According to Ayurveda, the late autumn and winter are known as the Vata season, as they are characterized by the same qualities that define Vata dosha, namely, cold, light, dry, movement and clarity. If you want to learn about your dosha type, take our dosha quiz to find out.
When these qualities are maintained in balance, a person who has a predominance of Vata dosha will be creative, exuberant and healthy. However, when excess Vata accumulates in the body and mind, the imbalance can manifest as physical or emotional issues, such as insomnia, constipation, anxiety and depression.
While all body types are vulnerable to Vata derangement during the autumn and winter months, dominant Vata types need to be especially vigilant about maintaining their balance.
Here are some Vata winter tips and natural remedies that will keep you grounded and glowing during the chilly weather.
Eat a Vata-Pacifying Diet
- Foods that are fresh, warm, and well-cooked are best for this winter season. Avoid uncooked foods such as raw fruit, vegetables and salads.
- Drink plenty of warming liquids including hot water and herbal teas.
- Consume more flavors that are sweet, salty and sour; eat less bitter, pungent and astringent foods.
- Avocados, asparagus, almonds, bananas, beets, carrots, lemons, peaches, quinoa, sesame seeds, ghee and mung beans are some good Vata-pacifying foods.
- If your appetite seems stronger than normal, don't worry. This is just part of the body's natural tendency during winter and it helps to pacify excess Vata. Of course, don't binge and overeat until you can't move a muscle!
- With Vata being such a cold, dry dosha, it's crucial to ensure that your surrounding environments are well-heated and that there is enough humidity in the air. Vata is very sensitive to moving air, so it's advisable to avoid sitting near fans or ventilators where there are drafts.
- Bundle up with soft fabrics in hues that calm Vata, such as pastel shades and earthy tones.
- Perform a self-abhyanga massage in the morning or before going to bed. Abhyanga massage is one of the most relaxing Ayurvedic home remedies. Use a warm, nourishing oil such as almond or sesame.
- Getting enough sleep is key for Vatas, who have a tendency to push themselves to the point of physical or mental exhaustion. Sufficient rest is vital to maintaining balance in this dosha.
- Meditation is one of the best ways to calm the overactive Vata mind and bring stillness.
- Vata thrives on regularity and routine, so ensure to get up and go to bed at the same time in the morning and evening. Adhere to a time table for taking meals instead of skipping meals, grazing, or eating on the run. Schedule time for work, exercise, relaxation and rest.
As you implement these winter wellness tips and live a healthy lifestyle, you'll feel much more energized and grounded in the upcoming chilly months.