I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Fall weather. In September, I went to an interesting lecture at The Tibet House given by an Ayurvedic Doctor discussing the “Vata” Dosha (one of the three personality and body types in Ayurveda of which we each have varying amounts, and which can become imbalanced). As many of you know, Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga. My first yoga training was strongly founded on Ayurvedic principles and yoga, and since then, I have been interested in continuing to learn how to apply this science to my personal life and my teachings. This time of year, according to Ayurveda, is “Vata” season, as the elements that correspond with Vata are air and space. Autumn is the time of year when these Vata elements are most predominate in the environment, and the time period when seasons change is always a particularly vulnerable time. Because “like increases like” (a basic Ayurvedic principle), it is advised that we be mindful that our activities and our food choices are not increasing the Vata element within each of us resulting in any physical and/or mental imbalances. Because Vata is characterized by the qualities of movement and speed, the countering or balancing principles would be stability and steadiness. In addition, because the energy associated with Vata is cold, the balancing principles would be warmth and nourishment.
So in practical matters, how does all this translate? Well, according to the lecture and my books, this is the time of year to create and maintain steady routines around eating and sleeping, to get plenty of rest, to eat warm and nourishing foods, to drink warm and not ice water, and to choose activities that nurture the body and calm the mind, as anxiety and nervousness tend to increase during Vata season. Mind-body healing modalities such as gentle yoga, qigong, meditation, yoga nidra, and Ayurvedic massages are especially helpful this time of year. Warm milk (or milk substitutes such as almond, soy, or rice, etc.) with a little cardamom, nutmeg and maple syrup in the evenings can encourage a restful evening sleep, and is delicious. If you find these concepts interesting, I highly recommend a wonderful and inspiring book about Ayurveda, yoga, the Vedic philosophy, and healing called “The Path of Practice” by Bri Maya Tiwari, the founder of the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda in North Carolina. If you want any other recommendations, please let me know; I’m happy to share!