Manage Vata imbalance with right type of diet and welcoming warming & grounding rituals to balance mind, body and soul.
Vata season is ruled by the elements air+ether. Late fall and winter are known as “Vata season.” We start to feel cooler temperature and dryer conditions in nature, that reflects through our mind, body and soul.
As long as Vata is in balance, a person will be healthy, creative, and exuberant. But when too much Vata accumulates in the body and mind, the imbalance may manifest as physical or emotional disorders, including insomnia, dry skin, arthritis, constipation, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.
To avoid vata aggravation and be in relation with nature, its time to welcome warming and grounding rituals to find balance.
Eat a Vata-pacifying Diet
- Cook with ghee + sesame oil. Both of these oils are warm and nourishing, which can replenish the tissues of the body.
- Consume root veggies. The beauty of Ayurveda is that we get to eat for the season. Sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkin are all grounding and nourishing to the system.
- Eat foods that are warming, fresh, and well cooked; avoid dry or uncooked foods (especially salads and raw fruits and vegetables).
- Drink lots of warming liquids such as hot water and herbal teas to prevent dehydration. You can prepare a fresh ginger tea with lemon and honey. You may also try Healthy Gut-Friendly Teas.
- Include cooked grains in breakfast – such as wheat, oats, rice or tapioca. You can cook them with water, milk, whey, coconut milk or almond milk. Add dried fruit as a sweetener. You can also add a little ghee or coconut oil, and nuts that have been soaked overnight.
- Eat baked or boiled fresh fruits plus some soaked dried fruit with added nuts.
- Eat more of the sweet, sour, and salty tastes and less of the bitter, astringent, and pungent ones. Avocados, bananas, peaches, lemons, pumpkins, carrots, beets, asparagus, quinoa, rice, mung beans, almonds, sesame seeds, and ghee are a few excellent Vata-pacifying foods.
- Avoid all cold and frozen foods.
- Don’t worry if your appetite seems stronger than usual as this is a natural tendency in winter and helps pacify Vata. At the same time, of course, don’t eat to the point of discomfort.
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Nourish Your Body
- Stay warm. Vata is a cold, dry dosha, so it’s important to make sure that your home and work place are well heated and that the air has enough humidity.
- Practice slow, gentle self-abhyanga massage in the morning or before bed. Use a nourishing, warming oil such as sesame or almond. You may also want to gently rub a drop of sesame oil inside your nasal passages, which tend to become dry during winter.
- Gentle yin yoga exercises, pranayama breathing and transcendental meditation are powerful ways of balancing Vata Dosha and calm, yet energise the whole nervous system.Check out 15 of the best Yin yoga poses
- Establish a steady routine for getting to bed, waking up, exercise, eating meals etc.as that provides structure and stability to support your day.
- Wear enough clothing to stay warm throughout the day. When out for walks, take particular care to protect your head, ears and neck from the wind and cold.
- It’s time to connect with mother nature. Embrace, touch, hug trees. Walk barefoot in the grass. These grounding in the earth activities are extremely helpful in balancing vata.
Sleep and Be Restful
- Balance your activity with adequate rest and sleep to allow your tissues to fully relax and rejuvenate. This is vital for Vatas, who tend to push themselves to the point of physical or mental exhaustion.
- Learn to meditate. For the overactive Vata mind, meditation is one of the best ways to find calm and stillness.
Including Vata-balancing practices with regularity and routine helps Vata person to be in balance. This includes getting up and going to bed at about the same time every morning and evening; eating meals on a predictable schedule rather than “grazing” or skipping meals or eating on the run; and planning time each day for exercise, rest, and relaxation. As you create a daily balancing routine that nourishes your mind, body, and spirit, you will find yourself feeling more energized and centered in the vata season.
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