Welcome Fall, Welcome Vata

Are you experiencing louder joints, dryness of your skin, lighter sleep patterns and maybe some colon dryness, i.e., constipation lately? If so, no worry, these are all signs that Vata dosha is increasing. While fall is most definitely my favourite time of the year, with ageing I find each year a heightened impact on my body, specifically, Vata dosha.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you a few simple ways of addressing Vata at this time of year. Why now? The three doshas are most activated during specific seasons. Kapha - our body’s building blocks - increases in later winter and early spring; Pitta - the fire within that digests and transforms - increases in the summer; Vata - the movement within - peaks in the fall.  

Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga, known as the science of life. Ayu is life and veda is wisdom. I’m a strong proponent of learning some of the foundations of Ayurveda as it will help you navigate some of the changes you go through physically, mentally and spiritually. 

Essentially, Ayurveda looks at what you eat, do, and think and how these affect your overall wellbeing. The premise is that you are born with a unique constitution, a certain balance of the three doshas. The doshas tend to go out of balance creating an environment for disease if left unchecked.

Ayurveda is a brilliant holistic way to manage your own health.  

I make an effort to teach classes in a manner that works for all doshas rather than agitating one or more. It’s important to practice in a way that supports your needs. In some yoga classes where there is a lot of flowing postures, Vata dosha may be aggravated. Unfortunately, imbalanced Vata is at epidemic proportions in our society.

Ayurveda helps me to better understand myself and I’m incredibly passionate about sharing it with others.

Not only is fall the season of Vata, those of you who are 55+ are also in the Vata stage of life. As you move into the wisdom years, the qualities of Vata dosha increase. These qualities are dry, cold, rough, light, and subtle. As you age your body becomes dryer, your skin becomes rougher, you’ll experience more coldness and there will be more lightness in your being which affects your sleep, for example. 🥶

Ayurveda teaches that you counter these qualities with opposites. Warm foods replace cold foods; smooth and slimy foods replace rough foods, oils are used in both foods and on the body to help with lubrication internally and externally.

The solutions are relatively straightforward, but you are likely a creature of habit. Making changes to diet and lifestyle choices is a huge hurdle for many. It can literally take years for students of yoga to finally bend to some of the recommendations that will help them.

What I’ve learned over the years with my own exploration of Ayurveda is to make small adjustments and realize the effects, most of which can be felt within a short period of time.

Here’s a short list of things for you to consider this fall:

  • Ditch the cold foods and focus on warm soups, stews and the like.
  • Sip tea 
  • Protect yourself from the ill-effects of cold wind by wearing coverings for your head, neck and ears when outdoors
  • Rather than using body lotions, oil your skin with organic sesame seed oil applying a very light patina, either while in the show or after showing; include your head and face, body orifices, feet and nostrils
  • Keep warm by soaking in a warm bath and wrap yourself in throws when relaxing 

I hope you enjoy fall as much as I do. I’m taking precautions to manage my Vata, but I sense I will need to do even more.

If you’re interested in an informed and balanced approach to yoga and are not yet part of my membership, it may be time to register. Aside from classes, you get to participate in the Community Forum. My plan is to develop a basic Ayurveda course in the new year so you all can learn this ancient wisdom and apply it to your life. 

If you want some input on managing your Vata or have any questions about Ayurveda, go ahead and book your 30-minute free consultation.

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