How ayurveda can be supportive in the changing times of Autumn

Hi gorgeous ones!

I am working on a post to update you on the progress I am making on Monet’s garden, but I feel an urgency to get this information out to you first, so here goes. Today we went to the Diggers Club Harvest Festival. It was a lovely day out for me, celebrating the end of summer and embracing the harvest that comes at this time of year. I noticed that the weather was very typical of autumn – cold and windy. And I noticed that because of this weather, some of my family members did not enjoy it as much.

From an ayurvedic perspective, autumn is the time of heightened vata. Vata is the quality of air and space. If we think of the qualities of Vata, they are dry, rough, light, cold, subtle and mobile. We see these qualities in the weather and we can also see them mirrored within ourselves.

If we look at individuals who have a predominantly vata constitution, we will notice things like:

  • Thin and bony build.
  • Either very tall or very short.
  • Skin and hair is dry.
  • A variable appetite, one moment feeling ravenously hungry, the next, forgetting to eat.
  • Poor digestion, prone to constipation.
  • Very fast and erratic speech and quick moving movements.
  • Very light sleepers that are prone to insomnia.

If we look at celebrities, someone like Kate Moss comes to mind. She is very thin and light. You almost get a sense that she will float away. That is vata. Like the air – light and mobile.

From an ayurvedic perspective, the best way to support any element is to give it the opposite. Like attracts like. Imagine a glass of cold water, if we put it in the freezer, it will freeze. The quality of cold will be even colder. But, if we put that water in the kettle and bring it to a boil, it will warm up.

I find ayurveda so empowering, because I am learning that I can stop an imbalance from taking a deeper hold within me, by understanding which dosha is imbalanced and taking steps to overcome the imbalance.

If you find that you struggle with weather that is cold and windy, you may have strong vata in your constitution. It is my secondary constitution, so I have to make a real effort to keep it balanced. It is also the first dosha to go out, so even if it is not your primary constitution, it is most likely affecting you.

A few ways to know whether your vata is out of balance: *

  • Overly active thinking.
  • Restless, cannot sit still.
  • Inclined toward fear, anxiety and depression.
  • Feeling spacey and ungrounded.
  • Feeling emotionally delicate.
  • Quick to judge or make decisions.
  • Disorganised.
  • Tend to procrastinate.
  • Moody and emotionally volatile.
  • Interrupt or zone out in conversation.
  • Impatient.
  • Arthritis.
  • High or low blood pressure.
  • Cracking or popping joints.
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Headaches.
  • Insomnia.
  • Constipation.
  • Gas and bloating.
  • Low energy, depleted life force.

So, what can we do to support ourselves when our vata is out of balance:

  • Vata is dry: This means that we need to give it moisture. Foods that are dry are very agitating to vata. Think of things like crackers, salads and packet chips.
  • Vata is light: This means that it needs lots of grounding. Think of things like connecting to the earth and being in the body. Since vata governs the mind, we tend to become very “heady” when vata is too active. We need to take active steps to come back into the body. My most favourite way is through ayurvedic self massage, which I wrote about here. It is the number one thing that has helped my vata.
  • Vata is cold: This means that it needs warmth. We need to make an effort to eat warm foods. Lots of soups, afternoon tea and hugs, lots and lots of hugs. Vata needs LOVE. My recipe for chai tea for PMS, is not only for PMS. If you haven’t seen it, you can get it here. Have a cup every night before bed, it will make a world of difference, I promise.
  • Vata is mobile: This means that it needs stability and routine. Vata really settles down when we follow a regular daily routine. When we rise with the sun, eat our meals at the same time each day and live in a peaceful environment, vata is able to express itself in a healthy way through creativity, flexibility and healthy communication.

I think that a really quick and simple (but not always easy) way to pacify vata is to come back into the body through the breath. Just taking a few deep breaths brings us right back into the body.

Try it now. Sit upright, place your hands on your belly. Feel into your belly and take ten deep, conscious breaths into there.

Do you feel better? More grounded? Simple, yes. Like I said, not always the easiest thing to remember to do when our mind is all over the place :).

Perhaps you can start a ritual and have a cup of warm chai before bed? Or some morning ama buster?

Whatever you do, just be kind to yourself. Like I said, vata needs love and I am sending lots and lots of it your way. You are doing extremely well and should be so proud of yourself. Making any effort to nourish yourself and take care of you can only benefit you and the world around you. We can only change ourselves, we do not need to carry any responsibility to save the world. Just loving ourselves is enough, the rest just naturally ripples out.

I hope that something has inspired you here.

I would love to know if you have any things that you do to support you when it is autumn or when you are feeling ungrounded? Please share, I am sure that it can inspire many people.

Blessings to you.

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*Yarema, Rhoda and Brannigan

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4 thoughts on “How ayurveda can be supportive in the changing times of Autumn

  1. krissie

    olga… how do you really fidn out what dosha you are? I do quizzes and find that I am pitta/vata or something else, so where is a good link to really find out what I truly am? or is it possible to be a mix of two?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. olgadossa Post author

      Hi Krissie.

      Finding out your dosha is not always simple. We have a prakriti and a vikriti. Our prakriti is our constitution at birth. It is the constitution we are aiming for, because that is our optimal state of well being. Our vikriti is our current constitution. When we are looking at balancing our health, we need to look at both. I used to find it quite tricky to answer the quizzes because I was not sure if I was answering something based on how I used to be or how I was at the time – an indication that I was not in line with my birth constitution!

      As I have been learning about ayurveda, it is making more sense. It is a lifetime of learning.

      One way of checking what you should be is to look at your physical characteristics. Those rarely change and will be a better indicator of your birth constitution. There are however cases of some people being so out of balance that their physical characteristics change, but it is quite rare.

      Your mental and emotional characteristics will give you a better sense of where you are right now.

      If you come out as pitta/vata, most likely your vata goes out sometimes and you become vata/pitta. Yes, it is possible to have two, some people are actually three. In fact, we have all three doshas within us, just some are more pronounced than others.

      I hope that helps you.

      Here are two links I think may help you:

      http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/constitutions/

      http://lifespa.com/health-quizzes/body-type-quiz/

      Lots of love,
      Olga

      xxx

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      Reply
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