Vata Soothing Tips by Veena Haasl-Blilie M.A., Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner
VATA SOOTHING TIPS by Veena Haasl-Blilie M.A., Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner
“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”
Vata season has arrived. Prepare your body and mind for the winds of change by integrating Vata Soothing Tips into your daily routine (dinacharya).
Vata dosha relates to wind (air + ether) and governs movement—whether this is the movement of leaves blowing from a maple tree or, the movement of thoughts in our minds (nervous system/majjavahasrota), or the process of elimination (purishavahasrota)–vata governs movement and as such, it influences the other doshas which is why it is important for all of us to sooth vata.
Vata is increased by the qualities of cold, dry, windy, light, irregular, quick, rough, moving, and changeable and so it is with the sudden arrival of autumn that many people experience an increase in vata related symptoms. (For the visual learners among us, visualize a kite moving this way and that way in the brilliant blue sky on a crisp, windy fall day.)
Please also consider all the movement in the society in which we live—jobs, traffic, screens of various types that ring and beep and glow—there is an excess of stimulation which aggravates vata.
Over the years, my Minnesota clients have shown me that vata begins to aggravate the second, for certain, third week of August while it temperatures may still be noticeably high as it was this year. Why is this? Well, what is also happening those weeks is the arrival of cooler temperatures at night, stronger breezes and often drier air—all qualities that aggravate vata. Ah, fall—that good sleeping weather, a sigh of relief from heat and humidity, but, a sudden arrival of vata aggravating qualities. It is during the seasonal transitions that the doshas are more likely to go out of balance.
What can we to do to maintain or regain balance and enjoy this beautiful season? Vata Soothing Tips, Seasonal Consultations and the Fall Vata Care Program to bring health and vitality to the body, and a state of balance and well-being to the mind.
I invite you to start with the Vata Soothing Tips and if your health and well-being have room for improvement, or you have other symptoms, please contact me. I am here to help.
When vata is balanced we see such things creativity, imagination, quick to grasp new knowledge, lively, fun, and high energy.
When vata is imbalanced, it may talk to us in the following ways:
(I say “talk” because the dosha is expressing itself and letting us know its state and that it needs some attention.)
• Generally feeling cold
• Cold hands and feet
• Constipation or worsening constipation
• Dry skin and lips
• Feeling spacey and forgetful
• Decreased appetite
• Anxiety, anxious depression
• Difficulty with focus and concentration
• Consistency is key: wake and sleep at the same time each day.
• When meals are taken regularly it stabilizes vata and helps promotes healthy bowel movements.
• Daily abhyanga/self oil massage using herbalized oil appropriate for you.
• Practice two-minute meditations throughout the day, especially as you transition from one activity from the other. This grounds vata.
• Be in bed by 10pm and wake up gently around 7am. Vata needs more rest and sleep.
• Favor warm, moist, oily, spiced meals such as kichari, hearty soups, chili, winter squash and root veggies.
• Colors that balance are earthy colors, golden yellow and pastels.
• Favor calming, meditative music. Take a vacation from the news and enjoy screen sabbaticals.
• Drink warm milk with Sweet Vata Churna, warm apple cider with cinnamon, and dosha supportive teas.
• Bring in sweet, earthy, warming qualities through essential oils, fresh flowers or a steaming pot of cinnamon and cloves on the stove. Consider frankincense, lavender, pine, sage and vanilla.
• Chaywanprash (herbalized jam) promotes immunity and vigor. (Not all jams are created equally, please email me.)
• Shirodhara treatment is an ancient treatment that brings the mind to a profound state and is very soothing. (http://www.saumya-ayurveda.com/shiro.html)
Reduce and Avoids
• Drafts, breezes and wind especially on the neck, ears and head.
• Excessive exercise, favor gentle restorative yoga, contemplative walks, tai chi and chi gong. (link to tmc classes)
• Eliminate sources of stress, consider reducing commitments, creating quiet time during this season.
• Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant that aggravates vata and depletes adrenal energy.
• Ice, cold and bubbly beverages. Out to eat? Order herbal tea or hot water with lemon.
• Avoid all cold, raw foods such as salad, ice cream and smoothies.
In working with the natural rhythms of the day, seasons, and stages of life, we live in greater harmony and bring health and vitality to the body, and a state of balance and wellbeing to the mind.
The Vata Soothing Tips are general suggestions only and are not intended to replace the guidance provided by a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. 10% discount on Integrative Ayurveda Consultations for Meditation Center members and current students. Enjoy the beautiful autumn and please email me with any questions.
To Your Health and Peace,
M.A., Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner
Saumya Ayurveda –Ayurveda in Northeast ®
President Emeritus, The Meditation Center