If you follow any yoga teachers, Ayurveda practitioners, or studio owners on social media, your feed has been clogged with Vata posts and what you should and shouldn’t do during this season. You’re probably wondering, why? Why does Vata get so much attention? Because it’s the dosha (constitution) that is easiest to go out of balance but is also the easiest to pull back into balance. What the heck does this mean? Let me put it in English.
There are 3 doshas, or constitutions, in Ayurveda which is the sister science to yoga. Ayurveda is meant to be used in conjunction with yoga to keep you balanced. Yoga addresses balance through movement, breathwork, meditation, mantra; Ayurveda addresses balance through routines, nutrition, herbs. The 3 doshas are: Vata (ether or air), Pitta (fire+water), Kapha (earth+water).
Vata dosha is characterized by lightness, airiness, dryness, roughness, flowing, cold, spacious. In Ayurveda, the fall season is Vata season. You can feel it in the air. It’s getting colder, drier, windy, crisp. All these qualities are also represented in your body (you are a microcosm of the macrocosm). Too much Vata in the body can result in insomnia, poor or erratic digestion, anxiety, inability to concentrate, a sense of being ungrounded, unable to complete a task (I’m not going to lie, writing this blogpost has been a project!).
Sounds horrible, no? But, Vata can be tamed by bringing in the opposite qualities: heavy, grounding, warming, soothing, nourishing, slowing down—all Kapha qualities. THIS is why you begin to crave stews, soups, pot roasts, root vegetables, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin spice, hot chocolate/tea by the fire, movie nights. THESE are the opposite of Vata; these foods and activities are going to keep you in balance.
For people like me who are in the Vata time of their life (late 40s to death and have a Vata imbalance (Rheumatoid Arthritis), we need to be more cognizant of our routines. Go to sleep by 10pm, eat the hearty, nourishing food, do a lot of meditation and slow+deep yoga practices, practice Vata-reducing pranayama (such as Bhramari or Bee’s Breath). If we don’t follow Ayurvedic advice (which is really in line with what nature wants us to do), we can be susceptible to imbalance.
Ayurveda is so super-cool and I am always amazed by how spot on it is. If this blew your mind and rocked your world, then I invite you to learn more about Ayurveda in our upcoming Intro to Ayurveda workshop with Dr. Aparna Dandekar. And, I’m telling you, just meeting Aparna will rock your world!
Whatever you do, take good care of yourself during this Vata season <3