It’s week two of the Ayurveda by the moon fall series and today I want to share with you some helpful tips on how to balance out Vata during the fall season.
The most important thing to know about finding balance is that opposites are going to be your best friend. This means that you will want to understand what the qualities of Vata are and then to find balance, you will need to implement the opposite of those qualities into your daily life.
And then we have the opposites.
While knowing the qualities of Vata is very important, it is equally as important, or maybe more to know what tastes increase Vata. In Ayurveda, every food you eat can be classified under a taste. Just as you would work with opposite qualities to balance Vata, you will also want to implement foods that have tastes that pacify Vata as well.
Now that you are aware of the qualities and tastes that both aggravate and pacify Vata, let’s go over some ways to balance Vata during the fall season.
Vata balancing Foods
Bellow is a list of foods to avoid and also a list of foods to favor during the Vata time of year. This is not an extensive list, but hopefully, it will give you some good ideas of what to leave out and what to incorporate this season. Remember to do your best, you don’t have to follow these lists to a “T”. It’s good to practice moderation with the foods that aggravate Vata if you don’t want to completely eliminate them from your diet.
Foods to Avoid
Dry or bitter Fruits
Raw or frozen Vegetables
Foods to favor
Steamed fresh veggies
Lemons and Limes
Warm/room temperature water
Having a daily routine is extremely important for Vata. Since Vata tends to be quite sporadic, it can help to implement some structure to tame this quality. In my opinion, the best way to start is with a morning routine. I find that grounding myself at the beginning of the day makes a huge difference in my overall performance.
If you are new to creating a morning routine, it is good to start slow. Vata should be treated like a delicate flower, and when we force too much too soon, we tend to aggravate Vata and irritability or frustration may arise.
My personal morning routine consists of the following:
Tongue Scraping and brushing my teeth
Stretching or yoga
Pranayama or meditation
Drinking a glass of warm water with lime
Showering (if I have time I do self-massage with oils before my shower. If I’m short on time, I apply oil after my shower that is light enough that it doesn’t stain my clothing.)
Anointing myself with Lavender oil which is calming and soothing.
A cup of tea
A light breakfast.
This may seem like a lot, but it typically takes me about an hour and 45 minutes and I can easily shorten it to an hour. Because if that, I tend to wake up before sunrise. This is highly recommended in Ayurveda as it is a great way to synch up with natures rhythms. If this is too hard for you to do, then do your best. There are no hard and fast rules in Ayurveda. Making certain changes in our daily lives can do a lot to promote health and vitality and you are definitely worth it! Just take baby steps. Try adding in one new thing to your morning routine and doing that for a week or two and then added something else in. This will make it much easier to implement the changes.
Taking time to do self-massage, or abhyanga can make a huge difference during the Vata season. This involves oiling up the body from head to toe with warming oils. This is by far my favorite way to find balance during the Vata season. You can purchase herb infused oils that are both warming and grounding like Vata massage oil which is infused with herbs like Bhringaraj and Tulsi which are both grounding and great for getting the blood flowing.
Abhyanga is also helpful for getting the lymph flowing in the body and can come in handy when you are doing your fall cleanse. Just be sure that when you are doing your self-massage, you are in a room that is nice and warm. You can even heat your oils before using them, which will make the experience even more enticing. This can easily be done if you place the bottle of oils in a bowl full of hot water for a few minutes. It’s a wonderful way to take time for you and it’s totally worth adding into your daily routine. It can be great before bed to help with sleep. Abhyanga can be great for self-care or a fun way to bring a partner into your ayurvedic practice as well!
Abhyanga usually involves vigorous movement around the joints, but it is done differently depending on your dominant dosha. You can find more information on how to do abhyanga when you check out this awesome video posted by Banyan Botanicals.
Protect your Hair
Since dry and brittle hair is also something that may occur during this season, it is good to make sure that you are protecting your hair from the cool windy weather. You can do this by wearing scarves or doing your hair in protective styles like braids. If you have a thicker grade of hair or hair that tends to be more course, then it is also a good idea to oil your hair daily. Being a person of color, this is crucial for me. I love using Healthy Hair Oil, which has a warming sesame oil base and is also infused with Bhringaraj which supports hair growth and natural hair color.
Now that you have some tips on how to stay balanced during the Vata season have fun with it and go slow. You have all season to indulge in these self-care practices! Next Week, I’ll share with you a deliciously grounding recipe for Vata Pacifying Kitchari!
Love and Moonlight.