what does vata season mean?
In Ayurveda the fall season corresponds to two major doshas or mind-body principles: Pitta and Vata. Autumn is considered Pitta as long as hot weather prevails, and Vata as it becomes cold. Late fall and winter are known as “Vata season” because they are marked by some of the same qualities that characterize Vata: cold, dry, light, clear, and moving.
WHAT ARE THE BALANCES/IMBALANCES EXPERIENCED?
As long as these qualities are in balance, a person whose dosha is predominantly Vata 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.
WHEN IS VATA SEASON?
In the northern hemisphere, vata season begins in October, early fall until January. This is not the same as the southern hemisphere where it runs April to July, when colder weather is experienced.
ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA, AM I CONSIDERED VATA?
All body types are vulnerable to Vata derangement during autumn and winter, but those who are predominantly Vata types need to be particularly vigilant about staying in balance. If you don’t know your dosha, take the Dosha Quiz here.
WHAT DOES A VATA PACIFYING DIET LOOK LIKE?
Vata is balanced by a diet of freshly cooked, whole foods that are soft or mushy in texture, rich in protein and fat, seasoned with a variety of warming spices, and served warm or hot. These foods calm vata by lubricating and nourishing the tissues, preserving moisture, and maintaining warmth, all while supporting proper digestion and elimination.
WHAT FOODS SHOULD YOU ENJOY OR AVOID?
Vata is cool, dry, rough and light, so eating foods that neutralize these qualities – foods that are warm, moist, oily, smooth, and nourishing – can help to balance excess vata.
- favour warm over cold
- favour moist and oily over dry
- favour grounding, nourishing and stabilizing over dry
- favour smooth over rough
- emphasize sweet, sour & salty
- minimize pungent, bitter, astringent
HOW DO I STAY GROUNDED IN VATA SEASON?
When we are grounded, we are experiencing our mind, breath, and our body in the same place at the same time – we are embodied. This allows us to be relaxed and present in a way that nothing else does. The foundational question for my practice, my life, and the way I teach is how do we become grounded, in this moment of time?…
And, while I practice this way all year round, I am particularly aware that in this season we require even more attention to practices of grounding, insulating, and calming. For the odds are high that we may not only be blown away by autumn’s awe-striking beauty, but also by her “windy” qualities. Even the most stable of us may feel a little less rooted through out this transitional season.
In Ayurveda, the fall is known as Vata season. Vata is the “air” element characterized by wind and movement as well as coolness, lightness, and dryness. It is this energy that brings us through the elimination process and aging process overall. In autumn and early winter, it is the dominant energy both around and within us. Therefore, this time of year can cause us to have a harder time feeling grounded and calm; we may agitate, anger, or stress more easily, become more anxious, scattered, or “spacey,” experience less rejuvenating sleep, or deplete faster than normal. – Jillian Pransky, YogaDork, Fall(ing) into Balance
WHEN CAN I TAKE THIS SAMA-SET CLASS THAT FOCUSES ON BALANCING VATA?
Vata-balancing and Earth Grounding will be out theme of our Sama-Set class for the month of Oct & Nov 2016. Check out the class schedule to see when to take the next class.
“Paschimottanasana regulates Apana Vayu. As with most forward bends it soothes Vata imbalance and reduces Pitta. To help balance the increase in Kapha in this pose, keep the chest as open as possible. ” Dr. David Frawley, Yoga for Your Type © 2001 p 170