This week we focus on how to cope with the fall for the Vata dosha. Fall is a transition period for all doshas. For 3 weeks we will address how to cope with the changes of fall and the different challenges they present for each of the three doshas. This week our discussion focuses on vata, next week we will cover kapha. Last week, we discussed coping with fall for the pitta dosha

How to wear your mala beads this fall: Ideas for Vata

Air and coolness constitute the vata dosha. Dominated by air, vata needs to focus on grounding and warming on and off the mat. As the weather cools in the fall, vata can experience increased dryness, dull skin, and hypersensitivity to cold. For vata, keeping warm, grounded, and present becomes important. In the picture below, we feature the Earth Mala. The earth mala is made especially for pacifying the vata dosha. It is made from warm pastel amethyst mala beads which are grounding. Wearing amethyst maintains inner space and can keep you in general state of balance and well-being. The Earth Mala uses gold, a metal that is ideal for warming vata. The warm purple in this piece looks great with the navy, black, grey, and dark brown colors in your fall wardrobe. Next week, we will feature how to wear your mala beads in the fall for kapha.

For more information on Amethyst see Robert Simmons (2011), The Pocket Book of Stones, North Atlantic Books: Berkeley.

Earth Mala- Mala Beads for Vata

Ayurvedic Beauty: Dealing with Dryness

Vata out of balance can face the challenge of dryness, dullness, and flaky skin. During the transition time of fall, removing dead skin through exfoliation followed by lubrication is important for vata. One of the best natural exfoliation solutions for dryness can be made at home with simple ingredients from your kitchen cupboard. Mix 1/4 cup of white sugar with 1/8 cup of olive oil until well blended.  Use this mixture as a scrub. With circular motions gently scrub any part of your skin with this treatment and then rinse with warm water. This scrub is ideal for feet, hands, and lips.  It is especially good for dry nails and cuticles. It is optional to follow the exfoliation with the moisturizer of your choice. This scrub is quick to make, and easy to use. The sugar is an excellent exfoliator and the olive oil provides excellent lubrication even after rinsing with warm water. You can visit the Make Up and Beauty Blog, for more natural beauty recipes.

Next week, we will feature Ayurvedic beauty for Kapha.

Yoga Thought of the Week: Yoga for your lymphatic system

During the transition time of fall when the immune system may be faced with new challenges, a yoga practice that clears the lymphatic system is important. Circular movements that allow for a continuous flow of energy and lubricate the joints are important for building immune system strength. Our immune system is the intelligence system of the body, and keeping it free of energy blockages, with a continuous flow of lubrication is critical for optimal health and well-being. If you are feeling tired, overworked, stiff, or in dis-ease try a sequence especially designed for the lymphatic system and building your resilience. One short practice that you can do at home is with Felicia Tomasko on YogaGlo. This lymphatic system practice uses twists, forward folds, and circular movements to restore the vata dosha and improve lubrication throughout the body.

Next week, we will feature Yoga for Kapha.

Ayurvedic Recipe of the Week: Hearty Roasted Root Vegetables

For vata staying warm in the fall becomes a key concern. The airy and winter nature of vata should be balanced with foods that are warm, oily, high in fat and high in protein. Superfoods for vata include potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, basil, thyme, and rosemary.  The receipe below is a simple roasted root vegetable recipe that makes an excellent side dish on a cold fall evening.

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves: 4

4 medium potatoes (white, Yukon gold, or russet), unpeeled, washed and cut into 2” cubes

1 sweet potato, peeled, washed and cut into 2” cubes

1 white onion, peeled and cut into 2” cubes

4 whole cloves of garlic

½ teaspoon of dried basil

½ teaspoon of dried thyme

½ teaspoon of dried rosemary

½ teaspoon of dried savory or sage

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425ᵒF
  2. In a large bowl toss the vegetables, herbs,  salt and pepper, and olive oil until evenly coated
  3. In a large casserole dish spread the vegetables down evenly
  4. Bake for 30 minutes and then flip over the vegetables
  5. Bake for another 30 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp

Leftovers from this recipe are great reheated and make a great warm breakfast side dish too. If you have leftovers you can warm them up in a frying pan with a touch of olive oil and serve with eggs and fruit for a hearty warm breakfast.

Next week, we will feature Ayurvedic food for Kapha.