‘Tis the season for protecting your Vata and Pitta Doshas. As the winds and rain increase, these doshas can easily become imbalanced.
Vata is responsible for movement and its elements are wind and space. Because Vata is always on the go and we also never stop, moving all day, every day without grounding ourselves, our Vata definitely has a propensity to accumulate and now we have high dry winds… talk about a recipe for disaster.
To understand how excess Vata and Pitta manifest into symptoms, let us first look at their qualities and locations in the body.
Vata is light, rough, dry, cold, minute and mobile and its primary locations are in the colon, bones, nerve tissues and lower limbs. Excess Vata in the body can look like joint weakness and pain, constipation, gas, bloating and brittle and dry bones, skin and hair. Also, the more Vata increases the more vulnerable you are to anxiety and worry. In order to protect Vata in these high wind seasons we want to think of opposite qualities like stable, hot, soft, heavy, smooth and gross.
Pitta is responsible for heat and transformation and its elements are fire and water. Entering this rainy/fall season after the hot summer, Pitta is accumulated and soon aggravated. Because Pitta is responsible for heat and in the body, it transforms our food during the digestive process, the goal is to balance Pitta so its inner fire is not so strong that it creates “char” or an overcooked toxicity of waste in the body.
Pitta is light, sharp, hot, flowing and liquid. Its primary locations are in the stomach (small intestine), eyes, skin, spleen, blood and sweat. Excess Pitta in the body can look like burning abdominal pain, ulcers, diarrhea, skin secretions, inflammation on the skin, burning eyes, fever, excess sweat with odor and your tongue may be very red and wet. Also, the more Pitta increases the more you may find yourself “hot-tempered”. In order to bring down that accumulation of Pitta and balance it during this fall/rainy season, we want to think of opposite qualities like heavy, soft, cold, stable and thick.
So How Can You Balance Your Vata/Pitta Doshas This Windy/Fall Season?
The easiest way to balance your doshas is through a mindful diet and lifestyle.
Vata needs grounding and routine so eating heavier (but easy to digest) and warm foods like sweet potatoes, tofu, edamame, hemp seeds, turmeric, meat stews, ghee and nut butters are perfect. Also Vata craves a grounding routine so try going to bed and waking up at the same time, practicing a morning ritual every day, drinking warm teas, and evening yoga classes or stretches at home. Also, keeping eyes looking more down and out is a great practice. Also, it is crucial to ground Vata’s restless mind. Journaling, writing and repeating affirmations and meditating are perfect. Avoid cold and raw foods that will suppress your agni i.e. digestive fire and instead think of more warm, soft and moist foods.
Pitta needs the qualities of cooling and refreshing this season and in Ayurveda cooling and refreshing does not mean foods cold in temperature. Cold is a quality like sweet (not sugar) so foods like spinach and coconut are perfect for Pitta as are cilantro, coriander seeds, cardamom, parsley, fennel and cumin. Think sweet potatoes and squashes and definitely avoid spicy foods like jalapenos, siracha, Thai chilis, hot sauce and cayenne. Also, sesame oil and eggs are warming so not the best to eat now during this accumulated Pitta season.
Mung beans are great for both doshas (great for the eyes) as is ghee! Stick to one tablespoon of ghee a day though and spread that among your meals, cooking with it, finishing soups and spreading on morning toast. Because beans are drying and can aggravate Vata, mash with a fork and drizzle some healthy fats on them before eating.
Barley and Basmati Rice are fantastic too but like beans, make sure to have some healthy fats. Fats are also essential for healthy nerve cells (maintaining healthy Vata) so make sure to always include these in your diet.
To protect your eyes during this aggravated pitta season, put a drop of organic castor oil in each eye in the evening, right before going to sleep. Dose up on chrysanthemum tea and also, wear protective glasses when on the computer and phone.
Ginger before meals (a nice tea perhaps) and fennel afterward (nibble on a few fennel seeds) is perfect for maintaining a healthy digestion. Also, throw some fresh ginger in your cooking too.
Lastly, nutmeg is fantastic for calming the mind and encouraging sound sleep. Make a nutmeg latte before bed -12 oz. milk with ¼ tsp. nutmeg and a dash turmeric whisked in. Finish with a dollop of ghee.
I hope this helps! If you would like to receive a complimentary 20-minute wellness consultation feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 424.361.8100