is important to eat Vata balancing foods, stay warm, moisturized, protected from wind and grounded in order to keep Vata pacified.
What to Eat
Eat warm, moist, nourishing foods such as soups and stews, whole grains, roasted root vegetables and stewed fruits. Also make sure to have healthy fats such as nuts, seeds and healthy oils (focus on olive oil, sesame oil and avocado oil). Avoid dry foods such as salads and raw fruits and vegetables. Use warming spices such as ginger, cumin, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, pepper, mustard and herbs such as rosemary and sage. Indulge in warm drinks such as matcha lattes, spiced apple cider and warming teas. This is an ideal time of year for a warm cup of Turmeric Golden Mylk and a nourishing bowl of Kitchari. Use Vata pacifying seasonal vegetables in your Kitchari such as sweet potato, carrots, parsnips and other root vegetables.
Daily Rituals to Stay Grounded
It is important to stay warm and protect yourself from the wind when you go outside. Keep your skin moisturized in this dry time and use warming, stimulating scents, (similar to the spices you should use), such as ginger, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, bergamot, vanilla, sage, basil, patchouli and orange. Incorporate these scents in body products, essential oil diffusers and in a warm bath.
Keeping a regular schedule also helps pacify the erratic nature of Vata. Get up and go to bed at the same time each day, eat regularly and at the same times each day. It is also important not to over-exert and to get sufficient and sound sleep so make sleep a priority. This will also help keep your immune system strong.
Enjoy a warm cup of Turmeric Golden Mylk, a cozy sweater and all the season has to offer while staying healthy and balanced!