With vata at the forefront of your constitution, you will need to be especially mindful of calming vata this fall. You will benefit from following as many of the general autumn recommendations as possible. And of all the types, you will need to be the most vigilant about protecting moisture, staying warm, and creating a sense of routine and stability in your life.
Foods to Favor
Your diet has a powerful impact on your physiology. By choosing nourishing foods that are inherently warming, well-cooked, and well-spiced (but not fiery hot), you can significantly reduce your risk of vata imbalance this fall. Foods that will be especially supportive include ripe bananas, lemons, mangos, oranges, peaches, plums, carrots, olives, onions, brown rice, kidney beans, seitan, miso, urad dal, nut butters, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, butter, cheese, ghee, eggs, beef, chicken, and fish.
Acceptable Seasonal Indulgences
If you enjoy red meat, now is a great time of year to indulge in it. If you prefer the sweet taste, treat yourself to some moist dessert breads—things like banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, and carrot cake. Or, try some nourishing treats like a date shake or sun balls. You can also promote sound sleep by taking some spiced-milk before bed: boil about a cup of milk, stir in a little maple syrup or natural sugar, and add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a teaspoon of ghee, let cool, and drink.
Foods to Minimize
Be careful about how many raw vegetables and legumes you eat; they are drying and can create wind in the body. If you do enjoy a rare salad, eat it at lunchtime and be sure to garnish it generously with an oily dressing. Minimize your intake of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, and beans, and if you do eat them occasionally, make sure they are well-cooked, well-spiced, and well-oiled, and soak your beans overnight before cooking them. It is best to forego cold or iced drinks, black tea, coffee, ice cream and other frozen foods.
Try to make time for a regular self-massage with sesame oil, gentle exercise in the morning or evening, deep breaths throughout the day, and self-reflection or meditation on a daily basis. During yoga, practice a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing, invite fluidity and grace into your asana practice, and be careful not to get chilled. In general, your tendency may be to fill your days with constant activity, to accumulate stress, and to become a bit flighty. Carve out plenty of time to simply relax, even though you may find it difficult to “do nothing.” If you feel your energy waning, try a short afternoon nap. Remember that “less is more” and that multitasking is certain to disperse your energy.