As the fall equinox approaches in just a few weeks, now is a great time to take a step back and ask yourself a few questions. How was your summer? How did your body feel during this season? Is there anything you are coming with to this Vata season that you feel is worth addressing?
Vata season is all about dry air and the cold. In the Bay Area, we tend to see an “indian summer” where we receive unseasonably warm, dry weather. This year the drought has brought especially dry conditions as well. What that means is this years vata season will require an increased attention to pacifying its qualities. So how do we do this and what does that look like?
The two or three weeks leading up to the equinox can be a great opportunity for you to slowly ease your body out of current habits and into ones that will better suit you in the Fall season. This includes food habits, sleeping habits, exercising habits, etc.
With the days becoming shorter, now is a great time to start adjusting your sleep schedules. The sun will begin to rise later, and set earlier. This natural rhythm tells your body to get more rest in the coming months through fall, but especially in winter. Begin to wake when the sun rises, and go to bed within an hour of it setting. Through Fall, the sun rises between 6:30 and 7:30 am, and will set between 5:30 and 7:30 pm. However, right now in the weeks leading up to the equinox, it is simply a good idea to make an intention of slowing down in the evenings a little earlier.
On top of the changing light, the summer harvest will slowly come to an end but leave us with delicious apples, squash, beans, and root vegetables. These foods will be extremely beneficial through Fall and Winter, so begin to think about including them in your diet as the weather cools and becomes more dry. They will pacify the dry, cold qualities of vata while also providing exceptional nutrients to the body to build immunity for the cold months.
However, we still have a few weeks of the colorful array of summer fruits and veggies left in our soil so enjoy as much of it as you can!
Because of the dry and airy qualities of vata, avoiding any movement that will aggravate these is essential. If you already have an imbalance of vata you will want to avoid running, cycling, swimming, and any exercise involving speed. Pittas will enjoy this season the most as they hold qualities of heat and liquid, so the dry and cold will be optimal for them when it comes to exercise. Pittas should take advantage of this time to go hiking, running, dancing, swimming, cycling, etc as this will be the perfect time of year to engage and not feel overheated or overworked. Kaphas, with the highest endurance of all the doshas, can also enjoy the same activities and should enjoy this time of year for movement.
In general, with the drying and cold qualities Fall holds, just be mindful within the next few weeks of how you can slow down, let go, and reflect as we enter into the last several months of this year. Taking small steps now can set you up for success for the rest of the year to be less stressed, less prone to seasonal depression, and to have a healthier immunity.