Tips for Staying Healthy During VATA season
Feeling a bit off lately? Are your lips chapped? Do your hands constantly feel dry? Noticing a bit more gas and constipation? Having sleep challenges? If you are saying yes to any of these – blame it on Vata!
In Ayurveda, Vata means to move like a wind. Consisting of the elements air and ether. To understand the Vata dosha, it is important to understand its qualities. Vata dosha is light, dry, mobile, cold, hard and rough.
Just look outside – it is cold and skies are gray. The environment is harsh and rough with extra dry air and winds are blowing with more force. Ayurveda science explains the interconnectedness of nature and personal health. They are inextricably linked. Whether we recognize it or not, Vata energy in nature is subtly impacting our wellbeing.
Fall & early winter are considered Vata Season. We are currently at the height of the Vata season. By New Year’s Day, it reaches full force.
At this time of year, the elements Air & Ether, which create Vata dosha, become the strongest. As long as its qualities of light, dry, mobile, cold are in balance, a person whose body constitution is predominantly Vata will be healthy. But when too much Vata accumulates in the body and mind, the imbalance may manifest as physical or emotional disorders leading to constipation, insomnia, dry skin, an anxious mind – and much more. All body types are vulnerable to Vata imbalance during this season.
January – February can be very difficult months. So, what to do to stay healthy, centered and vibrant during the cold months ahead?
Here are 7 key tips to support balance during Vata season.
- Eat more warm and moist foods. No more salads. Eat more soups. Seasonal root veggies like squashes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, beets, mung beans, almonds, sesame seeds, and ghee are a few excellent Vata-pacifying grounding foods.
- Have a nice hot cup of herbal tea in between your meals. You can prepare a fresh ginger tea by adding a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger into a 12 oz thermos bottle and filling it with hot water. You can also add a tablespoon of honey to it. Yum! Tulsi, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, licorice are other good choices, or perhaps some yummy Chai! 🙂
- Set some good routines – Go to sleep and wake up on consistent times. This will create an internal calmness and naturally pacify the Vata. As a general rule, getting to sleep by 10 p.m. and up before the sun rises will serve you well.
- If you’re one of those who enjoys warm oil body massages – go for it! Since Vata is dry by nature, we often feel dryness on our skin during this season. Moisturizing lotion in itself is not the solution, as the dryness is manifesting from the inside. You can do a Self-Massage with warm sesame oil to nurture your skin. it’ll also do wonders for your nerves. Self-Love!
- Slow down! Vata is the master of movement and, therefore, to pacify Vata one must slow down. This can mean different things to each individual but includes:
- Take deep breaths throughout the day
- Do one activity at a time
- Avoid excessive talking – Too much talking and socializing causes too much excitement and over-exertion plus loud sounds and jumpy energy can aggravate Vata imbalance.
- Avoid excessive social activity –Vata has qualities of Air & ether elements – Excess vata can cause a racing mind, a lack of groundedness & anxietyLoud music and quick & too much movement in daily routines can increase air element in the body which can aggravate Vata. People will feel more anxious and ungrounded.
- Quiet time – Take time daily for reflection and stillness. You can call it meditation or yoga nidra (deep relaxation) or alone time. Unplugging helps to calm your nervous system and your mind.
- Most importantly, bring a sense of conscious awareness to each moment and nurture yourself as much as possible on a daily basis!
As you create a daily balancing routine that nourishes your mind, body, and soul, you will find yourself feeling more centered with high energy and positivity in the months to come.
Ranjana Chawla is a certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. She uses Ayurvedic science to diagnose and treat diseases & health conditions. She provides treatments through dietary recommendations, herbs, and lifestyle modifications. To learn more about Ayurveda medicine, Check out Ranjana’s Healing Your Life Ayurveda Wellness Program starting in January. To learn more about Ranjana, you can visit her website: http://www.theayur.com/
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