Seasons are changing, leaves are falling and a major shift is happening both in nature and yourself. If you have been feeling sort of… strange – but you can’t put your finger on what is going on – you are not alone.
According to Ayurveda, late autumn is a season where the vata dosha is the most dominant one. If you are experiencing a lack of focus, restlessness, feeling ungrounded and anxious, it's likely that the vata dosha is out of balance. Here are some tips to tune in to your bodily and mental needs and make sure you are in harmony with nature’s ebbs and flows.
What are the qualities of the vata dosha?
In Ayurveda, vata is one of the three doshas that govern nature (that includes our bodies!). It is a dosha of air and space and some of its qualities are light, dry, sharp, mobile and cold. In autumn there's a natural accumulation of air and space around us so it's natural to feel restless or struggle to sleep.
In a season of erratic change, slowing down is the best thing you can do to stay grounded. Organise your tasks smartly and make sure you focus on one thing at a time to avoid aggravating vata.
Remember that you don’t have to do everything right now. Start with the priorities and make some time for the things that you enjoy doing like hanging out with your friends, painting, practising yoga or going shopping.
Make time for yourself
Although it may feel otherwise, autumn is the season to do less. Take five minutes for yourself in the morning to stretch or listen to your favourite track. Go for a walk in the afternoon and enjoy the crisp air.
The point here is to make time for yourself and take some distance away from all the chaos of the day. Meditation is also a great option because it helps you relax and focus your thoughts in one place.
Remember to breathe
Pranayama is a wonderful way to balance vata. Alternate nostril breathing is one of the most effective ways to calm vata and only 2-3 minutes a day can do wonders for the body and soul.
You would be surprised at what a few minutes of breathing can do. When you stop for a while and take the time to consciously breathe, you will immediately have a clearer mind and more energy to go about your day.
Listen to your body
During the autumn season, you might notice your energy levels plummeting and your strength falling back. Don’t be discouraged, this phenomenon is totally normal. The best thing you can do in this case is to listen to your body and take it slow when it comes to exercise. Scale back on fast and intense workouts which can be extremely erratic and switch to more gentle physical activity like yoga or walking.
Follow a specific diet
When we say diet we don’t mean cutting back on the foods you love the most and sticking strictly to green smoothies. But during the autumn season, watching what you feed your body is essential to stay grounded. Opting for foods which are warm like soups is a great idea for fighting the coldness and dryness of the weather.
You can also go for vegetables like zucchini and aubergines and juicy fruits like oranges and pomegranates. Make sure to include a teaspoon of olive in your meals to keep your body feeling loosened up and warm.
Avoid cold meals like salads and raw foods and stay away from iced drinks which may cause a sore throat.