autumn is the VATA SEASON, ruled by ether and air. no matter what you're dosha is, we'll all be effected by the cold, unstable energy this time of year. you may have already noticed feeling erratic, unsteady, or even a little anxious. here are some tips for DIET, EXERCISE, DIGESTION, NERVOUS SYSTEM, ANXIETY, ROUTINE and MUSIC for vata…
DIET. since autumn is a COLD, LIGHT season and opposites cure, EATING WARM, STABILIZING FOODS will really help balanced body and heart-mind. experiment with eating more SWEET foods to ground, build and maintain tissue like COCONUTS, DATES, MANGOS, ROOT VEGETABLES, RICE, WHEAT, CASHEWS, MILK and GHEE. have SALTY foods to raise temperature like MISO, SEAWEED, OLIVES, FISH, TAMARI, and COTTAGE CHEESE. and have SOUR foods to stimulate metabolism and stoke digestive fire like GRAPEFRUIT, LEMON, LIME, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, KIMCHI, and CHEESE. for more VATA DIET info check out BANYAN BOTANICALS and go to JOYFUL BELLY to search for vata-reducing recipes.
EXERCISE. since vata is so light and airy, LOW IMPACT, STRENGTH BUILDING exercise is best. TEMPERATURE matters too. If it is cold enough out to have trouble maintaining warmth, exercise indoors. vata friends should move MODERATELY and make sure they do not over do it with movement like WALKING, HIKING, STRENGTH TRAINING, PILATES, CHI GONG, SLOW FLOW and IYENGAR YOGA.
DIGESTION. you may notice digestion running COLD and DRY in autumn. LOW APPETITE, CONSTIPATION and even TROUBLE GAINING WEIGHT are all typical vata issues. favor COOKED, WARM FOODS and kickstart agni or digestive fire with GINGER TEA before meals. don’t forget that GHEE warms digestion when it’s running too cool as well. just 1/2 tsp a day will really help and ANCIENT ORGANICS GHEE is so delicious.
be sure to use plenty of WARMING SPICES like ANISE, BAY LEAVES, CARAWAY, CARDAMOM, CINNAMON, CLOVES, CUMIN, FENNEL, FENUGREEK, GINGER, MARJORAM, OREGANO, PEPPERMINT, SAFFRON and STAR ANISE. always choose non-irradiated spices from companies like FRONTIER COOP or SPICELY ORGANICS to get the maximum medicinal benefit!
NERVOUS SYSTEM. excess vata presents in the nervous system in the form of ANXIETY, NERVOUSNESS, INSOMNIA, TWITCHES, MUSCLES SPASMS and even JUMPY, ERRATIC MOVEMENT. support and strengthen the nervous system this autumn with known NERVINES like BASIL, COOKED CELERY, CHAMOMILE, MILK, NUTMEG, SAGE, SAGE HONEY, WALNUTS.
ANXIETY. nervousness, fear and anxiety are all more common in fall. these can be inspired by past events but are triggered when we think about THE FUTURE — will the scary thing happen again? what will become of me? here, i have found it useful to examine what it is I DO NOT TRUST about life and there is plenty to examine there! i have a faith deficit for so many good reasons. BYPASS CULTURE would just tell me not worry. telling the truly traumatized among us not to worry is truly inhumane in my view. love yourself enough to KEEP TELLING THE TRUTH about your fears. love yourself enough to surround yourself with people who dig deep to listen and dig deep to comfort you. i promise that there is a world out there that is waiting to respond to you, waiting to love you. as you work on faith remember, IT’S OKAY IF YOUR LIFE’S WORK TAKES A LIFETIME.
ROUTINE. ayurveda asks that we all take up routines, regardless of constitution or time of year. that said, nobody needs consistency like vata! experiment with set rising, eating, work, and play times. see how you feel after a week of consistent BEDTIME, MEAL TIMES, MEAL SIZES, and EXERCISE. taking your herbs at the same time everyday can be pivotal in creating much need stability. it may seem like a stretch, but this kind of scheduled, dependability can heal instability perhaps from childhood or due events outside of your control even years later.
MUSIC. i’ve been carefully selecting the music i play in my yoga classes according to ayurveda and the season for five years. you can change your mood instantly by picking the right MUSIC or INSTRUMENT TO PLAY. for the vata season, forget driving, energetic songs for now. instead, play anything warm, slow, fluid, lingering and calming. play anything that makes you want to turn inward. fellow musicians, know that playing any instrument that requires you to truly slow down to focus and keep a steady pace is most beneficial. be careful with singing and woodwind instruments since they increase air and breathlessness. play slowly or take a break if you begin to feel spacey or dissipated.