Updated: Mar 11
Date shakes and deep nourishment
Autumn is a time when children go back to school, life gets busy for all, and we start to feel the first rough brush of cold weather on the skin. Though we are racing around, we can feel that something is changing as we look up at the leaves beginning to brown, the trees thinning, and sky more apparently vast and expansive. The weather is suddenly warm then cool; there is sun and storms; the irregularity of it all teases out our summer nostalgia and nervous anticipation of winter.
Dry, light, cold, clear, subtle, mobile, and rough begin to predominate our outer experience. In ayurveda, these are the qualities of Vata dosha, combination of space and air elements, which distinguish Fall.
These qualities have a strong impact on our body and mind.
After all, ayurveda (and yoga) point out that what’s outside is inside. We are living beings in a state of constant change in interaction with the environment and so we feel what’s on the outside, internally. We may feel a little hypersensitive, even anxious, scattered, as our nervous systems take in the qualities of this season. There are many possible manifestations for high Vāta dosha in our various tissues.
To name a few:
- constipation, gas and bloating
- anxiety in the mind
-brittle nails and bones
-dry sinuses and dry cough (which sometimes leads to congestion)
-cold hands and feet
-tingling and numbness
-exhaustion, a running low of energetic reserves
-sciatic pain, low back ache in general
… and the list can go on.
Do you experience some of these symptoms cropping up as the weather begins to turn cold and crisp? Vata dosha can go high in any season for anyone, but those who are sensitive to vata-like symptoms often feel the fall season strongly. Those with a vata constitution would want to be most aware to take preventative measures. How would you know if you are primarily vata constitution? An Ayurvedic practitioner would help you to fully assess this using the eight methods of ayurvedic assessment, but here are some common #vatacharacteristics:
- light, narrow body frame
- energy which comes in bursts
- high or hyper mobility of joints
- a tendency towards flexibility
- thin or irregular features
- thin or curly hair
- dry skin, hair, nails, bowels
Ayurveda says to treat with opposites; opposites heal. To counteract the dry, light, cold, clear, subtle, mobile, and rough qualities, we need to nourish with oily, heavier, nourishing/building, warm, substantial, soothing foods, activities, and relationships. It’s time to bundle up, not only on the outside, but on the inside. The animals who plan to stick around during winter are all doing the same.
Below you will find some recommendations and recipes to enjoy which balance the qualities of Vāta, space and air elements. Please always take sweet care of yourself.
Warm Epsom Salt Baths
Ginger Powder/Baking Soda Bath
Yoga & Pranayama
Add joint rotations
Move slowly and soothe the system
Try adding some restoratives
Balancing Pranayama techniques like bhramari and alternate nostril breathing
Favor warming spices to build your internal fire, root veggies, cooked unctuous vegetables, blended soups, rice and dal, cook with heavier warming oils like sesame, mustard oil, and ghee.
Eat well during this season. Nourish yourself! Check out this delicious warm date shake I made this morning for high protein and long sustained energy…. Once you soak the almonds and dates, the whole process takes about 10 minutes.
Soak dates and almonds overnight. You will use about 20 almonds and 6 dates.
Wake up excited to begin! The skin of the almonds peel off easily
Boil 6 dates and 20 almonds in 1.5 cups whole milk for about 5 minutes.* Optional add a pinch of cardamom powder and cinnamon powder.
Add about 1/2 cup of the water from the soaked dates and blend all together, the milk with almonds and dates and water.
*** Optional addition. If you have a sweet tooth and opt to use almond milk instead of dairy, and really want to nourish well...You can add about 1/2 tsp of chyavanprash to the blend. I get this one from Banyon Botanicals because that company has organic herbs. Chyoanprash is full of nourishing herbs for energy and metabolism. It includes cane sugar, honey, ghee, amalaki fruit, cardamom seed, ashwagandha root, pipali fruit, vassaka leaf, haritaki fruit, purnarnava root, kantakari herb, gokshura fruit, vidari kanda root, guduchi stem, sati herb, shatavari root, musta root, and bilva fruit
Drink warm. mm mm good!If those teeny tiny squirrels can make it through the fall and winter, so can we!