Vata Season: How to stay grounded and balanced in Autumn?

by Delight Yoga

Summer is over and the heat of summer has now started to dry things out as we enter the next season, autumn.

The leaves on the trees start to dry out, turn brown (Vata’s colour) and fall to the ground. The temperature starts to drop, becoming colder and windier. All these are Vata qualities and these same Vata qualities can show up in our body and mind, regardless of our constitution. So even if you are mostly pitta Prakruti (constitution), you still will want to start dressing a little warmer as the weather turns colder and protect your ears as it becomes windier. These Vata qualities can express by our skin and hair becoming dry, our stool becoming harder or constipated, we feel colder, we start feeling a little ungrounded. After all the active outward energy of play-time we do during the summer, we start to feel exhausted in autumn

 

Keep grounded and balanced through autumn

 

To keep us grounded and balanced through autumn we can:

1. Favor warm foods, spices and drinks
Eat warm, moist and mushy foods such as soups and stews or one-pot meals. Eat warming and grounding vegetables such as pumpkins and sweet potato. Eat soft foods such as soft cottage cheese or soft fresh goat cheese. Eat some fermented foods. Use warming and moist spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, cumin, fennel, fresh ginger. Take nourishing, building and grounding herbs such as spirulina and ashwagandha. Also eat sweet foods such as dates and honey.

Avoid stimulating foods and drinks such as pure dark chocolate, coffee, black tea and other caffeïne rich foods and drinks. These stimulate the nervous system, which is vata’s system. Instead, drink calming drinks such as camomille tea, lavender tea, fresh ginger tea. Drink only warm drinks, hot water, fresh ginger tea, hot (nut) milk.

2. Warm sesame oil massage & hot showers
Do daily warm sesame oil massage before shower. Take hot baths, showers or steam baths

3. Go to bed early & wake up early
Go to bed early, around 21:30 or 22:00. Read spiritual books at bedtime to increase the feeling of safety, faith and a sense of purpose in this world. When possible, wake up before the sun rises and sit in the morning sun for 10 minutes a day.

4. Wear warm clothes & colours
Wear warm clothes, made out of heavier fabrics such as wool. Wear rich and warm colours, reds, yellows, oranges. Wear and burn warming, grounding, sweet perfume oils such as lavender. Stay warm, wear a hat and a scarf to protect the ears, heat and throat.

5. Do everything slower & do nothing
Move slower, talk slower, eat slower and do one thing at a time, avoid multitasking. Practice slow Nadi Shodhana pranayama and slow warming yoga asanas which are grounding and strengthening in a warm room. Restorative yoga, Shavasana and Yoga Nidra are recommended. Also make time for you to simply do nothing, lying on the couch. Don’t feel guilty about doing nothing.

 

Daily Routine for Autumn

 

Autumn morning routine
- Wake early, preferably before sunrise.
- Urinate and defecate upon arising.
- Scrape your tongue, and brush your teeth.
- Apply ghee or sesame oil inside your nostrils.
- Drink 2 cups of hot water, with lemon to increase alkalinity, if desired.
- Exercise for 20 minutes breathing through your nose (yoga, walk, spin).
- Meditate (for at least 5 minutes).
- Massage your body with a pure oil before, during or after a bath or shower.
- Have raw green energy (kale, dandelions, wheatgrass) at breakfast: a green smoothie or green juice. If you feel hungry, then have warm grains.

Autumn mid-day routine
- Do not restrain natural urges such as yawning, sneezing, farting, or urinating.
- Eat your substantial meal in the middle of the day in a quiet, settled atmosphere. Drink only water between meals.
- Avoid rushing, worrying and overeating.

Autumn evening routine
- Quit work before 6 pm. Unplug.
- Treat yourself and those you interact with lovingly and gently. Cultivate gratitude and ease.
- Eat a light meal in the evening.
- Go for a walk.
- Engage in an activity that brings you joy.
- Meditate at the end of your day’s activities.
- Retire early (before 10 pm).