Labor Day has come and gone, and now it’s the unofficial start of fall. In Ayurveda, fall is the season of the Vata dosha, the elements of air and ether are provoked with the cooler windier weather. The change to a new school year, beginnings of the new fall television schedule, the start of various sports, and finishing up projects before the end of the year adds energy/disruption to this dosha that easily moved with change. All of this movement and change can lead to feelings of being ungrounded, and maybe a sense of being busy but unsure where to go. You might have thought “now that summer is over I can catch up on my to-do list.” But instead, you feel like you just started the first item and twelve more things ended up on your list. Before you know it, you don’t know what you’re supposed to do, where to start, or what’s even important anymore.
The Ayurveda perspective is all about bringing ourselves back into balance or preventing the imbalance from happening. With qualities of light, dry, and cold it’s important to counter those qualities (Gunas) in our daily lives. To do this, look at it from an “opposite” standpoint. If Vata is cold we need to bring in warmth. It’s also constantly moving, how can we find some stillness? The cold and the wind bring dryness, how can we add moisture? You can look at these elements in your life and evaluate where you can make a different decision to help you stay grounded. Here are a few suggestions:
Sounds simple enough, the weather is getting colder so dress appropriately. You might grab your jacket as you walk out the door, but don’t forget that hat and scarf. When at home, try to keep your feet covered. Your feet are your connection to the ground. Symbolically it’s a form of grounding, and keeping those tootsies toasty can help elicit that feeling.
Just like keeping warm, eating warm foods can also bring in a sense of grounding. If you feel like you’re being pulled all over the place choose hearty warm foods like soups and stews to help ground you. Spicy foods can also help to warm you up, maybe literally. If you’re on a diet, avoid eating salads for your meals, you may feel unsatiated and try to quell the hunger with other snacks.
If your life revolves around the fall being the start of new changes then try to get on your new schedule as soon as possible. Regular wake up, bed, and meal times can help you stay on track.
Ayurveda has a lot to say about what types of oils are warming, and what types are best for various doshas. But honestly, we all know our skin gets drier in the winter, and moisturizing can be as simple as just using your favorite moisturizer. While you’re at it, spend some time massaging your feet. Being mindful of your feet can help provoke a sense of grounding.
How do you feel about the fall? Do you love it or do you resist it? No matter your feelings on it try to stay on a schedule, warm, and moisturized.