It’s Vata Season! Wait…what’s that mean?

Fall is officially upon us! The leaves have changed and have begun their descent to the ground. Like nature around us, we might be looking at the things we need to release before we move inward for the winter. I have heard so many of my students say that they felt this Fall season sneak up on them this year, and I feel the same way! The cooler temperatures and longer nights were here more quickly than I expected, but now that it is November, I find myself settling in.

Through the lens of Ayurveda + Yoga, we and the world around us are made of three dosha-s (pitta, kapha, and vata), and each of these dosha-s are made of elements. Pitta is fire and water, Kapha is earth and water, and Vata is air and ether, or space. Each season of the year correlates with different dosha-s. Fall is the time of Vata, of air and space, of dryness, windiness. It is a time of transition as we watch the leaves change colors, the days become shorter as the nights grow, and feel the crispness of the cooler temperatures. The fall brings a predominance of the air element, which we see represented in the dosha Vata.

In Ayurveda, the cardinal rule is that like increases and opposites balance. If you are already struggling with a vata imbalance, the change in this season might push your vata into more excess. However, if balanced, you might feel this shift as inspirational. When Vata is out of balance, you might notice heightened anxiety and nervousness, lots of thoughts swirling through your head, feeling fearful, and the feeling of being ungrounded and feeling scattered or spacey. You might feel dry and chapped and notice that your joints are popping more. You may also feel gassy, bloated, and struggle with constipation, and you may have light, interrupted sleep. When Vata is balanced you might feel enthusiastic and alert as it brings inspiration, creativity, and the ability to see things from many angles. You may also feel flexible and able to approach things easily and breezily (see what I did there?).

In order to work toward balancing the vata dosha, we can look at the foods we’re eating, the self-care practices we’re doing, the way we are exercising or moving our bodies, and specific breathing practices. Increasing our healthy fats, oiling our bodies, and finding space for grounding practices can all be helpful practices. Finding a personalized practice that fits your particular needs is key, and I’d be honored to help you do so.

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