Cold and dry like the wind, Vata dosha is dominant during Autumn and early winter. In our bodies, the falling temperatures and blustery winds can aggravate Vata, particularly for those of us who are Vata types. The elements space and air comprise Vata and movement is a strong theme; falling leaves, the seasonal shift and other changes such as the academic year all add to this feeling and the potential for being out of balance.
Aggravated Vata may present in various ways – IBS, dry cracked skin or lips, restlessness, anxiety and insomnia among them. Suggestions for balancing Vata include use of warming spices (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin etc) to balance against the cold – as well as wrapping up warm of course! I find chai to be a delicious and beneficial drink at this time of the year (like I don’t drink it during the other seasons, haha!) You can buy a lovely ready-made mix (as well as other Vata-balancing products) from Ayurveda Pura or make your own (AyurvedicYogi has a recipe).
Warm, nourishing food and drink are recommended at this time of the year and raw foods advised against as they are can be harder to digest (particularly for us IBS-prone Vata tyoes!). Massage – ideally daily – with warm sesame oil (or, if unavailable, almond) and gentle yoga both relax and ground aggravated Vata, as well as having numerous physical benefits. A good night’s sleep each night will help with this too, as well as aid the immune system in staying strong enough to tackle any bugs that come your way! As a Vata-dominant type, I find that a good sense of rhythm throughout my day and in my life helps ground me too, as does going easy on stimulants like caffeine. Sweet tastes balance vata (although it’s best to try to avoid refined sugar for providing this: honey is a better substitute. Sweet tasting foods like carrot, potato,parsnip, cinnamon and sweet fruits are good options too). Dairy is also said to be vata-balancing but is something I personally try to minimise in my diet, mainly due to ethical and environmental reasons. it’s also worth noting that many people find dairy hard to digest and/or quite mucous-forming in the body – not ideal when colds are abundant!
Vata can be utilised positively: artistic and musical creativity, dance and the ability to dream up fresh ideas and start new projects are said to be Vata qualities and so this energy could be harnessed now. To me, this seems kind of fitting with November marking the start of the new year although, like a typical Vata-type, I can struggle to sustain projects. Luckily, kapha dosha becomes dominant in late winter and early spring, bringing with it more vibes of loyalty and stamina!
November blessings ♥Mo