Do you feel the crispy cold outside? Perhaps you have noticed the dryness of your skin from the cold outside and central heating inside? Can it be that you are struggling with a good night’s sleep, experiencing that your own thoughts and worries grow bigger in the darkness of the night and wake you up?
It is of no wonder, because the season of Vata – governed by Air and Space elements – has stepped on the throne of power in nature, and is influencing you inside and outside, and everything in the nature around you.
Perhaps you have noticed that some of the routines you had a few weeks ago, no longer support you and that you more easily feel the feeling of anxiousness and ungroundedness. It is the light, cold, dry, irregular Vata energy that is behind these feelings in your emotional body, as well as playing a role in the dryness of your physical body.
So, what do we need to do to feel strong and balanced, have a deep night’s sleep, regular bowel movement, and have a happy smile on the face even during this challenging winter season? The right answer is – we balance the effects of Vata with routines and actions of opposite energies. In other words, where it is cold, warmth must be given; where there is a severe dryness, moisture and oily softness must be added.
Regarding foods – think warm (cooked), oily, moisturizing, and mushy in texture. Choose predominantly foods that are in Ayurveda considered sweet (NB! Not candy or cakes!), sour or salty in taste. Some great examples of sweet taste can be rice, milk, dates, sweet potato, etc. Sour taste examples are for instance sauerkraut, lemon, tomatoes; and salty tastes can be beside the salt itself also olives, seaweed, miso soup.
It now definitely is the season for your hot soups and stews. Regarding the oily foods with rich texture, porridges, and foods made of grain flours, nature now shows the bright green light. Your digestion now is several times stronger than during the summer, and your body needs that extra “building” material to keep you with two feet on the ground instead of flying away like a helium-filled balloon. Add some warming spices like Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cumin, Clove, Fennel, Basil, Ginger, Nutmeg, Hing in your meal preparations, and your body will rejoice in treating it properly. Some other inspirations for your cooking can be spiced root vegetables cooked in healthy oil, spiced milk with turmeric and cardamom, pureed soups, stewed fruits, soaked nuts, and roasted seeds.
Regarding drinks – eliminate any drinks served below room temperature, and keep anything carbonated out of your menu for this period.
Other daily routines – oil yourself with foods from inside and with daily massage (abhyanga) from outside to keep your nervous system balanced as well as skin hydrated.
Exercising – power walks in the daylight are strongly recommended. You can now increase your exercising pulse compared to that during the summer season. Fantastic remedies to calm down the nervous system are grounding and hip opening yoga practices and calming pranayama. For just pausing and winding down, an amazing Vata pacifying remedy is enjoying soft music and gazing into candlelight or some other source of an open fire.