AYURVEDIC SEASONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR Fall (VATA SEASON)
Fall or Vasara( vata season)
During the fall the earth becomes cool by the effects of clouds, rain, cold winds, and snow.
In autumn the weather changes from the heat and dryness of the summer to cool (sita) and windy (cala). This will lead to weakening of our digestive capability, and Vata which is already in an increased state gets vitiated. That is why during the autumn (vasara) seasonal and climate factors making this the most difficult time to maintain our health. As the energy of the earth is sinking back towards its source, the clouds, blustery wind and wet rain, and snow promotes ama (toxins) and impair our circulation leading to vata sama conditions such as inflammatory joint disease may be initiated. Looking at the nature, autumn is the season of rendering, storing that which nourishes (roots) and discarding that which has outlived and has no energy (leaves). During the Autumn Vahara regimen (vata balancing diet) should be followed, this should be tailored according to the individual health condition.
Health results from the natural, balanced state of the doshas.
Therefore the wise try to keep them in their balance states.
Charaka (charaka samhita)
The following are a few tips to help balance vata dosha during this season:
Establish Regularity in your daily routine and reduce the stress level.
Drinking tea such as chamomile and comfrey during the day, and Drink warm water throughout the day.
Regular use of turmeric and spices such as cumin, coriander and fennel in your diet.
Take a 15 to 20 minutes nap in the afternoon if possible. Otherwise, take a few mini relaxation periods (5 minutes).This could be even as simple as closing the eyes and focusing on your breath for 5 minutes.
Avoid drinking ice water or cold drinks and eating frozen foods or leftovers.
Avoid raw vegetables and favour cooked and warm foods.
Keep the body hydrated and Drink between 7 and 8 glasses of water a day
Book a regular massage (abhyanga and shirodhahara are specifically very beneficial for balancing vata) as part of an overall commitment to slowing down and treating yourself lovingly.
Reduce the speed and intensity of your exercises and favour gentle yoga as well as relaxing walks in nature during sunrise and sunset.
Reduce the intake of alcohol and caffeine.
Practice yoga daily and Pranayama will help to balance the nervous system.
Seasonal dietary recommendations to balance vata dosha
during the fall
According to Ayurveda every season is also associated with a dosha, spring with kapha, summer with pitta, and fall with vata. Each of the doshas has a tendency to increase in the body during its specific seasons. Therefore the dry, windy, and cold fall increases vata. These fluctuations of the doshas within us can be balanced if we eat appropriately according to the seasons.
Vata dosha is composed of the space (akasha) and air (vayu) elements, according to ayurveda, fall and early winter is considered to be vata time, and vata is the dominant seasonal dosha, even for those individual with less of vata in their natural constitutions. So it is important that we balance vata dosha during this period because of its seasonal influence. If vata gets out of balance it may cause constipation, gas, insomnia, fatigue and intestinal cramps. To balance vata two factors are of most important, warm and cooked food. Nourishing soup, stews, warm cereals, desserts like rice pudding cooked apples, pumpkin pies all feels great in cold windy weather of fall.
To keep vata in balance, favour the sweet, sour and salty tastes avoiding bitter and astringent and pungent tastes. All dairy products are welcome as they pacify the vata, however milk should always be boiled with a pinch of cardamom or some dry ginger before drinking. Favour foods that are not dry but moist and liquid. Drink lots of warm water during the day. Vata pacifying spice such as cardamom, cumin, ginger, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel, mustard seeds and black pepper in moderation are very beneficial in our diet. Balance and healthy eating habits of vata is by regularity in routine. Eat three meals a day, around the same time each day. Don’t skip meal at this season specially breakfast; lunch should be the heaviest meal of the day. Dinner should be at least three hours before bedtime.
Yoga postures beneficial for Vata (vasara)
Adopt a slow, steady approach to your yoga practice.
The yoga asana practice for Vata type in general and for balancing seasonally should be a balance between solar and lunar energy. The individual should choose poses which promote warm, circulation and downward movement of the energy.
Practice the surya namaskara (sun salutation) following the breath in a graceful manner, squat and back bending poses such as camel (ustrasana) and Virabhadrasana 1 (warrier1) and setu bhandhasana (bridge pose).Hold the standing poses for 5-8 breath, this will both strengthen and ground the Vata without exhaustion. Always do a longer savasana (10-15 minutes) this will help to calm and balance the nervous system and the mind.
Pranayama technique beneficial for fall (vasara)
Pranayama techniques provide the breathing technique in which one can activate and regulate the life force to go beyond ones limitation or boundaries and therefore achieve higher state of vibrant energy.
Our life style, physical activities, work, sleep, the intake of food and sexual relationship all affects the distribution and flow of prana in our body. The mind faculties such as emotions thought and so on all affect the pranic body. Imbalance life style, diet and stress all deplete the life force or pranic flow, leading to the experience of depleted energy. This depletion will lead to devitalisation of the organs and bodily part leading to disease or imbalance in the physical body. The pranayama techniques will reverse this process, energising and balancing our vital life force or prana within the pranamaya Kosha or energy body. Usually it is more beneficial to practice pranayama technique after yoga asana practice.
Chandra Bhedana (left nostril breathing), Brahmari breath (bee breathing), Nadhi sodhana(alternate nostril breathing),Ujayi pranayama( ocean breathing)are all beneficial for fall and balancing vata Dosha.
Breathing and vata dosha
Breathing is normal part of our life, although we fail to pay attention to our breath. It is the voluntary function of our body that we do without concentrating on it. In our respiratory process we breathe in and inhale oxygen into our body, which will flow in the form of energy to charge and energise all our bodily parts. Then we exhale carbon dioxide and eliminate the toxins (amas) and wastes (malas) from our body. That is why conscious breathing plays an important role in our breath. Today’s societal stress is a major factor caused by thoughts which are bombarding us in every moment, leading to shallow breathing. We only use a fraction of our lung capacity. The lack of oxygen and not being able to eliminate the toxins and carbon dioxide will lead to health problems such as heart disease, sleep disorders and fatigue. Finally due to the lack of the prana mind becomes agitated leading to stress build up.
Recommended Seasonal Recipe
Red Lentil Soup
2 cup red lentils
10 cups of water
4 tea spoon of sunflower oil
2 tea spoon of cumin seeds
2 tea spoon of black mustard seeds
1 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tea spoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of masala powder
1 tea spoon salt
Optional: 1 pinch of hing
Wash the beans twice and soak them well over night with plenty of water, then drain in the morning and add 8 cup of water and the lentil to the soup bowl cooking on medium heat, uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add 1 more cup of water and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or till lentils tender, Set aside.
Heat the oil in a sauce pan; add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing if used as soon as the seeds start popping add the garlic and stir till it is golden . Add cilantro turmeric and masala powder and mix quickly then add the spice mix to the lentils add the last cup of water and add the salt. Bring to boil and serve.
Zuccanoes (stuffed Zucchini)
· 4 medium-sized zucchini
· 1 and ½ tablespoons sunflower oil or ghee
· 1 cup of minced onion
· 1 teaspoon pink salt
· 1/2 pound mushrooms, minced
· 1 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice
· 1 1/2 cups minced raw almonds
· 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
· dash black pepper
· ¼ cup of fresh basilic , coriander ,parsley and dill freshly minced
· 1 cup grated provolone cheese
Cut the zucchini lengthwise down the middle. Use a small spoon to scoop out the insides, leaving a canoe with a ¼ inch shell. Chop the insides into small pieces, and set everything aside.
Heat the oil in a medium-sized Skillet and Add the onion and salt, and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft.Add the zucchini innards and the mushrooms and sauté another 8 minutes stirring till liquid evaporated.
Stir in the rice and almonds, along with the lemon juice, and season to taste with black pepper and the herbs.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Fill the zucchini shells, top with small amount of cheese and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
Rice pudding with almond and saffron
1 /2 cup white basmati rice
1 cup sugar or little more, this depends on your taste.
½ cup Almond sliced
Saffron (Grinded) about 1/3 of tea spoon
Ghee about 1 table spoon.
Rose water 1/3 of cup
Cinnamon for top
Wash rice and add 10 cups of water and bring to boil after 30 minutes add sugar and saffron and let boil on medium heat until all rice grains are broken.
Add rose water and almond and let cook for about 30 minutes if it needs add some water too.
Cooking time is about 2 hours.
Serve in a deep bowl and garnish with cinnamon and pistachio powder (optional)