In Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, it is articulated that there are three seasons instead of four. The coldest part of the winter through spring is kapha season, summer through early fall is pitta season, and finally late fall through early winter is vata season, which is currently upon us.
During this time of year that is known characteristically for cold nights, dry airy conditions, and falling leaves, it is important that we work grounding practices into our daily rituals in an effort to find balance and harmony with the season.
Listed below are some tips as to how to cultivate more balance in your personal practices.
Eat hearty foods: soups and stews are great this time of year, as are root vegetables like potatoes or turnips. Heat inducing spices and healthy fats are also beneficial to keep the body warm on colder nights.
Start a new project or hobby: with the increase in air energy, we experience a surge of mental energy and creativity. Vata season is the perfect time to plant the seeds we plan on cultivating in the coming year. Be warned however, it is important to try and stay focused on one thing at a time and not to multi-task to an extreme, as the air energy tends to leave us feeling scattered.
Do more yoga: physical asana is a great way to stay grounded during vata season, but it is important to move slowly at times and to take long intentional breaths. Additionally, long holds in each posture are recommended as is practicing against the wall.
Meditate, meditate, meditate: mental energy can trend towards excessive worry this time of year, and so a regular mindfulness practice can be helpful in remaining spiritually grounded. Even if averse to traditional meditation, long periods of silent introspection and gratitude, or even some light journaling can be especially valuable during this time of transformation.
Get more rest: while fall and winter generally makes the body crave more sleep, getting to sleep and maintaining consistency in our circadian rhythms is more challenging. This time of year especially, it is important that we anticipate this and take measures to create order where there is none.
Vata season, a time of great transformation in our external world, is an equally potent time to mind our internal landscapes. Self care, introspection, exercise, and rest are all valuable practices, but most importantly, listen to the wisdom of your body. You always know what you need.
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