As I sit in meditation these days, I am struck by the feeling of the wind and the cold as it passes outside my window. This is vata season, a time when we can feel ungrounded, destabilized, and scattered.
From an ayurvedic perspective autumn season is a time when the Air element is predominant. It brings with it more lightness, dryness and coolness. It is a time when ‘the winds of change’ can blow more erratically. In nature, these qualities have a tendency to aggravate vata, which is the dosha that is primarily associated with our nervous systems. It also regulates moisture levels in our bodies and is responsible for how relaxed we feel and how well we digest our food.
Hence this time of year is naturally a time for balancing vata and reducing any symptoms of wind, dryness and erratic behaviour. We can do this by implementing some of the suggestions listed here:
– Massage yourself with warm sesame oil to offset the seasonal tendency to dryness, joint cracking and stiff muscle pain. Wash off in a warm shower. Apply a drop of oil in your nostrils and ears to offset the effects of the air element.
– Apply grounding essential oil on the eyebrow centre and throat.
– Have a regular full body massage using ayurvedic massage oils specifically for vata.
– Make sure your autumnal diet consists of warm cooked foods that are mildly spiced, sour and salty. These flavours are nourishing and grounding. They also increase moisture.
– Start your day with a bowl of porridge of oats, rice or quinoa, flavoured with maple syrup and cinnamon.
– A daily teaspoon of organic Chywanaprash in the morning will help keep your energy and immunity intact. It is a good remedy for reducing vata and maintaining your inner strength.
– Avoid raw vegetables, a lot of salad, cold drinks, ice, beans, fermented foods and yeast as they cause gas and may upset your digestion.
– Before going to bed try making yourself a cup of organic milk simmered with a pinch of nutmeg and cardamom (you can add a little honey if you wish) and settle in for a good night’s sleep.
– If you find you are waking during the night, oil your feet with sesame oil and put on some cotton socks before going to bed.