Winter is officially here. The days and nights are cooler, the leaves are changing and the WIND is picking up...blowing into Colorado some magical weather. As I prepare for the end of 2020 (and not a day too soon!) I am reminded of the change in Doshas and how that can sometimes create imbalance for some of us. What's a Dosha? In Ayurveda we're taught that everyone is born with variations of 3 doshas, or constitutions, that make up the nature of the body. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We'll share a more detailed Ayurveda 101 post later, but for now, I'll focus on Vata.
Vata's characteristics are light, dry, mobile, subtle...all qualities we find in Fall & Winter weather. The air becomes dryer, we begin to have less light during the day meaning we are less mobile. The changes in fall can be subtle or really intense. We may find the foods we ate in summer are not as nourishing as they were months ago. Salads, cold foods, acidic fruits can be helpful in Summer to cool us down and make us lighter. But in the Fall, we need grounding. We need to feel connected to the earth and slow down a bit. It's a reminder we have to change with our environment or else we start to see illness creep in, exhaustion and lethargy.
2020 has taught me that there is a significant imbalance of Vata in the world. We all became really comfortable with constant movement, not putting roots down anywhere and letting the wind and our inhibitions take us where they wanted. And how did mother nature respond? With severe Kapha. We were sent to our rooms and have seen been on an ankle monitor. Just reminding us that when we collectively are imbalanced, the Earth reflects that imbalance. It was just enough of a breaking point (both within ourselves and within the earth) to send us into a time out.
So what do we do when feel ungrounded, unsettled, anxious? We change things. Changing your diet to eating more root vegetables, soups and hearty meals help the body feel full and grounded. Swapping your cold drinks for something warm helps keep the body heated and the mind calm. Taking shorter showers and using abhyanga (oil massage) helps keep the skin moist and soothe the body.
We can't change the weather or what is going on currently in the world, but we can nourish the body as the seasons change. If you have any imbalance in Vata this winter you might find this season unsettling...but there is hope! Change a few things in your routine to help ground and nourish your body and you'll find Vata back in balance.
Curious about Ayurveda?! Email us for details on our Ayurveda 101 seven day challenge. Want to know your doshas distribution? Take the test at https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/dosha-quiz/.