In Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, this time of year is synonymous with an imbalance of the vata dosha. Vata represents the wind, the ethers, and movement. Have your joints ever “popped” during yoga class? That is excess vata. When out of balance, we may become irritable, anxious, fearful, depressed, suffer from insomnia, and experience digestive issues. To pacify vata we need to ground down and to connect to the strong earth energy that supports us. We can use our yoga practice along with Ayurveda to create a sense of balance in our lives and to be better equipped to cope with change, both seasonal and in our personal lives.
From a yoga perspective, this time of year we should...
- Slow down your yoga practice. If you practice vinyasa yoga, move slowly and give yourself permission to skip the vinyasa from time to time.
- Practice strong standing poses like Warriors, Triangle, Side Angle Pose and hold them.
- Practice forward folds, standing and seated, and hold them.
- Practice malasana or yogi squat.
- Practice grounding inversions like shoulderstand and headstand to soothe vata.
- Practice more yin yoga.
From an ayurvedic perspective, we can benefit from...
- Abhyanga, or self massage with sesame oil
- Eating more root vegetables
- Consuming warm liquids like soups and stews, but also staying away from overly dry foods
- Avoiding caffeine.