For Ayurveda there are three primary energies, the Doshas, which are the foundations of individual constitutions: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
The seasons also have an energy that predominates over the others and in Autumn the main Dosha is Vata.
We can describe Vata through some characteristics: dry, light, cold, inconstant and the associated elements are Air and Ether.
Regardless of our constitution, in this period, it is useful to follow some indications dedicated to Vata, since the element of Air is predominant and can affect our well-being. In fact, the leaves on the trees dry out, so our skin can also appear more dehydrated; the vegetation begins to creak under our feet, as well as our joints will produce a few more noises. Furthermore, it is normal to feel more tired, our body is adapting to the new climate and this requires a lot of energy.
What can you do during Vata Season/Fall Season?
Due to Vata's association with the nervous system, its state is often reflected in our mental health. With the abundance of Vata energy circulating during the fall season, our bodies and minds can be overwhelmed and unbalanced.
During this time of year, you may feel unstable, baseless. Since we cannot change seasonal climate change, we can maintain internal balance by adapting our lifestyles to counteract nature's predominant Vata energy.
We do this by incorporating yoga postures, food and lifestyle choices which naturally contain the opposite qualities of the Vata dosha.
The Yoga practices of these days have to be dedicated precisely to giving balance and harmony to our body.
Keep reading, I give you some advice!
The Yoga practices: give balance and harmony to our bodies.
The practice of yoga in Autumn must be adapted to climate change and the new needs of the body. In fact, we need to warm up adequately to avoid getting hurt while performing the asanas.
During the practice try to pay your attention to when you enter and exit each asanas, this is where you find your harmony.
Move with grace and elegance.
In this period we don't forget Savasana, and when it is possible we can extend it up to 15/20 minutes.
Balancing the Vata energy: PRANAYAMA
Calming Breathing: Sama Vritti Pranayama
Defined the breath that calms the fluctuations of the mind (Vritti), also known as the technique of square breathing. Very simple, but very effective, you can bring it into your daily life whenever you feel the need to center yourself.
How to do it:
Take a comfortable position, possibly sitting.
You can place a hand on the abdomen and begin to perceive, without forcing, how the navel moves forward when you inhale and towards the spine when you exhale.
Become aware that the natural breath is made up of 4 moments:
1. the inhale (puraka)
2.a moment of pause in which our lungs are full of air (antara kumbhaka, full lung retention)
3. the exhale (rechaka)
3. another moment of pause in which the lungs are empty (bahya kumbhaka retention with empty lungs).
To be sure that all phases have the same duration, we can help each other by counting. We start with 4 seconds on each side: 4 seconds we inhale, 4 we hold, 4 we exhale and 4 again we hold.
Balancing the Vata energy: AFFIRMATION
- I welcome autumn with an openness to all the exciting changes it will bring to enrich my life.
- This new season will bring joy, opportunity, excitement and peace to my life.
- As the Autumn leaves fall to the ground, I will also release some stress.
- Autumn brings a beautiful renewal and transformation to my body and mind.
-I give myself permission during this new season to take care of myself and my well-being.
- Autumn is filled with peace and incredible possibilities for my future.
Balancing the Vata energy: FOOD
It's important to have three meals a day, preferably at the same time each day, and make sure you sit down while enjoying your food. Like all other lifestyle choices around this time, establish a routine around eating.
Here are some ideas:
- Eat lots of hot soups.
- Choose hot, cooked and moist foods. Avoid raw vegetables and salads, as they cause vata.
- Drink a warm herbal tea made from fresh ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. - - This will warm the body and improve circulation and digestion. If not, try to drink a hot drink.
- Eat root vegetables to improve your connection with the Earth.
- It is therefore possible to add spices such as cinnamon and cardamom in the preparations to increase the beneficial effect of the foods we cook.
- Sweet, salty and sour tastes calm the vata. It is therefore possible to add spices such as cinnamon and cardamom in the preparations to increase the beneficial effect of the foods we cook.
- Go to shop at your nearest farmers market and buy only seasonal's vegetables and fruits. If you leave in Alba, as I do, you can buy white truffle.
Balancing the Vata energy: ABHYANGA
For your oil: Sesame oil is recommended for the colder months. Make sure the oil you use is organic, unrefined and cold pressed.
Start by slightly heating the oil by holding a small amount (1 tablespoon) in a glass container and holding it under hot water for a few minutes.
Apply a little warm oil on your hands and massage the whole body for 5-10 minutes, applying even pressure with the palm and fingers. Apply lighter pressure to sensitive areas such as the upper torso, breasts, heart and abdominal area. When you are massaging the abdomen, start on the right side (from your perspective when looking down) and then make an up, down and down motion turn on the left side. This supports the natural path of digestion.
Next, massage the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands and the base of the nails, where there are many nerve endings. Don't forget the face, ears and neck.
In the shower, use the soap on your private parts and underarms. Avoid excessive use of soap, as it can strip the skin of moisture and coconut and other oils have antibacterial and cleansing properties. After drying, you will find a thin layer of oil on the skin. This will help your skin stay hydrated and protected, keeping muscles warm throughout the day.