End of Summer – beginning of the Vata season, what changes can you make?

End of Summer – beginning of the Vata season, what changes can you make?

August is a critical month to prepare your body for the colder days of autumn/fall. Some of you might already have experienced some summer storms, windy days and cooler temperatures, shorter days. Nature has more yellow color like yellow sunsets, yellow leaves. In Ayurveda, this is the beginning of the Vata season.

The heat of the summer has brought dryness in the body which is one of the Vata characteristics.

During the transaction from Summer to Autumn, from heat to cold, from sweats to chills, it is easy for your body to get out of balance. Especially if you are a Vata person, it is important at this time, to keep Vata under control.

Signs of Vata imbalance are: 
-dryness in the whole body, including constipation,
- gas and bloating
-insomnia
-anxiety
-a scattered mind.

All this can cause a build-up of toxins {Ama}, hence Ayurveda suggests cleansing and detox {Kitchari mono diet} during a change of season

August is time for a Vata pacifying routine (you still need to consider your current imbalance and constitution).

Diet: Vata is pacified by the sweet, sour, and salty tastes and aggravated by the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Favor smooth, warm, oily, moist, grounding and nourishing food over dry, light or rough.
Note that sweet taste is not about sugar is about how a food taste: sweetness in fruit, vegetables, grains, and sweet spices like Fennel, etc.

Eat a Vata balancing diet with fresh local produce which is in season.

Examples: Peaches will give sweet and a little sour (this will stimulate digestion) and are very juicy (moist). They are rich in fibers which helps with elimination.
Tomatoes have similar qualities to Peaches, however, being a nightshade may strain the liver and it should be avoided by Pitta and Vata individuals. 
- Warm breakfast with whole grain cereals and almond milk (or coconut milk) a touch of cinnamon will balance Vata.
- Lunch, when it is still quite hot, you can enjoy some cooling/cold food: 
vegetables such as Yellow squashes, juicy cucumbers, and carrots may be appealing for their rich beta-carotene content and sweet taste. Light grain salads with quinoa served at room temperature are nourishing, fresh, and easy to digest.

In general limit (or avoid) cooling foods including refrigerated and cold drink as well as large quantities of raw fruits and vegetables. Due to the dryness of Vata, astringent taste should be avoided.

About fruits, some (like apples) are best cooked or stewed which makes them sweeter and easier to digest and add warm and moist which are all beneficial to Vata. 
Dry fruits are mostly cooling and astringent (drying), rough {all increase Vata}, unless have been soaked and or cooked {add moist and heat which balance Vata}.
* Remember *: fruits and fruit juices are best enjoyed alone—30 minutes before, and ideally at least 1 hour after, any other food.

Vata balancing diet will have plenty of freshly cooked, whole foods that are soft or mushy in texture, rich in protein and fat, seasoned with a variety of spices, and served either warm or hot. These foods will provide lubrication, nourishment to the tissues, moist and heat while supporting optimal digestion.

Routine is key, eating at the same time each day will strengthen the digestive fire {Agni}.
Abhyanga, self-massage part of your daily routine is very important at this time.
Clothing: wear layers so that you can adjust with the changing temperatures during the day and also keep an extra blanket close by at night to use if needed.

If you take care of your imbalances right from the start of this Vata season, your immune system and general health will be stronger by the time the cold and flu season arrives.

Raffaella BreareComment