Greetings of the season – Vata Season!
Vata dosha is composed of the air and space elements, and it governs all movement in the body. “From mid-March to August, Vata is the dominant seasonal dosha,”
“Even for those of us with less Vata in our make-up, it is important to take steps to keep Vata in balance during this time because of its seasonal influence.”
Indications of Vata Imbalance: Colds, insomnia, sleep disturbances, worry and anxiety, scattered feeling and thinking, over active mind, difficult elimination, variable digestion, poor assimilation, tiredness, lack of stamina, dry, rough skin, and dry cracking joints, etc
Maharishi Ayur Veda Products to balance Vata – Use Vata Aroma, Worry Free Aroma, Vata Tea, Vata Massage Oil, Tranquili Tea, Slumbertime tea, Almond Energy and Nidra Aroma.
Tips for Vata season:
This is the time of the year when our skin is dry and our body wants more oil, so a massage with warm Vata massage oil is marvellous as our body soaks up the oil. More oil in our diet is also recommended. Youthful Skin Cream is also great for dry skin.
Rest is very important for balancing Vata and regular Transcendental Meditation provides the deepest rest and balances Vata. It’s a great time to go on a TM Weekend Retreat. Getting sufficient sleep is also important – go to bed by 10pm and follow a regular routine. Use Slumbertime tea and Nidra Aroma for better sleep.
Colds are an indication of Vata/Kapha imbalance. Initially caused by Vata and then the congestion of Kapha comes to strengthen the body. Then you need the spicy Kapha tea, Kapha Spice mix, Kapha aroma, Sniffle Free Aroma and Sniffle Free tea to reduce the congestion. For the Flu use these plus fresh Ginger root tea plus tumeric, honey and ground ginger taken on the tongue and tea made with ginger black pepper and long pepper etc.
Warm, Nourishing Foods: Balancing Vata Dosha
Every season is associated with a dosha in ayurveda – Spring with Kapha, Summer with Pitta and Autumn & Winter with Vata . Each of these doshas has a tendency to increase within the physiology during its season. Thus, the heat of summer tends to aggravate the Pitta in us, while a dry, cold and windy autumn/winter tends to increase Vata.
These seasonal fluctuations of the doshas within us can be balanced by eating appropriately for the season. Desh (place) and kala (time) are important considerations in choosing what you eat. If you reflect, some of these choices come naturally to most of us-we head for cool beverages on a hot day and yearn to wrap our fingers around a steaming mug of soup on a chilly evening.
Eating to balance Vata
“Warm” and “cooked” are key factors in the Vata-pacifying diet. Nourishing soups and stews, hot cereals, hearty grains, wholesome beverages and heavy desserts like rich rice pudding all feel welcome on cold winter days.
To keep Vata in balance, favor the sweet, sour and salty tastes and avoid bitter, pungent and astringent foods. All dairy products, for example, pacify Vata. Always boil milk before you drink it, and drink it warm, with a pinch of cardamom or dry ginger in it. Sweet lassi is an excellent lunchtime beverage. Favor sweet, sour, heavy fruits, such as oranges, bananas, avocados, grapes, cherries, peaches, melons, berries, plums, pineapples, mangos and papayas. Vegetables should be eaten cooked; reduce raw salads. Beets, carrots, asparagus and sweet potatoes are good choices. In moderate quantities, the following vegetables are also fine, especially if they are cooked with Ghee or oil and Vata reducing spices: peas, green leafy vegetables (chopped small, with thick fibrous parts discarded), broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini and potatoes.
Vata pacifying spices include cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed and black pepper in moderation. Organic Vata Spice Blend from Maharishi Ayurveda is a convenient, ready-to-use Vata spice mix. The Ayurveda experts advise cooking with it rather than sprinkling it on prepared foods as the preferred way of assimilating the benefits of the spices.
Favor foods that are liquid rather than dry, and warm rather than cold. Drink lots of warm water and sip 2-3 cups of Vata Tea or Tranquili tea during the day. Almond Energy Drink is a nourishing beverage for Vata season. Rajas Cup with milk and almond energy is a great drink in any season.
Vata dosha is balanced by regularity in routine. Eat three nourishing meals a day, and eat them at around the same times each day. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Eat lunch, the heaviest meal of the day, close to noon. Eat a lighter meal, such as mung bean soup, for dinner. Your last meal of the day should be done at least three hours before you go to bed. If you snack in-between meals, eat nuts and raisins soaked in water (dried fruits aggravate Vata) or stewed fruit for a healthy dose of energy. Most nuts are Vata-pacifying.
Good books to read: A Womens Best Medicine or Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health and for experiencing Ayurvedic Vegeterian cooking: Heaven’s Banquet.
For advice tailored specifically to your unique state of balance or imbalance it is good to have a personal consultation with a Maharishi Vedic Health Educator, ideally at the beginning of each season. For appointments, contact your local Maharishi Vedic Centre.