By Akee Sheelvant
Nature changes its wardrobe every season and fall is no different. It’s a time of transition and this is evident everywhere in our outer surroundings; trees and shrubs change color and get ready to fall in preparation for the winter.
According to Ayurveda, the fall season is made up of the ether and air elements that are cool, dry, rough and subtle and comprise Vata dosha. Hence fall is considered to be a Vata season. Ayurvedic principles tell us ‘like increases like’. So, fall is most disbalancing to those with a Vata constution.
Vata is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “to move”. Vata individuals are quick on their feet and enjoy adventure in their lives! That said, they can burn out and deplete easily if life is too hectic.
That said, everyone has some Vata. Pitta and Kapha types cannot move without Vata. Anything that moves in our bodies and mind is controlled by Vata. It controls the blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and even thoughts that come and go in our minds! No wonder it’s called the “King of Doshas”! Thus, for everyone, environmental factors can cause Vata to run high.
So, when the wind begins to blow and air gets cold and dry, here are few questions to ask yourself to find out if Vata is in excess in your body and if it needs to be balanced.
Armed with the wisdom and knowledge of Ayurveda, we can pacify the Vata dosha to experience this beautiful fall season using the principle of opposites. Nourish the body and mind with:
- oil massages,
- deep nourishment, and
- loving relationships.
Vata season is less aggravating if we eat foods that are warm, fresh, and well cooked. Soft and oily foods, such as pasta, cooked cereals and soups should be favored over dry and crunchy foods. Also, drink lots of warming liquids to prevent dehydration, such as fresh ginger tea.
Favor more the sweet, sour, and salty tastes to pacify Vata. In today’s society we are pretty addicted to sweet and salty foods. So, go ahead and indulge your sweet tooth, but make a conscious choice of eating healthier desserts made with all natural whole food sweeteners like dates and figs.
Below is an easy to follow guideline chart to help you to eat a Vata balanced diet. The best part I like about this season is I get to indulge in some freshly cooked, comfort foods, in moderation of course!
The main mantra to bring Vata in balance is routine, routine, routine!.
If you want to bring your Vata in balance, it’s important to make sure you get up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. This automatically puts your body in routine and in motion.
Here is a trick I use, to help me follow routine in this season, I make a ‘Vata Routine Tracker‘ and stick it on my refrigerator to chart my daily progress. You know your Vata is in balance when you have a sense of stability and groundedness in your daily life.
Finally, fall is a season for pampering yourself: nature tells us to relax, reflect, and rejuvenate. When Mother Nature gives us this permission who are we to deny her…so go ahead indulge and pamper yourself this season!
Akee Sheelvant is an Ayurveda/Yoga Lifestyle Consultant living in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a registered yoga teacher and studied with Yogrishi Vishvketu in Rishikesh, India.
The Ayurvedic saying let ‘food be thy medicine’ is a living mantra in her own life. She is deeply grateful to the scientific wisdom of Ayurveda and practice of Hatha Yoga because of which she has successfully regulated her hypothyroidism.
Akee brings her knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga to her workshops and one-one-one consultations. She offers food as medicine by perfectly blending them with dosha specific herbs/spices. Her forte is crafting multi-cuisine nutritiously delicious food-medicine to help her clients with diabetes management, weight loss, hormone balance and other lifestyle disorders.
You can know more about her at JeevaLifestyle.com and follow her Facebook at facebook.com/JeevaLifestyle.