We reached out to the Ayurveda experts at Shankara for their tips on how best to take care of ourselves during Vata season.
With seasonal changes, keeping in balance can prove a little tricky. In the fall, as the days become colder, and usually a bit more windy and dry, Vata dosha (air and space elements) increases in the environment. If we don’t make adjustments to our lifestyle to maintain balance, the excess Vata will also tend to build up inside our body and mind which can lead to some discomfort.
On the mental and emotional level, we may notice an increased tendency to feel ungrounded, overwhelmed, worried, and perhaps even having more difficulty falling asleep or concentrating. An increased Vata, as far as the body goes, can bring about symptoms such as overall dryness, popping joints, and constipation among other things.
Bringing Back and Maintaining Balance
Some of the innate qualities of Vata (again think air and space) would be best described as fast moving, light, cold, erratic, and dry. To bring back and maintain balance we simply need to pay attention to the innate qualities reflected in our lifestyle choices and select or emphasize the ones that will bring about the opposite effects (slow, heavy, warming, grounding, hydrating and moisturizing).
For example sticking to a good daily routine, doing one thing at a time, and making relaxation and mindfulness a part of each day will definitely help counteract the fast moving, erratic and light nature of Vata and bring us closer to balance. Putting attention on staying warm and well-hydrated will also help keep Vata’s cold and dry energies in check. We may want to take a warm bath or eat something liquid, warm, and grounding—like a soup with root vegetables, for example.
Vata Season and Your Skin
Even though your Ayurvedic skin type will not change with the seasons (you still need to use the appropriate Treatment Oil / Moisturizer for your skin type), you may feel a need to tweak your regime a little to compensate for the increased dryness in the environment. You may choose to adjust your cleanser, add a serum, make use of a facial mask, or even start layering a little treatment oil under your moisturizer. Here are some of Shankara’s facial products you could incorporate to combat dryness:
Cleanser:You may want to switch to the Hydrating Cleanser during the Vata time of the year for extra moisture. The pH being calibrated to the skin means that the acid mantle will not be disturbed which would cause even more dryness. Cold, dry, and windy conditions often bring sensitivity which will be helped with soothing ingredients included like chamomile and calendula.
Serum:The Daily Repair Serum (rose) is rich in Sodium Hyaluronate and algae extracts and plays a key role in deeply hydrating the skin, as well as fighting free radical damage. This serum can be added prior to using your Treatment Oil or Moisturizer.
Treatment Oils & Moisturizers:Under normal circumstances, you may use either the oil or cream as your daily moisturizer but if your skin is excessively dry, you may want to use the Treatment Oil for your skin type followed with a thin layer of Moisturizer to seal the moisture in. You may also choose to apply the Treatment Oil at night (after the Daily Repair Serum) as a wonderful night moisturizing treatment.
Mask:The Moisturizing Maskwith Honey, Gotu Kola, Rose, and Avocado Oil is a great way to replenish moisture in the skin and can be used by anyone experiencing dryness issues. You can use it once or twice a week to assist your skin in dealing with any external stressor such as wind or cold temperature.
In a nutshell, think about nurturing yourself during this time of change.