September comes with lingering heat as we shift into the fall. The irregular weather of hot and cold can be taxing on the body. For many, an excess of Pitta qualities will remain through September and October. These imbalances will look like excessive sweating and worsening body odor, anger and irritability, inflammation in joints, acid reflux, gas and indigestion, red irritated skin or acne, and a feeling of burnout. We have to clear out the excess of pitta in order to stay healthy through the next few months of the year. A big component some people miss in their routine during these months is supporting the immune system in order to remain healthy. So what can we do to help keep a balance through this teeter-totter of a season?
Your diet and your circadian rhythm are indicators of where you can re-evaluate. Take a moment to think about when you wake up and when you are going to sleep at night. If you are going to bed late into the night, after 11, or sleeping long in the mornings, this may be contributing to an imbalance. What foods have you been including in your diet during summer? Have they been spicy, and oily? Now is the best time to slowly start adjusting your sleep cycle with the days growing shorter. It is also the time to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies that the end of summer offers.
Pittas Going into Vata Season
For a dominant Pitta dosha individual, Vata season will come quick and if there is remaining heat in your body, you are sure to feel hot and dry. This has the potential to cause respiratory issues, as Vata energy travel up the body during this time. Here are some ways to minimize remaining hot, dry heat and also support the body at the same time.
- Eating Pitta pacifying foods. This includes anything that is cooling, and during this time of year, some great fruits to include are apples, pomegranates, and cooked beets! Other foods that will help during this shift are coconut, cilantro, quinoa, lentils, and beans. Avoid foods such as miso and soy, corn, onions and garlic, sour fruits, and sour dairy products.
- Stay hydrated inside and out! Use pitta-pacifying oils for your personal massage to remove excess heat from building in the body, but also provide moisture as Vata season approaches.
- For movement, slow down your exercise routine to include some walking, yoga, stretching, hiking, running and cycling.
Vatas Going in Vata Seasons
Vatas, summer is the season you feel most balanced in. The heat and oily nature compliments your dry, cold qualities perfectly. So in order to avoid a difficult Vata season, supporting your body now is the fastest way to health for the remainder of the year.
- Stay hydrated! We highly encourage you to focus on your personal massage practice this time of year to set your body up for success and consistent moisture during the dry cold months! Drinking water with lemon or lime and a bit of salt make for a quick electrolyte packed drink.
- Focus your diet on cooked and warm foods and keep the heat at a slow burn. Some great foods to eat during this season are dates, berries, sweet potatoes, cooked apples, , cooked oats, avocado, summer and winter squash, quinoa and rice, miso, as well as most dairy products. Some foods you should begin to reduce or avoid are corn, pork, dry grains, raw veggies, and cooling fruits like watermelon, pomegranate, and any dried fruit.
- Avoid exercises with speed such as running, cycling, and swimming. Focus on grounding exercises such as yoga and hiking. HIIT and Tabata can also be great for a Vata during this season.
Kaphas Going into Vata Season
Kapha, Vata season is your most balanced season of the year! The dry and mobile qualities of fall help bring your heavy, moist kapha energy to an enjoyable level. Sometimes though, a kapha might feel heavy and too oily when shifting out of the summer months, making this dryer season great for soothing aggravated qualities. The cold of the Vata season will increase the cold qualities in Kapha as well, so keeping the warm subtle fire burning from summer is important!
- Kapha, this is your time of year to thrive so eating foods to pacify your kapha and sooth Vata will be your sweet spot. Foods like berries, peppers, quinoa and rice, beans and lighter animal proteins such as seafood, chicken or turkey will digest better for you during this season. Seasonal fruits like apples, figs and persimmons will encourage a healthy level of digestive fire to soother both Vata and kapha. Most vegetables are great, but reduce and avoid things like summer squash, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber. Experiment with different herbs and spices as this will aid in digestion greatly! Removing excess oil and heaviness is important if you are feeling any residual qualities that might have weighed you down in summer so use lighter oils while cooking such as ghee and flax seed oil. Avoid sweet and heavy foods as much as possible!
- Provided that kapha and vata energy are working in your favor this season, finding heat will still be necessary since that is the one quality lacking during this season. Although warm in your food will help, exercise will also make this season more enjoyable. Due to the Kapha’s naturally high endurance, this is the season for you to really dive in and expand your movement routine! Find grounding and invigorating exercises you like to do, this will pacific Vata and kapha nicely.
Your daily routine will establish your body’s limits going into the fall and winter. This is incredibly important for your immunity. A healthy digestion will provide nourishment thus building a healthy and strong immunity as we approach flu season. Remember that as the days grow shorter, the colder weather approaches, and the mobile qualities of Vata come in, going inward and grounding ourselves will keep a balanced mind. A balanced mind will influence your decision making in every aspect of your life. A well-rounded and structured routine will be most beneficial to you now. Making notes through your day of eating and sleeping at the same times can make for the easiest transition.