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Ayurveda: How to Balance Vata This Season

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Tis the season of blustering winds!

Fall is the transitional month marked by the onset of the autumn equinox and the arrival of the winter solstice, marking the commencement of winter.

Ayurvedically the cooler, dryer, windy element this time of the year enhances the wind factor in our own bodies. Ayurveda’s mantra is: ‘Like increases like,’ while ‘opposites balance each other out.’ So if Vata is in abundance in the climate, we are reflecting it as well by feeling an excess of air and ether in our bodies, And if your constitution or dosha tends to have Vata in it anyway, then it’s double vata whammy for you!

However, woe be gone! Even if the climate is in transition, it doesn’t mean you have to lose your centered-ness because of the elements.  You can do things to make yourself feel more balanced and rooted by making mindful food and lifestyle choices that will bring equilibrium to your mind, body and spirit despite the season of dry, chapped winds and falling leaves.

These tips are not just for the vata season, but are equally applicable to people with  a predominant vata constitution, the whole year round.

Foods

Fruits & Vegetables:

Avoid: Because the weather is already dry, we should avoid dried fruits, along with Apples, Cranberries, Pears, Persimmon, Pomegranate, Watermelon as all these enhance the air element in the body

However, you can balance with: Apricots, Avocado, Bananas, cherries, coconuts, Figs, grapefruits, grapes, lemons, mango, melons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapples, plums. All of which have a more grounding element to them.

Avoid: Raw veggies including, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplants, leafy greens, lettuce, mushrooms, raw onions, parsley, peas, spinach, potatoes, sprouts, tomatoes.

Do : Cook your vegetables, preferably in ghee as it kindles the digestive fire and aids in absorption of nutrients. Asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumber, garlic, green beans, okra (cooked), onion (cooked), potato, radishes, zucchini, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, acorn, butternut. These have the qualities of sweet, heavy, smooth, dense and moist and are most balancing for vata.

Vata dosha is pacified by sweet, sour, salty tastes in your diet. Meanwhile limit bitter and astringent tastes.

Grains:

Avoid: Barley, Buckwheat, corn, millet, rye.

Do enjoy: Cooked oats, rice, wheat, whole wheat pasta and buckwheat udon noodles can be especially grounding for vata.

Meats:

Lamb, pork, rabbit, venison should be avoided by vata constitutions and in the vata season.

However, Beef, Chicken or Turkey, eggs fried or scrambled aid in grounding the body.

Legumes:

Most legumes increase the content of air in the body.

Lifestyle

Vata is best kept aligned when we maintain our routines and schedules. Erratic schedules aggravate vata further in the body.

Maintain your weekly yoga, meditation and exercise routine, to help sail through this season. A strong routine is the best medicine to avoid imbalance in Vata.

Massage the body daily with Ayurveda oil especially for the Vata dosha, that can also be bought at http://ayurveda.com/shop/vata-massage-oil-pint.html. Or massaging with organic sesame oil is also calming to vata.

However, Mung beans and black and red beans are the suggested legumes for an increased vata state.

Photo Cred: AmyeLandry.com

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