Autumnal Equinox: Nurturing Vata Dosha with Ayurvedic Practices
As the leaves start to turn golden and the days grow shorter, nature undergoes a subtle but significant transformation. According to Ayurveda, this change heralds the beginning of the vata season, marked by the autumnal equinox. During this time, the air and space elements dominate, bringing qualities like cold, dryness, roughness, brittleness, and motion.
If you want to stay in harmony with this seasonal shift, you must change your daily routine and lifestyle. To explore more, let's dive into the profound Ayurvedic understanding of the autumnal equinox and different ways to balance vata dosha.
Autumnal Equinox: Definition As Per Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, the autumnal equinox signals the beginning of the vata season. Vata is one of the three primary doshas or energies that govern our constitution, and it is associated with the qualities of air and ether/space. During autumn, these qualities become more pronounced in nature, and as a result, they can also manifest within our bodies and minds.
Vata balance in nature results in lightness, vitality, clarity, enthusiasm, and activity. On the other hand, if it is high in nature and you are consuming foods or engaging in cold, fast, or dry practices, it will only exacerbate vata imbalances.
In contrast, you must have more warming foods and soothing teas, keep skin hydrated with moisturizers, and do oil-based massages, which can all help to balance out elevated vata.
Increased Vata in nature can cause various issues like insomnia, constipation, anxiety, lack of focus, forgetfulness, hyperactivity, dry and rough skin, chapped lips, frequent urination, Imbalanced electrolytes, cold sensitivity, and Inflammation, to name a few!
So, let's dig deep into what we should do to keep our Vata balanced.
What Should Be the Seasonal Routine During Autumnal Equinox?
To maintain balance during the Vata season, Ayurveda suggests adopting a seasonal routine that considers the qualities of this dosha.
Here are some essential practices to incorporate into your daily life:
1) Rise Early:You should try to wake up with the sunrise, as this is when the Vata dosha is less dominant, providing stability and calm.
3) Warm Breakfast: Start your day with a warm and nourishing breakfast, such as oatmeal or warm cereals, to counteract the cold and dry qualities of Vata.
4) Stay Hydrated: Sip on warm water or herbal teas throughout the day to maintain internal hydration and support digestion.
5) Nourishing Diet: Favor moist, grounding, and easily digestible foods. Add cooked grains, root vegetables, ghee, and spices like cinnamon and ginger to your meals. We have a special Vata Khichari just for that!
6) Regular Routine: Stick to a regular daily routine, including meals, exercise, and bedtime, to create stability and reduce stress.
7) Gentle Exercise: Engage in gentle, grounding exercises like Yoga or Tai Chi to keep your body and mind centered.
8) Meditation and Deep Breathing: Practice mindfulness meditation and breathing exercises to soothe the mind and reduce anxiety.
9) Sensory Care: Protect your senses from excess stimulation. Reduce exposure to loud noises, strong scents, and excessive screen time. Our Neti pots also aid in cleaning your nasal passage during the cold and flu season..
Five More Simple Ways To Ease Into The Vata Season
Here are the five tips through which you can add Kapha-like properties to your routine and make the transition to fall easy:
- Slow down yourself
Cold days and longer nights are the perfect combination to make you lazy. But you don't have to give up. Instead of having a high energy level like in summer, you can slow down your process. If you're doing yoga practice in summer, continue that with fewer postures and longer, more breaths. Besides this, walking is the best exercise. It is fantastic to relax and refresh your mind.
- Stick to your routine
Vata season makes you lazy. Because it's easy to get swept away by autumn winds, you require an intense routine. And your daily routine will help keep you focused– no matter what the wind blows our way.
- Eat seasonal foods
Add seasonal vegetables and fruits to the food menu. Vata seasonal food includes root vegetables, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and squash. They are sweet, smooth, and heavier. Kapha qualities of these seasonal vegetables can help to balance vata.
Local and chemical products are the best. Besides vegetables and fruits, you can have nuts, oats, bananas, brown rice, and ghee. Ghee is good in the fall season because it contains essential omega fatty acids. You can add ghee to khichari also.
- Add some spice to your meals
Did you know that herbs play a vital role in pacifying vata dosha? Try to include these herbs in your meals to leverage their healing power. You can incorporate ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and fennel. These herbs have qualities that can balance the cold, dry, and erratic nature of vata dosha.
- Maintain warmth
To keep yourself warm, try this cup of goodness:
- Take fresh chopped ginger or ginger powder.
- 1 teaspoon Aṣhwagandha
- 1 teaspoon Ghee
- Add 10 ounces of milk
Simmer the mixture for around 30 minutes. After that, strain and pour. Remember, honey should never be cooked, so add some honey, top with some turmeric, and enjoy it on a cool autumn day. It is the perfect pick-me-up because it is warm and healthy.
Herbs That Can Help in Autumnal Equinox
Adding herbs to your diet can help you transition smoothly to vata season. Here are a few Vata-balancing herbs and other foods to keep you warm this fall.
Ashwagandha: This adaptogenic herb may help combat stress, boost immunity, and enhance overall vitality.
Shatavari: Shatavari is famous for its nourishing properties. It supports women's health and hormonal balance.
Triphala: A blend of three fruits, Triphala supports digestion, detoxification, and regular elimination.
Ginger: Incorporate fresh ginger or ginger powder into your meals or enjoy it as a tea to support digestion and warm the body.
Cinnamon: Sprinkle cinnamon on your breakfast cereal or add it to warm beverages for its warming and grounding qualities.
Tulsi (Holy Basil): It is known as the "Queen of Herbs," Tulsi is an excellent adaptogen that supports the immune system and reduces stress.
Warm Herbal Teas: Enjoy teas of warming herbs like cinnamon, cardamom, and licorice to soothe vata imbalances.
Ghee: Use ghee for cooking and as a topping for foods to provide nourishment and moisture.
Khichari: Khichari is easy to digest and provides all essential nutrients. It would be best if you tried vata Balancing Khichari during this transition.
Conclusion Follow a seasonal routine, incorporate nourishing foods, and utilize the Ayurvedic herbs to ease into the Autumnal Equinox. Balance your Vata dosha with grace and vitality. Initially, it might feel overwhelming to you, but when you start following these tips, you will see magic.