The ancient science of Ayurveda is governed by the concept of doshas. Doshas are a great way to understand the energies that make up both our inner and outer worlds experience and you can learn more about them in another of our Insight posts by clicking here. Autumn is a season dominated by Vata dosha. Vata is predominant in the elements air and space, giving it cold, light, dry, moving and rough qualities. Vata Dosha is the most powerful of the doshas due to its moving and rough qualities and can easily cause Pitta and Kapha doshas to become unbalanced. These doshas impact both our inner and outer worlds which is why it’s important to keep them balanced. Signs of Vata imbalance include bloating, dry skin, irregular appetite, difficulty sleeping, stress and tiredness. Luckily, there are lots of ways to use Ayurveda in Autumn to help you restore and maintain inner and outer balance.
Ways to Balance Vata dosha
To balance doshas, you should implement practices that are predominant in qualities that are opposite of the dosha that is imbalanced. For example, the summer season is dominated by Pitta dosha, a fiery, hot energy. To balance the effects of Pitta, you would incorporate cooling foods and calming activities into your diet and lifestyle. Similarly, there are steps you can take to balance Vata dosha. Four qualities that are opposites of the cold, airy, rough and moving qualities of Vata are: warmth, hydration, gentleness and grounded. Using these four words to build your lifestyle and daily routine has many emotional, physical and mental health benefits. It’s important to balance Vata all year round, especially if it's your dominant dosha. However, we all need to pay attention to Vata in Autumn.
Implement a warming diet
Choose the right foods to balance Vata dosha. Foods that are oily, high in healthy fats, and prepared with warming spices like cinnamon or pepper are perfect for this time of year and should be served hot. Warming foods like soups and curries that contain nourishing vegetables are great options.
Stick to a daily routine
Set the tone for your day by waking up early and beginning your day with yoga or mindfulness practices like meditation. Try to set a daily routine by doing the same things every day, waking up and sleeping at the same times each day and eating meals at the same time. Take time daily for relaxing self-care practices like consistent morning and evening skincare routines and self-massage.
Change up your exercise routine
Consider slower exercises to balance the moving, airy qualities of Vata dosha. Exercises like tai chi, walking, swimming, hiking, biking and yoga are best. Make sure you balance your activities with rest and good sleep.