October is the time when Vata is often out of balance. I hear you think – huh, Vata?? Whatta??
In the Ayurveda (sister science of Yoga) they work with the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether, and three doshas or constitutions: Kapha, Pitta, and Vata.
Kapha (pronounced kaffa) represents the Earth and Water element. The qualities are heavy, humid, and cool.
Pitta represents the Fire and Water element: in short your digestive fire and energy management, processing experiences in the mind. The qualities are hot, light, intense and sharp.
Vata represents the air and ether element: everything that is in motion. Joints, blood, breath, your mind. The qualities are light, dry and cold, rough, and changeable.
Autumn is a period of change and transformation. The sweet and warm summer days give way to stormy skies with rain and lots of wind, which also tears the colored leaves from the trees. All this movement and change can make you feel more tired, and it also seems like this storm is in your mind and you’re less cool & collected than usual. Sounds familiar? Read on!
The air element can be aggravated by the fire element and is balanced by the earth element. Choose to do grounding exercises and balancing yoga postures. Feed yourself with food that is nourishing and comes from the earth: sweet potato, pumpkin, stews for example. Zucchini soup is also an ideal food to reduce Vata imbalance. Avoid raw foods such as fruits and vegetables and instead, mix cooked apple through your oats and eat cooked or oven-baked root vegetables. Drink hot drinks and add warming herbs such as cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, and cardamom. Fatty foods (oil, avocados, nuts) also reduce Vata. For example, in the morning before the shower, grease yourself with sesame oil: delicious for your skin and works extremely well against a Vata-high!
Restorative and yin yoga are delicious yoga practices if you find yourself with a full head and a tired body.
What is also helpful: do everything you do slowly and with attention. You will notice that your imbalance decreases if you take these things into account!