September is a time of transition, change, and fragility, as the weather begins to cool, and rainfall increases.
We’re heading into Autumn Equinox where the days days become shorter and nights longer – the energy is changing and officially entering into Vata season.
According to Ayurveda, your body becomes weaker during this transition. This is because the hot summer months that have created dryness, coupled with cooler days cause a Vata dosha aggravation.
Vata imbalances can lead to low agni (digestive issues) and disease.
Symptoms you might experience when Vata dosha is vitiated are:
- Dry skin
- Gas & bloating
- Increased anxiety
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Mood swings
How you take care of yourself during this delicate transition can make all the difference in how you emerge on the other side of winter
Emerge strong, healthy, and vibrant with these Ayurvedic tips for Fall
- Start your day by drinking hot water with some freshly squeezed lemon
- Eat foods that are warm, fresh, and cooked – avoid dry, raw foods
- Add the following Vata balancing spices: Sweet, Sour, Salty
- Sip hot, non caffeinated teas throughout the day
- Limit procesed, pre-packed food.
- Avoid loud music and frenetic, rapid movement
- A grounding practice for the Vata dosha is to maintain a daily routine (eating, exercising, and sleeping at the same time everyday)
- Yoga movements should fluid, slower, and yoga poses should be held holder to create heat in the body
- Give yourself a self abhyanga massage before or after your shower/bath. Abhyanga massage with the appropriate oil for your dosha enhances well-being, nourishes your skin, relaxes the nervous system, improves lymphatic function and removes toxins from your tissues.
Here’s a list of oils that are best for each Dosha:
- Vata: sesame oil, almond oil
- Pitta: coconut oil, olive oil
- Kapha: sunflower oil, grapeseed oil
Steps to Follow for Self-Abhyanga Massage:
- Warm Your Oil. Store it in a glass or BPA-free plastic container. Place container in bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes to warm before your massage
- Apply oil first to the crown of your head and work slowly out from there in circular strokes—spend a couple of minutes massaging your entire scalp (home to many other important marma points—points of concentrated vital energy)
- Massage every body part for at least a minute using long, loving strokes, and use circular strokes on your joints such as your joints and knees. Always massage toward the direction of your heart
- Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine; moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side
- Finish the massage by spending at least a couple of minutes massaging your feet. Feet are a very important part of the body with the nerve endings of essential organs and vital marma points
- Sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes if possible so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body
- Enjoy a warm bath or shower. You can use a mild soap and gently wash the ‘essential’ areas.
- When you get out of the shower or bath, towel dry gently with a towel dedicated for this practice. If you already showered prior to your abhyanga massage, wear clothing that you don’t mind getting a bit oily.
Enjoy the feeling of having nourished your body, mind, and spirit and carry that with you throughout your day or evening.