In this desert landscape with it’s perfect vastness, wind, cold, dry-gusts, harsh, and dry air, I must say, Vata runs vagabond around here. If you are not familiar, Vata is one of the doshas in Ayurveda medicine-the ancient healing system of India. Vata is air and ether. It is dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, clear, dispersing…it is the wind, the air, the ethers. Those of us with a Vata constitution are light, airy, and tend to worry or are pre-disposed to fear or anxiety, and are very mobile, and love to hang out in the subtle etheric world, and are creative. When I think of Vata, I think of dragonflies as they too are like the air, subtle world, and tend to flit.
Here in the desert, especially in the Autumn, Vata is vagabond and running rampant. As a Vata with fire mixed in, I am experiencing what happens when a Vata-girl lands in the desert in October. In order to stay balanced, I focus on food, rest, and grounding activities.
I have spent many years being like the dragonfly with red fiery wings flitting around being vagabond. Yet, I have come to learn the importance of grounding this Vata-energy. Vata derangement is far from fun. It can bring a lot of chaos in the mind, depression, anxiety, and gut-issues. I have learned to go to the Earth element, and ground. This is what has worked for me, and if you live in this vastness some of this may help you too.
1. Soup! Soup! Soup! It’s so nourishing. My favorite is Roasted Butternut Squash soup, Miso & Soba Noodles, and any form of Dal.
2. A daily schedule. I have found that having a daily schedule helps ground me and keep me focused.
3. Hot baths or the hot springs. I love 10,000 Waves!
4. Hiking, yoga, any physical activity
5. Weekly or daily massage with sesame oil or specially prepared vata oil from Banyan Botanicals.
6. Eating 3 meals per day
7. Eating earthy-foods like squash, grains, oils, and sweets in moderation
8. Avoiding cold and dry foods like salad.
9. Meditation and chanting
10. Keeping warm with a scarf.
11. Ghee Tea; made with hot milk of choice, cinnamon, and ghee. Heat this mix up only slightly over low heat. You can add honey at the end. I like this before I go to bed. It helps me to sleep.
12. Lassi in the morning before I eat. I make this with homemade or store-bought plain goat milk yogurt or kefir, a tsp. of cumin, salt, and water. Then, I mix it up. If you make this after a meal, add cinnamon.
13. Shirodhara (warm sesame oil slowly poured onto your 6th chakra-between the brow), and the whole treatment including message.
14. Self-Reiki on the first and second chakras.
15. Being cozy!
I do suggest seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area. It’s a great gift! Check out the Ayurvedic Institute. They have a lot of information.