1. Oil every orifice: oil-pulling, nasya, basti. 2. Do daily oil self massage. 3. Cook with ghee to reduce dryness and improve tissue quality. 4. Get into routine. 5. Spend quality time with supportive people. 6. Stay at home more. 7. Sleep before 9pm. 8. Spend less time with electronics. 9. Get a massage. 10. Flame-gaze: Stare at the flickering flame and get immersed.
Moving Into The VATA Season:
Be careful this season with allowing the wind to blow you towards extremes–try to find the middle-ground.
Top 10 Balancing Tips To Stay Grounded This Vata Season
1. Oil Every Orifice!
(I’m serious.) We are oil-pulling (mouth); doing nasya (nose and ears), and basti (colorectum) in my house. Vata is dry, dry, dry. We may notice drier nasal passages and lips, but we don’t do anything about it. In ayurveda, oiling helps to fortify the epithelium that lines the orifices and prevents against vata imbalance in these areas (e.g. prevents upper respiratory infections, earaches/tinnitis/infections, constipation/diverticuli, etc.)
2. Oil Your Skin
This is the largest organ of the body, and a digestive organ. Medicinal oils are so important this time of year. Although traditional abhyangha (daily self massage) is recommended before bathing, I recommend oiling yourself after bathing in place of a lotion or sheabutter. 20 minutes on your skin is all it takes for something to be seen in your blood stream! So medicinal oils are a great way to take in herbs that are balancing and reduce dryness from the outside in.
3. Cook With Ghee
Ghee, to me, is clarified life-force from breastmilk–minus the lactose sugars and waxes/debris in butter that clog arteries. It nourishes all tissues, is known to help rejuvenate deeper tissues, and pacifies vata and pitta. Ghee reduces dryness and increases the quality of tissues from the inside-out. On this note, avoid dry and cold foods!
4. Lock Into Some Kind Of Routine
Routine is rhythm and that rhythm is what our internal clocks (e.g. circadian rhythms) will set to. With routine to anchor your mind and body, there is greater harmony amongst the millions of processes taking place inside your miraculous self. This synchrony helps prevent against imbalance.
5. Spend Quality Time With Supportive People In Your Life
AKA bring in healthy kapha. Really plug into the people that ground you. Maybe instead of going to get a drink in a noisy bar, you go for a walk together; instead of watching a movie, prepare a meal together. You get the idea, it’s about feeling present during your time together.
6. Move Around Less
That means stay at home more. Constant movement is the hallmark of vata. Stay still. Leave space in your schedule. Lie on the floor, stare at the trees out of the window, meditate…just be. After all, we are human BEings, not human DOings.
7. Go To Bed Before 9PM
I know, that is a G rated bedtime…and almost impossible during holiday festivities. But really, this is when vata time of night really kicks in, so as many days as possible that you can accomplish this (or closer to this than you are now), you will reduce the vata you take in.
8. Spend Less Time Around Electronics
All EMR is movement–TV and laptops screens are moving so fast. And that movement is stimulating to our brains. Less stimulation=less vata.
9. Get Massaged (with oil of course)
Human touch is grounding. Massages reduce tension, and soften the body. Soft, supple, warm and oily are all qualities that balance vata.
This is so great when you are feeling scattered and having trouble focusing. So many holidays this time of year incorporate candles and light (Hannukah, Diwali, Kwanza…), so take advantage. Just stare at the flickering flame and allow yourself to become fully immersed in it’s dance and nature. That’s it! It also calms the nervous system.
This is also a season where creativity abounds and you can envision how you would like to make changes in your life. Just envision for now, allow yourself to enjoy the holidays and just become aware of obstacles to those changes. Then, you can prepare to make those changes with the stability of kapha season and the momentum of the New Year supporting you.