Fall is a season of change.
On a subconscious level, our body and mind starts making changes as we adapt for the new season.

As in the Macrocosm Vata becomes more prominent, it shows effects in Microcosm, i.e. Human Body & Mind. We can experience all the characteristics of Vata Dosha in prominence. And of course our body naturally desires warming foods and tastes, as well as a warmer environment. If our body demands these  needs, even by a whisper, we should be attentive enough to hear it. If you meditate a little and be in-tune with nature’s intelligence, it will guide you through. We need to make some conscious efforts and take certain precautions at this “Ritu Sandhi Kaal” i.e. period that joins two seasons.

It is very important to follow a special diet and routine during Ritu Sandhi, because our body and mind are accustomed to the weather and foods of summer. And sudden change in diet will not be easy to digest. So a gradual change in two weeks is needed. 

According to Ayurvedic philosophy of Tridoshas, in summer, the Pitta Dosha increases in the body, followed by the Vata Dosha levels that start to increase gradually. It is so because, to settle down Pitta, we prefer cooler conditions and diet, that has similar properties that of Vata. So at the end of summer we have both Pitta and Vata increased in the body. Hence, a mild detox or seasonal cleanse is recommended during this 2 week transitory period. This is how we can get rid of increased Doshas.

After the cleansing process the key for disciplining your lifestyle and to maintain the Vata in balance is to expose yourself to influences with opposite qualities to that of Vata Dosha. This can be done by introducing foods that are warm, moist, smooth, slow, gross, heavy, oily. Prefer food with sweet, sour and salty taste.

Some tips for a Vata balancing lifestyle. 
  • Stay warm, stay calm
  • Take daily or frequently, a body and head massage with warm oils. They could be sesame oil, siddha oils with fennel, orange, rose, geranium, holy basil or marjoram oil.
  • After the oil massage, take steam and heat treatments. This could be in a steam chamber, you can use a heating pad, or hot stones too. 
  • Meditation helps to calm down Vata too. Try it!
  • Perform Nasya i.e. nasal insufflation of oil, to cleanse and lubricate the sinuses & calm the mind. It will balance the Vata in the head region. Use organic sesame oil or organic cow’s ghee. 
  • Take some extra sleep during fall season to keep the Dosha’s in balance.
  • Go to bed early before 10pm and rise before 6am
  • Do light yoga stretches and walk ½ hour daily.
  • Keep a regular daily routine at the same time every day. At least try to keep same timings of lunch and dinner.
  • Nourish yourself with sweet, salty and sour flavor along with good oily and protein rich food. 
  • Use spices which have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties with Vata pacifying effect. These can be cumin, fenugreek and ginger. You can also use some pitta balancing spices like coriander, turmeric and cardamom. 
  • Drink warm or hot water as many time as possible. You can also try soups with pacifying spices and some butter. 
  • Use dry fruits like walnut, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, cashew, almonds according to your Agni i.e. ability to digest. 

Dr. Richa Pandit