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By Adriana Leiva, Samasati’s Wellness Practitioner
According to the 5,000 year old holistic healing system, Ayurveda, “Vata” season is here for those of us transitioning into a cooler time of year and enjoying the gorgeous fall colors. Late fall and early winter are considered “Vata” season because this Dosha is associated with cold, dry, light, and active energies. Dosha energies are influenced and can easily be increased to excess by environment, lifestyle, and diet, so each turn of the season is a good time for self-care including changing our routines and diet so that we can maintain sense of balance.
Lifestyle has a big influence on how imbalanced Dosha symptoms manifest in our minds and bodies. Particularly, being “on-the-go” and not taking time for self-care is a big catalyst for Vata vitiated symptoms to occur. As you navigate through this season, take some time for calmness, peace, of connecting with the earth, nature and yourself, time for sunbathing and relaxation.
Ayurveda and the Doshas
This ancient wisdom proposes that everything in existance is made of 5 elements: ether, air, fire, earth and wáter, and these elements group in pairs forming the Doshas which are the dynamic forces that shape the universe. Vata Dosha is the combination of air and ether, Pitta Dosha is the combination of fire and water and Kapha dosha is the combination of earth and water. A person usually has a dominant Dosha and a less dominant one (ex. Pitta- Vata or Kapha – Pitta), and there are a few that are tridoshic which have a balanced constitution of the 3 Doshas. Imbalances of the Doshas may lead to disease and that’s why it is so important to keep the balance of the Doshas.
Ayurveda and Yoga are considered sister sciences, both originating as a part of a greater system of Vedic knowledge. Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom can be a powerful tool for healing as it enhances the effects of Yoga and Meditation, brings balance and promotes the mind-body connection.
5 Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Balanced
The good news it there is so much you can do to stay balanced this season. Here are 5 Great Tips to keep you centered and energized during the cold months ahead in the Northern Hemisphere:
1) Eat foods that are warm and cooked. This is the time to skip the dry and raw foods like salads, cold fruit and vegetables.
2) Eat more sweet, sour, and salty tastes such as avocado, bananas, pumpkins, quinoa, rice, almonds, carrots.
3) Drink plenty of warm liquids. Hot tea or water with warming spices and herbs are helpful in balancing Vata. The spice filled Golden Milk (turmeric tea) is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – see recipe below.
4) Stay warm and cozy while avoiding drafts or fans.
5) Nurture yourself with self-massage and or by a professional using a nourishing oil such as sesame or almond.
Golden Milk Recipe
Similar to Chai tea, Golden Milk is lightly spiced drink and is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, thanks to a dose of turmeric. A touch of honey adds just the right amount of sweetness, while the ginger and black pepper add a little heat.
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, preferably coconut milk beverage or almond milk
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 1 (1-inch) piece turmeric, unpeeled, thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
- 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Ground cinnamon (for serving)
Whisk coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.
Note: Golden milk can be made 5 days ahead. Store in an airtight container and chill. Warm before serving. Keep in mind that dried turmeric will settle to the bottom of the mug, so stir well before drinking.
Self Care in Costa Rica for Ayurvedic Healing
Reverse the effects of your “on the go” lifestyle and come nourish your mind, body and soul this Autumn with a healing retreat to Samasati! Let’s plan your immersion to our rainforest sanctuary, complete with healthy gourmet meals, time for reflection, sunrise or sunset yoga, wellness spa treatments and more.
Adriana Leiva Trejos started her path as a massage therapist and yoga teacher 14 years ago. In 2007, she graduated with a Post -Graduate degree in Physical Therapy and recently received a degree for Parapsychology and Spiritual Therapy. Along with her Reiki Master credential, she specializes in Thai Massage as well as Ayurvedic Yoga Massage. Adriana shares her healing gifts with guests at Samasati, teaches yoga, plays harmonium, sings in a bhakti band and enjoys her “pura vida” lifestyle with her family in the Caribbean.