There are three ayurvedic seasons, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, based on the elements, just like the doshas of the body. Fall to early winter is Vata season governed by the elements of space and air. The dry leaves and winds of fall move us into the crisp, dry coldness of winter…change…motion. The most prevalent energy of Vata season is movement or flow. Do we see this in nature, or as part of our nature? Or, do we resist what is happening around us, instead of flowing with the changes?
The Vata principle of movement is in the body as well—the movement of breath, of food through digestion, and the constant flow of thoughts. When we resist or block the subtle flow of energy mentally, physically or spiritually, we feel “off” or stagnant. So, the phrase “go with the flow” has special meaning this season!
Moving through the season gracefully means allowing yourself to actually BE aware of nature and flow with it. Dress warm, and when you step outside each morning, take in the day. Is it bright, crisp, windy, do you notice how the snow muffles sound, or how the cool air makes the ground “crunch” beneath your feet? To balance the cold, dry, mobile qualities that may also accumulate in the physical body, eat more warm moist foods, like soups and stews and minimize cold or raw food and beverages. Add healthy fat to your diet like olive oil, sesame oil, or ghee to moisturize the body from the inside out. Finally, take time to be still. Do what you need to do to feel grounded…meditation, a restorative pose, listening to music… allowing space between your thoughts, so you’ll be better able to let go of what you don’t need and “go with the flow!”