Regardless of your dominant dosha, as Vata increases in our outside environment, Vata will increase inside your body as well, and its restless, moving quality can throw your physiology and psychology out of balance. You might find yourself experiencing anxiety and stress, constipation, dry skin, irregular appetite, lack of sleep - all indicators of unbalanced and excess Vata. However, if you take a a few moments to tend to your Vata during this transition, you'll find yourself less reactive, calmer, warmer... ready for the time when Kapha builds to dominate late-winter and early spring.
Try some of the following tools to offset this internal cold and dry restlessness and reduce vata in the body, mind and nervous system.
1. Establish a routine. It is said that a keyword in Vata management is "regularity". Vata needs stability, especially during its dominant months. Try to regulate your mealtimes. Rise and go to bed at the same times each day; this will also help with getting adequate sleep, which allows us to regenerate and helps the nervous system restore itself.
2. Favour Vata balancing foods. Warm, freshly cooked foods are best. Leftovers, raw foods, dry foods (popcorn), and processed/packaged foods disrupt Vata. Soups and teas are wonderful.
3. Nurture your skin. Vata is drying, and its effects can take a toll on our skin. Help skin remain supple with daily massage using moisturizing oils such as herbalized sesame oils and coconut oil. Pampering and massage can also help alleviate stress and anxiety.
4. Practice Brahmari Pranayama. The slow, deep "bumblebee" breath activates the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces anxiety. A quick Google search will bring up any number of videos and instructions on how to perform this Pranayama, if you've never done it before.
5. Slow down your practice. I live for flow classes. Quick-moving flows during this time, however, can further aggravate Vata. You don't necessarily need to ditch the flowy flows, but remaining connected to an equal ratio breath will, again, activate your parasympathetic nervous system and likely naturally slow your flow - good things for Vata.
Practicing grounding poses such as Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose),Upavesasana (Squat Pose), and Malasana (Garland Pose) are extremely balancing for Vata.
6. Meditate. Incorporating the So Hum mantra is especially helpful as it is energetically grounding. So Hum is the sound of the breath, translating to I am that. So Hum is practiced internally in the mind in connection with the breath - So on the inhale, Hum on the exhale.
To a healthy, joyous, and balanced Autumn.