As you say farewell to the summer days, Vata Season arrives, otherwise known as autumn or the fall depending on which part of the world you are from.
Seasonal changes are inevitable, we know it is going to happen, what feelings does this time of year bring up for you?
Can I hazard a guess that feeling tired, stressed, depleted and cold spring to mind? Are you unenthused by the nights drawing in, days shortening and the slight chill in the air that bites at your cheeks gives you a sinking feeling?
On the other hand, you might be looking forward to wrapping up in hats, scarves, warm coats, anticipating hot beverages and cosy nights. Notice how we adapt to our surroundings and the changing season almost instinctively.
Ayurveda pays a lot of attention to annual cyclical self-care, much more than is done in the west. In Ayurveda, Ritu-Shandi (Ritu means ‘season’ and Shandi meaning ‘junction’), is an in-between transition period from one season to the next, starting from seven days before the equinox or solstice and ending seven days after.
Ritu-Sandhi is the prime two-week time to tune into our bodily rhythms; the perfect opportunity to do a mild seasonal cleanse to prepare for the colder months ahead.
So, whatever feeling Vata season conjures up for you, Ayurveda helps you to shift with the changes to help you adapt naturally.
The end of summer is the ideal time to reset as our bodies have accumulated excess heat or Pitta, especially if we have not eaten many of summer’s offerings of cooling fruits and vegetables.
Summer is always a more hectic, hurried and intense time as we make the most of the longer days, we might have partied excessively or had too much sun. Any cooling, drying influences that we naturally tend to gravitate towards in summer will also have accumulated within us. Another reason why as we move into this cool, dry season, it is essential to hit the reboot button.
Despite living in Asia for many years, I remember this seasonal change from summer into autumn very well. I felt depleted, that feeling of malaise, a kind of sadness, somewhat depressed, as well as cold, anxious, and stressed.
If only I had known what I know today, how to shift gradually from summer into the cooler months with Ayurvedic routines, I would have saved myself a few years of aging…hehehe!
Even now, here in Asia, the rainy season is kicking my Vata out of balance. Thankfully, my awareness and knowledge of how to move with ease through seasonal changes is the key to maintaining my balance and well-being, wherever I am in the world.
It is well worth a mention that Ayurveda knows most diseases are born during the changing seasons, making it a crucial time to exercise self-care and Ayurveda can help you stay well during this time of year.
Here are 3 quick Ayurvedic Vata autumn tips.
- It’s time to rest and slow down your pace. Vata season is all about 3 Rs: rest, review, renew. It is not the season to start big new projects.
- Start a daily warm oil massage with sesame oil. Keep your body moisturized, nourished and grounded. Vata is dry, light, active and this will increase in the fall season.
Eat warm, light and easy to digest food. Add warming spices and make ghee. No more salads, cold foods, no leftovers, no processed foods and no popcorn!