This time of year, many of us feel out of whack. Fall usually increases the Vata energy in all of us, which in excess can result in anxiety, pain, the urge to travel (which would of course make Vata even stronger), dryness of skin and hair and many other symptoms. We may find it harder to concentrate or focus for any length of time. We may feel compelled to create changes in our lives – when actually steadying the course is just what we need. If you are primarily made up of Vata energy, you will feel this even more keenly than the rest of us!
To keep Vata in balance, there are any number of things we can do.
Food is the best medicine. So eat lots of Vata-balancing foods, which are generally hot, well-cooked and wet. For a complete list of Vata-balancing foods, please see the “Foods to Favor” column under Vata at the Ayurvedic Institute’s website resources at http://www.ayurveda.com/online_resource/ . Use the Vata – Favor column to make selections that will keep Vata in check.
Basti or enema is also one of the most effective treatments to relieve excess Vata. Generic instructions for self-administering basti are also on the Ayurvedic Institute website online resources at http://www.ayurveda.com/online_resource/ . Particularly for reducing Vata, you could consider using a part sesame-oil, part herbal decoction with a vata-balancing herb like dashamula.
Also, much of our grandmothers’ seasonal advice is well-aligned with what Ayurveda has to say about reducing Vata. For example, bundle up in cooler weather, drink warm (caffeine free) liquids, and protect your head (especially the ears) from the wind.
As you may have seen in many of my past blogs, the best way to deal with seasonal change is to get ahead of it. If you eat for your Ayurevdic constitution all year, and do a seasonal cleanse/panchakarma program at each junction of the seasons (see my older blogs), you can avoid/prevent/lessen the imbalances often caused at these times of year.