It’s Vata Dosha season, the Dosha of air and space! According to the Ayurvedic calendar, fall is when these elements increase in our environment. You can see it all around you - cold wind, dryness, cracking leaves. These elements also increase in our minds and bodies just like they do in nature and they can cause a wide variety of health problems.
Here are a few practical Ayurvedic practices to settle Vata into balance as well as more information on what Vata looks like when it manifests as sickness.
Signs of High Vata
In the mind:
- Trouble focusing or finishing projects
In the body:
- Cracking joints and stiffness
- Dryness of membranes (eyes, nose; also skin)
- Lack of appetite
How to Balance Vata
To calm Vata Dosha, emphasize warm, cooked foods with high-quality oils: sesame, sunflower, grapeseed, olive and most importantly, ghee! Eat healthy comfort food like whole food casseroles, soups and baked vegetables. Try to limit or completely avoid processed, microwaved, pre-packaged food.
Drink warm water throughout the day and sip spiced (not caffeinated) teas.
Vata is pacified by heat so emphasize grounding and fluid movements like Yoga are best while avoiding exercises like high intensity interval training that could increase Vata. Closely monitor how you feel after your exercises. If you feel anxious or spacey, change your routine.
Multi-tasking is a common component of our modern lives - talking on the phone and driving and staring at a computer screen and phone screens all leave air and space shooting upward. But it's important to balance modern lives with the principles of Ayurveda. For example, if you work on a computer most of the day schedule in 5-10 minutes every hour to do some chair Yoga or Pranayama and get up and walk outside and even subtly notice your breath.
This autumn, scheduling your day and having regular daily plans is incredibly helpful, especially if you can develop a routine that includes walks outside, making tea, eating a home-cooked meal, reading, etc. All of these practices are very refreshing and balancing.
Vata allows for creativity, spontaneity, spirituality and lightness. It gives us the ability to multitask and juggle a lot of things at once. Vata Dosha is necessary but can cause a lot of problems when it's in excess. Using Ayurveda's tools help you to both balance and utilize this powerful part of your composition.
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health.