If you’re a scattered person, Vata Season might exacerbate your already-flitty nature. If you tend to be dry, gassy, bloated, or have a hard time focusing, you’ll definitely want to keep reading. These lifestyle tips will soothe you, help you sleep better, and keep you feeling grounded throughout the season.
Let’s begin with the Ayurvedic technique called Abhyanga (pronounced ab-hee-ahn-guh), which involves gently rubbing warm oil on your skin and scalp. This time of year, sesame, avocado, and even olive oils are perfect for the job of lubing you up and getting rid of the dry-crackies. Using the organic oil of your choice, pour some into a small glass bowl, then place the bowl into a bigger bowl filled with warm water. This will heat up your oil in just a couple of minutes. To keep it simple, just dip your fingers into the oil and rub the oil all over your body. There’s a more in-depth technique to this process, but I don’t want to get bogged down with that for our purposes here. After you’ve rubbed in the oil, let it soak in for a while and then gently blot the excess oil off of your skin before getting dressed. A few pro tips: If you’re using sesame oil, don’t use the toasted variety unless you want to walk around smelling like a Chinese chicken salad. I learned this the hard way. Also, when you’re blotting off the extra oil, use a towel that can be thrown out down the road. Old oil makes fabric stinky and feel funky, so ditch that clothe once it begins to smell funky. Also, make sure the excess is off your bod before getting dressed or sitting on a fancy couch so you don’t unintentionally damage something precious.
Next up is meditation. There are a multitude of meditation techniques out there, and you’ve heard me talk about many of them before. Once you’ve figured out a technique that appeals to you, sit down and do it – at least once a day for at least 10 minutes. Bonus points if you sit for longer, especially when Vata wants to pull you this way and that. Remember, you don’t need to do anything fancy when you’re meditating. Just sit down, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. It can be as simple as that. When your mind wanders to other places (and it will, about a million times), just bring it back to your breath.
Another topic I’ve covered before is slowly breathing. Whether you’re laying down or sitting up (even standing will do), keep your lips gently together and slowly breathe in and out through your nose. There should be plenty of room at the top and bottom of the inhales and exhales to breathe in more or push more air out – but we’re not doing that. Try slowing your breathing rate down to 5-7 seconds in each direction, without forcing your breath to be too long. Slow and steady, nice and relaxed. Do that for at least 5 minutes and then notice how blissed out you feel afterward.
Warm, moist foods are essential this time of year as well. Last week I wrote about all sorts of foods, drinks, and spices to help keep you balanced this season. In case ya missed it, click here.
I also wrote about movements that are great to keep Vata in check this year. Spoiler: they’re mellow. Click here for a refresher.
Another way to stay grounded this season is by avoiding distractions like – you guessed it – your phone. I’m as addicted to my phone as the next gal. The urge to play one more game is ridiculous sometimes, and that urge will be heightened this time of year. When it’s family or solo time, try leaving your phone in another room and then just be with the people or activity that you’re focusing on.
Lastly, it’s best to stay away from cold things right now. Instead of scooping ice cream into a bowl, heat up some chopped apples in a bit of water on the stove, add in some cinnamon and maybe some ginger, then enjoy! Also, swap cold drinks for the room-temperature variety to keep your digestion in tip-top shape (this is always the Ayurvedic standard, but especially this time of year).
Now that you have these tips, oil yourself up, snuggle up with your favorite warm beverage, and enjoy the grounding nature of these practices.