Nourish Your Entire Being

A Guide To Fall Rejuvenation For Vata-Pitta and Pitta-Vata Types

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Banyan customer service supervisor, Megan (Vata-Pitta), nourishes her system with some rejuvenating tea.

Autumn is a time when we are often invited to give thanks – for the fall harvest, for the abundance of nature, for all the many things that bless our lives.  This fall, what would happen if you turned your gratitude inward and showered yourself with some deep nourishment, love and abundance?  Ayurvedic rejuvenation is aimed at doing just that, and the process truly gives the body a chance to repair and revitalize the entire organism.  To nurture the Self in this way is a profound gift, one that supports all aspects of the being – body, mind, and spirit.  As a vata-pitta or pitta-vata type, the fall and winter months are a particularly wonderful time for you to consider a rejuvenation program.  Having just passed through pitta’s most challenging time of year – the summertime – rejuvenation offers a great opportunity to reset pitta for optimal health and to fully recover from any excess heat the summer may have delivered.  And, as we move into vata season this fall, rejuvenative practices – which are very grounding, nourishing, and deeply soothing to vata – can also help to prevent vata imbalances from arising.

For those of you who recently completed (or intend to complete) a cleanse, rejuvenation is the final component of the cleanse itself.  After working so hard to purify and reset your physiology, you are prepared for deep nourishment on all levels.  And even if you did not do a fall cleanse, rejuvenation alone can strengthen and tone your physical, mental, and emotional spheres.

What’s An Appropriate Period of Time?

As with many things in Ayurveda, the length of an appropriate rejuvenation program varies from one person to the next. Rejuvenation therapies are typically implemented for a set period of time – usually at least one month and up to three months. While this may strike you as a long time, keep in mind that rejuvenation should feel nourishing and enjoyable to you. And, it can really be as simple as adding one practice or one herb to your daily routine.

  • If you completed a full seven-day cleanse, your body will benefit from a longer period of rejuvenation (about three months), starting as soon after you complete your cleanse as possible. If that timeframe feels overwhelming to you, commit to at least one month of rejuvenation.
  • If you completed a shorter cleanse, be sure to do at least one month of rejuvenation. Or, if you like, you too can rejuvenate for up to 3 months.
  • Even if you did not complete a cleanse at all, vata-pitta or pitta-vata types normally benefit from a longer period of rejuvenation – about three months. However, there may be some instances where this would not be appropriate.
    • If you have a known kapha imbalance (especially if it is of greater concern than any vata imbalances  or pitta imbalances you may have), you’ll want to go easy on rejuvenation so as not to further aggravate kapha.
    • Similarly, if you have a lot of toxicity in your system, which can be identified by a thick coating on the tongue, you’ll want to keep your rejuvenation routine very simple so that you don’t inadvertently nourish the toxins.
  • In either case, a simple rejuvenation program (of 1-3 therapies) for about a month is probably sufficient – and it might be helpful to think about choosing therapies because they are seasonally appropriate and vata-pacifying rather than focusing on their rejuvenative properties. You could also favor kapha-type rejuvenatives, which are lighter and less likely to aggravate either of the above conditions.

Pathways Toward Rejuvenation

What follows is a list of many possible rejuvenative therapies. Please don’t feel overwhelmed. The idea is not to do all of these things, but to pick and choose those recipes and practices that most resonate with you. As you consider each therapy, remember that your rejuvenation process needs to feel beneficial. It should not add stress to your life but should instead add a sense of groundedness, contentment, and joy. If several possibilities peak your interest, consider starting with 1-3 therapies and then gradually expand your repertoire of rejuvenatives only if and when it feels appropriate.

Dietary Rejuvenatives

At the most fundamental level, a healthy, balanced diet supports deep rejuvenation. All of your tissues, organs, and systems draw directly from the nourishment contained within the food you eat every day. A diet primarily composed of freshly cooked, whole foods is quite rejuvenative. On the other hand, processed foods and old, stale foods have little life-force, are difficult to digest, and often contain toxins. As a vata-pitta or pitta-vata predominant type in the heart of vata-season, your focus should be on eating a healthy and balanced vata-pacifying diet. You can compliment these broad strokes with some especially rejuvenative foods:

  • Almonds, Soaked and Peeled
    • Soaked almonds are very grounding, nourishing, and energizing. Soaking and peeling them makes them more digestible and more beneficial to the body. As such, almonds are a highly revered rejuvenative in Ayurveda.
  • Soaked Cashews
    • Cashews – which are oily, nutritive, and building – can also be used in a rejuvenation program. They actually share many qualities with soaked almonds, including the fact that soaking them makes them more digestible.
  • Rejuvenative Almond Milk
    • This very restorative drink provides another delicious way to ingest soaked and peeled almonds. You can cook with it or drink it plain. It is especially useful in fall and winter, or after a period of major exertion.
  • Dr. Lad’s Date & Almond Shake
    • This shake is a warm, nourishing, and deliciously sweet breakfast or snack. It is very nutritious, grounding, and the dates, soaked almonds, and milk make it an excellent rejuvenative.
  • Dream Date Balls
    • A very good and sumptuous rejuvenative. In ancient India, these would have been considered an aphrodisiac of sorts. Very yummy.
  • Rice Khir
    • This delicious rice pudding is especially rejuvenative for pitta, so this might be a good choice if you feel like the heat got the better of you this past summer.
  • Sweet Potato Halva
    • This delectable Indian dessert can also be made with butternut or buttercup squash, or even pumpkin instead of sweet potato. Rich in vitamins and entirely delicious.
  • Urad Dal
    • This legume soup detoxifies the system and nourishes the muscle, bone, and reproductive fluids while energizing the whole body.

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