Autumn is the season of the vata dosha—the subtle energy that governs movement. Literally translated as “wind,” vata is dry and often cold. It comes in bursts and can leave you feeling worn out, sapped, and susceptible to illness. If you’re experiencing some of the following symptoms, you may have excess vata:
restless, fitful sleep
Ayurvedic oil treatments offer the perfect panacea for these conditions. The sheer weight of oil applied to the skin slows down vata’s airy, hyper-mobile nature. Oil lubricates the skin, tissues, and joints and puts you back on solid ground. Try this nourishing oil regime and see for yourself!
Nourishing Self-Massage (Abhyanga):
- Warm about ¼-½ cup of sesame or almond oil (vata balancing).
- Sit or stand comfortably in a warm room on a towel that you don’t mind ruining with oil accumulation.
- Apply oil generously to your entire body.
- Massage the oil into your body, beginning at the extremities and working toward the middle of your body. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular strokes on the joints. Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine; moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side.
- Give a little extra time and attention to massaging the oil into your scalp, ears and feet, at least once a week. Apply oil to the crown of your head and work slowly out from there in circular strokes.
- When you massage your feet, be sure to wash them first when you shower, so you don’t slip.
- Enjoy a warm bath or shower.
- When you get out of the bath, towel dry. Keep a special towel for drying off after your abhyanga due to oil accumulation.