We can feel something changing around us. Aside from the colors of the trees transforming into something new, there is a change of energy all around. We feel it in the unsettled mind, in the temperature outside, even in the sunlight that’s slowly changing to more darkness. Cold, dry, light, clear, and moving–The words we might use to describe how we’re feeling right now and the very description of Vata, the season we’re walking into.
The Ayurvedic Seasons
In Ayurveda, the year is broken down into thirds to match each dosha. Mid-fall to mid-winter is when Vata is most heightened, Wet season or mid-winter through Spring is associated with Kapha, and the hot season is Pitta. During this transition season of hot to cold, with the winds blowing in, we see ourselves in the season of Vata and we’re all feeling it.
There seems to be constant movement in the mind, a race that doesn’t have an end. You might feel the urge to get up and move around a lot more like wind blowing through you. You might also find that everything from your hair to your nails to your skin feels dried out, just like the leaves on the trees. And nights are filled with more hours awake than asleep. All of these are symptoms of Vata being out of balance and if Vata is your primary dosha, you’re even more likely to feel all of this and more.
How To Find Balance
In the season of Vata, it’s important to tune into what your body needs. This might be eating more moist, warm foods to feel warm and cozy from the inside out. It could look like applying more moisturizing lotions and balms to drying skin. It almost always looks like drinking more water and taking time to care for yourself. Below is a list of my favorite ways to find balance when my Vata dosha is imbalanced
My mind races at a speed that could be compared to a car around a race track. Around and around in the mind, never slowing down, never stopping. I know right away that I’m in Vata season because all of a sudden I can’t turn it off. I’ve found that movement actually helps slow down the movement of my mind. Going for a walk or taking a yoga FLOW class has helped me calm my mind.
When our minds are in a constant race meditation can be just the trick to get it in check. Meditation can be tricky when the mind is running in circles but if you can stick with it, I often find that rest after about 10-minutes of clearing the mind.
Sometimes just standing on the sidelines and letting all the cars pass by (thoughts) as you simply notice them. Not trying to stop any one of them, not getting in and driving around with a particular thought, just watching as they each fly by moving here and there. In this practice, a meditative state can be found, and slowly the racing cars seem to dissolve.
If you’re in need of guided meditation, I suggest downloading the app Insight Timer or trying one of these Ohana meditations on YouTube.
Ever wondered why Pumpkin spice everything is so popular this time of year? It’s because our bodies are craving the warming foods that are associated with fall. Things that are warm, mushy, oily, naturally sweet, salty, and sour. Our bodies know that in this season of Vata that’s exactly what we need to find balance and so we crave it.
As you find your own balance in Vata come back to the foods of the season. Things like cinnamon, pumpkins, squash, carrots, beets, asparagus, quinoa, rice, mung beans, almonds, sesame seeds, and ghee, as suggested by Deepak Chopra.
Explore our Feed Your Body board on Pinterest to find new recipes. Pay attention to what sounds good to you and know that your body already knows what you should and shouldn’t be eating right now.
Sleep is the most important way we can care for ourselves. Going to bed between 8-10 pm and waking up between 5-7 am is a great way to keep us in rhythm with our bodies and nature. The nights are becoming longer, our energy levels are slowing, and yet with a racing mind, it can be hard to stay asleep.
The best way to get a full night’s rest is to prepare for sleep before going to bed. Turning off screens, making yourself something warm and soothing to sip while you settle down. Turn to a journal or a book that calms you. A hot shower or bath is also a great way to relax before going to bed. You can try crystals to help you sleep, or deep dive into this article about getting better sleep.
Create A Routine
Last but not least, you need to find your own rhythm. Whether that’s scheduling in your yoga classes each week, or creating your own morning routine, having some sort of rhythm will help ground you as movement builds up within you.
Your routine will be unique to you and might only take a couple of minutes each day to complete but coming back to these same grounding tasks will help you to keep a level head and not get sucked into the anxiety and depression that can come with the Vata season.
Balance in Vata Season
Healthy foods that are warming and moisturizing, sleep, movement, and grounding practices will provide you with the path to prosper during this transition of seasons. I find that moving from summer to fall, while the most beautiful, is also the hardest energetically. Because of that, I go back to these tools and my yoga practice again and again. It’s these rhythms, this grounding that will hold you in place to witness the beautiful transitions that are happening around you.
Create a rhythm and find grounding by signing up for our 14-day free trial of Ohana Online. 14-days of unlimited online yoga both livestreamed and in the on-demand library. Try it out today!