You’ve likely heard of yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, a holistic system of medicine from India. According to Ayurveda, our bodies come in three basic types: vata, pitta, and kapha. Each type has a corresponding season, and autumn is vata season. More precisely, autumn is vata seasons once it begins to get colder.
That means if you’re basic type is vata, you may have some extra challenges this time of year when summer heat turns to autumn coolness. Depending on where you live, this may not happen until late fall or early winter. But in some places, the changes associated with vata season are obvious around Labor Day.
Vata season and vata types are characterized by a light, airy quality. If you feel like your head is in the clouds more than usual this time of year, that is vata. You may feel more anxious than usual, and you may have more trouble sleeping. Skin tends to feel drier this time of year, and if you suffer from arthritis, high blood pressure, or depression, you may notice an increase in symptoms related to those conditions as well.
Staying Balanced and Grounded During Vata Season
The key to the Ayurvedic system is finding balance. You don’t have to suffer more from vata-related symptoms even though the seasons will inevitably change. There’s a lot you can do to stay balanced and grounded.
First, use your yoga! You can practice more grounding and balancing poses during this time of year, such as child’s pose, seated meditation, tree pose, squat, and downward-facing dog. Balancing poses may be more of a challenge now, but don’t avoid them. You can always use the wall or props for support!
Diet is also an important way to manage the effects of vata season. This is the time of year to eat a vat-pacifying diet, which means eating moister, warmer, and well-cooked foods. Try to avoid raw and dry foods. So, instead of dry cereal, salads and raw fruits and vegetables, try stir fries, baked apples, and cooked grains.
According to Ayurvedic doctor Deepak Chopra, sweet, sour, and salty foods are best for vata types. Some examples include avocados, bananas, pumpkins, beets, quinoa, almond, and ghee (clarified butter). Spices like ginger and cinnamon and warm liquids such as herbal teas are also good options.
Other Ways to Get Grounded and Stay Steady in Vata Season
To balance the effects of cool, dry weather, make sure your environment is warm, and consider using a humidifier if the air is extremely dry. Try to avoid drafts and wear comfortable soft fabrics.
Also, be sure to get enough sleep during vata season. If you suffer from insomnia, you may benefit from meditation or listening to relaxing music at night. There are also some natural remedies such as essential oils and herbs that may help you get a better night’s sleep.
Vata people also do better with a routine, so try to set regular times to eat, sleep, work, and relax each day. Vata season is a time to slow down and reconnect.
Whether you’re a vata type by nature or not, you’ll likely notice a different energy some time this fall. With a few adjustments, you can enjoy all the season has to offer.