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Autumn and Ayurveda

Written by Nat Louis

In Ayurveda, the year is broken into three seasons which mirror the three dosha types. Autumn into winter is the season of Vata. Literally translated as ‘wind, Vata is dry and cold with bursts of movement.

When the weather is at its coldest and wettest, Kapha rises in late winter and continues into spring which is followed by Pitta which comes during the heat of summer.

As Vata rises in autumn, it can leave you feeling run down or susceptible to illness. How this translates into general feelings and symptoms may vary from person to person, however if you are experiencing feelings of anxiety or erratic thoughts, dry skin, bad circulation, restless sleep, erratic routines, eating habits or bowel movements you may have excess Vata.

Adding warming spices and hearty food can help to balance out an excess of Vata, roasted vegetables, stews, soups and porridge are perfect at this time of year. A pinch of cinnamon, ginger or black pepper to season your dishes will add a warming flavour. During a Vata imbalance, Ayurveda would suggest to avoid raw foods such as salads, fresh fruit or carrot sticks especially in the mornings and evenings.

A warming stew can be perfect as Vata rises in Autumn.

Photo by Sanket Sha on Unsplash

Try to implement a regular routine with set dining, sleeping and working times where possible to give your body the best chance to reset your imbalance. Exercising gently with yoga or tai chi style workouts can help to ground yourself and calm anxious or erratic thoughts you may be having.

Massaging organic sesame or coconut oil is a great way to boost circulation and moisturises cold, wind beaten skin. Focus on movements away from the heart and towards the hand and feet can help for people who do suffer from the cold. For a truly warming and invigorating massage, why not book in a spa day.

Autumn is a time to unwind from the playfully busy summer days. It is time to restore and re-calibrate your energy. Wrap up warm, take long warm soaks and enjoy hot drinks as we move into these cold winter months.