Autumn is the season characterized by change, and cold and dry weather and it is the time of year where the light qualities of the ether and air element gets vata dosha out of balance. If you suffer from cold hands and feet, dry skin, general fatigue or even depression then you might have a vata dosha imbalance. From an ayurvedic perspective, the doshas help us to understand how internal and external factors influence us on a physical and mental level. Each one of us possesses all three doshas, meaning qualities of vata, pitta and kapha, but just in different amounts. Usually one or two dominate and the one you have most of is the one that will get you off balance.
To get back on track you want to avoid increasing the qualities of the dominant dosha and avoid doing things or eating food that aggravates it even more. Common reasons why vata people are aggravated is due to a hasty and work-mode lifestyle. Constant travelling dissociates us from the ground and might disrupt our sleep. Dry and cold food may cause constipation and accumulation of gas in the large intestines. Joint pain is very common. The tendency to do things irregularly and fast increases nervous energy. The fast change in mass media with superficial information keeps our minds distracted causing fatigue and anxiety with the inability to slow down and relax. In order to feel calm and grounded it is important to find ways to establish the “right” rhythm for your life. One fundamental ayurvedic principle to balance out any dosha is to expose yourself to substances and experiences that are the opposite of vata.
A mindful foot massage with warm sesame oil. Your feet carry you all day, so give them a little attention. Massage your feet every morning for 3 minutes with intention or a mantra like “thank you for carrying me all day long”. Try it and feel the difference what that does to your mind just after a few days. Abhyanga massage is is also a very good massage for Vata-type people.
Eat more food with sweet, sour and salty taste which has a nourishing and stimulating effect on vata dosha. The food should be heavy, moistening and warming in its qualities and the meals should be taken in smaller amounts and more frequently throughout the day to alleviate symptoms of improper digestion.
Practice mindful eating here and then without any distraction. Mindful eating means that you are paying attention to the way you eat: smell and texture of the food, eat slowly, and to count as you chew will keep your mind focused additionally. Don’t eat when you are upset!
Start practice more grounding forms of exercise. Balance can be created by creating habits and routines, meaning to exercise regularly at specific times. Yoga or Qigong is perfect. Weight training in a slow pace and light weights, going for power walks and swimming is good too.
You can create a long-lasting and balancing results by only small changes. You will be able to hear what your body has to say: you will know and feel what is good for you, when to rest or what to eat – so simple!