The Autumnal – John Donne, The complete Poetry and Selected Prose
Autumn is a beautiful season – the weather starts to cool down, the leaves start to dry and change into gorgeous vibrant colours, and the air becomes fresh and crisp.
In Ayurveda autumn is seen as the season of transformation, but also of deficiency. When the weather starts to deteriorate, the body struggles to protect itself and stay balanced. According to Ayurveda, autumn is the season governed by the Vata (Air) dosha. Vata is seen as windy, cold, rough and dry, so as these qualities increase in the environment around us, they also start to increase in our internal environment. We can see and feel this in our mind and body: as the leaves on the trees become dry and crack, so can our skin and joints; when the weather becomes changeable, so does our mind.
Under the influence of Vata you can feel light, carefree, creative, spontaneous and energetic when in balance. So autumn is a great time to start creative projects as the ideas will be flowing and the motivation strong. But Vata is easily disturbed this season and when out of balance you may begin to feel spacey, scattered, unstable, unsettled and anxious. As Vata governs the nervous system, mental afflictions are strongest now. Symptoms of a Vata imbalance manifest as anxiety, fear, insomnia, constipation, dry skin, and stiff and painful joints.
This is the time to change our diet and lifestyle to become in tune with the physical changes in the environment. Seasons change, and so should we. By connecting with the natural laws of the season, we can create a sense of balance in our mind and body. It’s also important to ensure building a strong natural immunity, nourish deficient tissues and thicken the skin to prepare and insulate for the cold winter months.
Now is the time to introduce warm, grounding, stabilising , moisturising and softening qualities into your diet and lifestyle to pacify this Vata and nourish and protect your body.
Here are some recommendations that Ayurveda offers to enjoy the Vata season:
Written by Tegan Wallis