We can feel the energy of spring upon us! With winter there’s a natural tendency to turn inwards, slow down and keep warm and cosy. As the season starts to change we find ourselves with more motivation and energy. But sometimes, as a result of all of these changes, we can become overwhelmed or even unwell. According to yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, the Vata dosha dominates in spring.
Some of the qualities of Vata are:
So when Vata predominates, there is a lot of movement and change. You might find that you feel creative, inspired and full of energy. However, if Vata is out of balance, you may feel anxious, overwhelmed or experience digestive problems.
Inspired by Ayurveda: Practices to balance Vata
While you may feel the urge to go go go, see if you can allow yourself to slowly transition into spring, using these tips to maintain balance in this time of fast change.
1. Rise and shine
See if you can develop the habit of rising just before dawn (around 6am). This will allow prana (life force) to be easily absorbed into your system and set you up for an energised and balanced day.
2. Exercise light
While your increased energy might have you feeling like indulging in more movement, be mindful of how hard you work. Over exercising or pushing yourself too hard can quickly lead to burn out as your body adjusts to this new environmental energy.
3. Stay warm
Although you’ll be excited to get back into your summer gear, make sure you stay warm, as the cool will increase and imbalance Vata.
4. Self massage
A great way to start your spring days is with a warm, nourishing self-massage. Using warm, cold-pressed sesame oil, massage your body before you shower. Focus on your belly – this will allow you to connect with your centre and encourage improved digestion – something that can become compromised when Vata is out of balance.
5. Eat and drink
Since Vata is drying, cooling and light, you can balance this dosha by favouring foods that are oily, warming or heavy. To pacify Vata enjoy foods that are sweet, salty and sour, and minimise those that are pungent or bitter. Include cardamon, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, oregano, salt and pepper for balance, and enjoy a daily cup of warm lemon, ginger and honey tea to nourish and detoxify.