21 Tips for Balancing Autumn’s ‘Vata’ Nature
Autumn is a time of transition as we shift from hot weather to cold weather. Follow the 21 tips below to remain centered, healthy, and energized during autumn’s vata season.
- Wake up early during autumn, when the world is calm, to prepare your mind for the day. After going through your wake-up routine and cleansing procedures, brush your teeth and flush your mouth with a warm mouth rinse, such as a mild cinnamon and clove infusion.
- Balance autumn’s cold, dry, and light vata nature with a warm, moist, and heavy (wholesome) diet.
- Eat small, frequent, regular meals.
- Eat mild, warming spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper.
- Well-cooked vegetables, grains with ghee, and soft, mushy soups are grounding autumn foods, especially as the weather becomes colder. Radishes, fenugreek, soy milk, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, tortillas, and whole-wheat breads are also good options.
- Don’t skimp on sweet foods during autumn. Sweetness is grounding and doesn’t mean sugar: Think milk products in moderation, as well as avocados, carrots, cherries, and grapefruit.
- Consume onions, garlic, basil, and ginger to keep warm and to support your endocrine and immune systems.
- Warming herbal teas are ideal for autumn. Choose blends featuring items such as basil, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon bark, clove, ginger root, and licorice root.
- Oil, assuming you digest it well, is Ayurveda’s main treatment for dry vata energy, so consume plenty of healthful oil and ghee during autumn. If autumn is dry where you live, massage your skin with sesame or almond oil daily.
- In moderation, sour and salty tastes, such as lemon and seaweed, will help boost your digestion.
- To top off your meals, Ayurvedic cuisine proposes a dessert of sweetened cream of wheat with almonds.
- Before bed, enjoy a delicious nighttime drink made from equal parts water and milk boiled with ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg.
- Because it’s a dry season, avoid dry food, such as dried fruits (unless stewed), and dry grains, such as rice cakes.
- Avoid loud noises, fast driving, and chaotic activities.
- Avoid raw vegetables, which have a cold energy that’s better suited to summer.
- Autumn, with its cold and dry weather, often makes people’s behavior flaky and unpredictable, so work a little harder to lead a stable life and stick to a healthy routine.
- Avoid large beans and items from the Brassicaceae family, such as cabbage, which create gas and aggravate the negative qualities of vata.
- Be kind to your immune system — you’ll need it soon enough, as the approaching winter means greater chances of catching colds and the flu.
- To balance vata’s light and flighty nature, embrace your inner calm and stay present while you eat.
- Constipation tends to worsen in autumn, so make sure you eat high-fiber, cooked foods, soaked raisins, and lubricating foods, such as healthy oils, to keep things moist and moving. (Triphala, the most famous Ayurvedic herbal blend, does wonders to keep the digestion functioning properly.)
- Don’t stay up late; instead, prioritize getting a good night’s sleep.
Autumn can be a time of exciting new changes, as well as a time to focus on healthy lifestyle routines. Ayurveda encourages us to find health and balance and to welcome the new season by focusing on how we can better eat, digest, and create new habits for a peaceful internal and external existence.