6 Secrets for a Balanced, Vibrant Vata This Fall
Dry, rough, cold, mobile, hard—what do these words make you think of? What feelings and images do they conjure? Most likely, you’re probably not seeing an image of a beautiful and relaxing day at the beach. And I doubt if these words bring about a feeling of being calm, collected, and centered.
These words are the qualities that describe wonderful vata dosha. As we move out of summer and into autumn, we enter into what Ayurveda considers the season of vata, which can have pretty harsh effects on the body. As these rough, dry, mobile, and cold qualities of vata are elevated in our environment, they can also become elevated in our bodies and minds.
Apart from just the change of seasons, this time of year tends to coincide with life getting more and more hectic. With school starting back up and the holiday season right around the corner, it is common for the pace of life to increase with a sense of frenetic busyness. As much of a dichotomy as it may be, this busy season can be the most important time to find a connection to our inner peace and calm.
The question is, how can we make this happen in a way that is practical and attainable?
Now for the Secrets
1. Daily Routine
The first thing I like to do this time of year is to ensure that my daily routine is going strong! And when I see clients who are exhibiting signs of excess vata, I always recommend they create a routine.
Routine is one of the best ways to ground vata and create stability. This can be a quick morning routine, a nourishing abhyanga with Vata Massage Oil to help you ground at night, remembering to take your vata-balancing herbs like Healthy Vata or Vata Digest, or simply committing to eating meals at the same time every day.
Having a self-care practice can be life-changing during this time of year. Most importantly, designate time to slow down and nourish yourself, in whatever way feels right to you.
Maybe this is game night with the kids, going out to dinner with your friends or partner, going on a hike, or taking a bath by candlelight. This can be a weekly ritual, bi-weekly, or even once a month—just be consistent. Be sure to plan ahead and mark this time on your calendar to ensure that it will happen.
How you choose to practice self-care can be solely for you, or you can extend it to include your friends and family.
Another great way to stay centered in vata season is to find an activity that inspires you and helps you stay connected to something bigger than yourself. Taking a painting class, volunteering at a local pet shelter, going dancing—this can look like so many different things.
Vata can lean toward feelings of fear or anxiousness when out of balance—so finding inspiration and connection can be one of the best medicines in our life and helps us to keep a bigger perspective, rather than getting caught up in the daily hustle and bustle and stressors.
4. Get Outside
Connecting to nature is one of the best ways to find peace and calm amidst the chaos of our lives. Whether it’s spending the morning in the garden, going on a picnic with friends, or walking in the crisp fall air, taking time to venture outside supports us in feeling grounded, energized, and connected. I mean, who doesn’t leave a big forest feeling like a million bucks?
Have you ever heard of Hygge? This is a great lesson from the Danish culture. It’s the art of creating comfort and coziness in our homes, like embracing big woolen blankets and fluffy socks in front of a fire, drinking tulsi tea, and cooking soups. In essence, bring in all things warm and cozy to help balance and soften the cold, rough energy of vata.
The Final Secret: the Power of Opposites
If we boil all of these ideas down to one simple concept, it’s all about balancing opposite qualities. Think again about the qualities of vata—dry, rough, light, mobile, cold. How do these qualities show up in your life, and how can you bring in opposite qualities to balance them out?
If you tend to get cold, layer up with warm and cozy sweaters. If your skin feels dry, get passionate about your daily abhyanga. Still eating dry, light, summery salads? Try incorporating warm, nourishing soups and broths into your diet.
Get creative! Think about the qualities and what they mean to you, and then find ways to incorporate their opposites—things that are wet, smooth, heavy, stable, and warm.
The beauty of vata is that it allows for movement, expansion, and creativity in our life. As we transition into fall, we can harness this energy even more and allow it to support whatever areas of our lives may need a little bit of movement and inspiration. But too much vata can leave us feeling dried up, chaotic, scattered, and fatigued.
So find time to slow down. Nourish yourself with deeper reflection and introspection. Allow yourself the space and time to feel connection with what’s around you—loved ones, nature, community, and most importantly, yourself. Allow that connection to bring a sense of calm and stillness into your life!