Here’s How to Honor the Season of Dry and Cool and #GiveLifeTakeCare of Yourself
Fall is upon us in the high desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In Ayurveda, this is beginning of a Vata season.
This Sanskrit word refers to the qualities present in this season but also a constitutional aspect in the human body with the same qualities, and it is one of the doshas in ayurvedic medicine. Doshas are the way ayurvedic medicine define our essence, or our natural constitution.
Follow my social media through the next 12 weeks as I give you #TheDishonDoshas and how they can optimize your health, particularly during the change of seasons. I have created a quiz here that will help you identify your dosha.
To say this is a Vata season means that the qualities present in nature are dry and cool.
All around us, nature cues us with the leaves changing colors. Nightfall comes quickly as the air is cooler and dryer. Here in New Mexico, the acequias (the ditches off the river that irrigate the land) are dry a month early due to the lack of water in the Rio Grande. The smell of roasted chile wafts through the air. Canadian geese are migrating to Bosque Del Apache with the sandhill cranes soon to follow. Of course, pumpkins are everywhere as is the pumpkin spice in every imaginable food product.
Take a moment to notice the seasonal changes where you live.
The plants and animals around us show us how to honor each seasonal transition. As the squirrel stores the food it needs for winter, so we can sort out what we need to do. Watching their shifts can inform us how is best for us to adapt to the new season upon us. We often are already making small changes.
Just as there are changes in nature, so are there changes in our bodies. We notice that the air is cooler on our skin, the quick nightfall impacts our eyesight and we must adjust. You may feel sleepier in the early evening when darkness falls much earlier. You may find you want to eat warm, moist foods such as oatmeal or stews. You may look forward to warm tea. These are simple steps to notice and support your well-being.
How to honor ways to make the transitions easier
Listen to your body. Your body is sharing a lot of information. To listen more attentively to your body takes willingness to be aware and to be present. If you have more of a Vata constitution, you have to take extra care to nurture yourself and be mindful of fall’s challenges.
(I encourage you to follow my social media in the next 12 weeks to find out more about not just Vata but all the doshas. There, you’ll find a link to a dosha quiz to get started, and over the coming weeks, you’ll be able to participate in conversations with me and others about how to work with this knowledge for your self-care and well-being.)
Begin an exercise regimen. As the days become cooler, it’s a good idea to begin an exercise regimen. That is an excellent way to bring mindful, healthy movement into your routine. This is a step toward wellness and strengthens your immune system. I love the idea of having a buddy to commit to an exercise regimen such as walking at a mutually agreed time.
Buy local food. One easy step with food is to eat food found at your local farmer’s market. This creates a natural flow with the seasons and what is best for your body in relation to the season. By doing so, you then are in flow with nature. This reduces your risk of illness.
Try a fast, with support. Fasting can be beneficial during this seasonal transition. Be sure that the fast is informed by your dosha and is done with awareness of how to approach in a supportive, healing manner. It is important to know what works for a person with Vata qualities is different than what works for a person with Kapha qualities. This is where educating yourself and possibly working with an Ayurvedic practitioner could be most beneficial.
Stay hydrated. Because the weather is dryer, it is important to stay well-hydrated each day. This easy habit does a lot to support your health.
Massage your skin with warm oil. Add oleation to your routine. You can do a warm oil massage with an oil such as a combination of sesame oil and coconut oil. It is an excellent way to start the day during this fall season. This oleation soothes the skin and is nurturing of the nervous system. Offering love to your body in this way is such a gift.
Small steps in daily self-care created by mindful awareness
Habits can be hard to break. Ask yourself what one small change you would be can commit to for the next two months. Bringing mindfulness into that small change helps to bring you to the present moment. In ‘being’ so present, an awareness is developing. The new habit is beginning to land in your being in a new way.
Being present with a gentle loving toward yourself creates ease in your mind and body. Awareness of your dosha supports your daily journey with your body and mind.
Over the next 12 weeks, I’ll be posting on social media about the doshas, so come on over and let me know how you’re doing. As I recommend in my book, Cleanse Your Body, Reveal Your Soul, seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner is an important step in your learning as well.
In good health,