Here are 5 easy tips to balance the body during the autumn months.
1. Food – In order to calm the Vata - the dosha associated with air - within the body, we should start the day with a grounding breakfast of oatmeal, grains or quinoa. Cooking with ghee (clarified butter) is also advisable during these months, because ghee is heavy, and in a season of high winds it serves as an anchoring substance in dishes. During this time of year, fall harvest foods are best — sweet potatoes, squashes, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, arugula, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens. Combine them in delicious stews or as main course to support the body and its health during this Vata season.
2. Body — Oiling is highly recommended during fall months when the air is dry and cool. Skin in need of moisture quickly absorbs oils to fight dryness of the dermis (top layer of skin) and also within the body. Some people prefer to oil half an hour before a bath or shower, while others who have drier skin or are Vata doshas (air/space body constitution), choose to oil after a warm shower. Sesame and almond oils, both of which balance the wind and dryness of this season, are best.
3. Colors – Colors contribute greatly to balance in the body. According to Ayurveda, everything in the universe is energetic and gives off a vibration, colors too. Since autumn is a cooler season, one can balance this climate by turning to warmer, richer hues — yellows, oranges and reds. Nature sets the example, wearing her deep reds and burnt oranges to balance the coolness that surrounds.
4. Scent –Choose aromas that are sweet, heavy, and warm during this season. Scents such as basil, cinnamon, citrus, cloves frankincense, lavender, pine, sage and vanilla keep the Vata from rising within the body. You can use them as incense, aromatherapy, or with diffuser to keep you in balance.
5. Sound — Unlike summer months, when sounds of water, like rivers and streams, are soothing, in the autumn we should try to enjoy more grounding, earthy tunes. Shamanic drums, earth drums and any music that contains bass will be calming during a Vata season.