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How to Balance Your Vata Dosha This Autumn with Vital Ayurveda Tips

Updated: Apr 19

Fall is a key seasonal transition. Its dramatic and colorful shift and whiplash weather can leave us feeling anxious, ungrounded, sleepless, unfocused, dry, and yeah, constipated. Learn how to feel vital by balancing Vata with Ayurveda, the knowledge of life.

Two Vata stage woman walking in the autumn woods

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How to Balance Your Vata Dosha This Autumn with Vital Ayurveda Tips


Before jumping into Vata dosha, a few words about the doshas. Ayurveda, the knowledge of life, describes the world as being made up of five elements, Aakash (space), Jala (water), Prithvi (earth), Teja (fire), and Vayu (air). These five elements come together to form three distinct humors referred to as Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.


Ayurveda seeks to achieve an optimal energetic balance in the body and mind, so we are healthy and free to pursue our fullest spiritual lives. But what does that really mean?


Everything and everyone in the world around us is composed of the five elements. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the building blocks of our entire universe.


graphic of Vata person balanced and imbalanced lists

Ayurvedic Vata Concepts


Vata: That Which Governs Movement

Vata dosha is characterized by ether (space) and air. The essential engine of the universe, Vata governs all functions of movement within the mind, body, and outer world. Like the elements it embodies, Vata’s physical properties are cold, dry, mobile, subtle, and light.


How do I know if I'm predominately Vata?


Vata’s powerful mobile nature is the source of creativity, expansion, openness, eagerness, and ingenuity. However, when Vata falls out of balance, we may feel scattered, ungrounded, tense, dry, and anxious.


Sound familiar? Peruse Wild List of Vata Imbalances.


What is Vata Dosha?


Before we dive into different ways you can balance or re-balance Vata this fall, let’s discuss what the Vata Dosha is.


In Ayurveda, there are three doshas that comprise a person’s constitution: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha is characterized by its own unique qualities (to learn more about the doshas and how they impact your life, click here). All three doshas are present in each of us, it is a matter of proportion of each dosha.


We have a predominant dosha or perhaps a combination. Knowing your doshic picture will empower you to make the correct and healthiest choices for you, thereby enabling you to live a more balanced life.


Vata dosha consists of air and ether and governs all movement in the universe — whether that is respiration, bowel movement, digestion, or the movement or stillness of our minds.


Therefore, Vata is of primary importance for everyone as it is the movement or lack of movement behind everything.


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woman on a porch reading in the autumm siun

Vata governs movement through the seasons, stages of life, and even the times of day and night. Let's explore each of those.

What is Vata Season?


Depending on your location and the climate around you, Vata season may vary. Generally speaking, it begins in the fall and ends in early winter. It may surprise you to learn that Vata will start peeking out long before the leaves peak. In Minnesota, for example, Vata will begin to increase in subtle, or not so subtle ways, by the second week of August. It may be hot and humid in the day, but for those with Vata constitution or Vata issues, there is enough of an increase to feel it — mind and body.


Vata's qualities are: dry, light, cool, rough, mobile, subtle, irregular, and clear. As such, autumn is Vata season. As Vata in the environment increases, Vata in us is likely to increase as well.


During this time, bodies often become constipated, dry, cold, tight, sore, and in the mind, Vata can manifest as anxiety, sleep changes, feeling scattered and overwhelmed. This is why balancing the Vata is so important for overall well-being.


Why is Fall Vata Season?


Vata can sneak up on us. Here’s how it usually goes. The days might be sweltering still, but in the evening a subtle hint of dry, cooler air arrives—it’s the night we sit out on the porch, open the bedroom windows, and breathe a sigh of relief.


One of the principles of Ayurveda is that like increases like. Vata is light, dry, cool, and mobile and autumn is drier, cooler, clearer, and windier. When the qualities of Vata are added to these qualities of autumn, there’s Vata stacked on top of Vata.


When these qualities and elements combine, it can quickly create an excess of Vata resulting in Vata imbalances in both the mind and body. Using Ayurveda’s 5,000-year-old knowledge and healing trifecta, Vata can be balanced and then, we feel our best.

Monarch butterfly in different stages of life

What is Vata Stage of Life?



Kapha Stage: Conception to the teen years, is dominated by Kapha. This period is permeated by Kapha’s qualities. (e.g., Think of a baby’s chubby thighs, then the child uses that tissue to stretch longer and leaner.)


Pitta Stage: Puberty to around menopause or age fifty, is under the direct influence of Pitta. This is an expansive period in which productivity (e.g., work, volunteering, networking, creating, building) and potentially reproductivity. Pitta stage is marked by an outward focus.


Vata Stage: From around age fifty to the last breath is governed by Vata. This is a period characterized by lightening up (e.g., down-sizing, bones lose density, sight may lighten requiring glasses, hearing as well, hair, and on the list goes).


While this period is often conceived of in terms of losses, it offers plenty of opportunities. Demanding careers give way to longed for, mission resonating volunteer work. The burden of over doing and overwhelm transforms to a focus on being and letting go to something higher within us. Vata stage of life is a profoundly spiritual phase of life in which we are relieved of the weight of the world, and step into the mystical.


“When I explain the Ayurvedic stages of life to clients, lightbulbs go off. It's intuitive and it provides us with a framework for life. Through the lens of Ayurveda, we see the opportunities and challenges of the stages with awareness and clarity. These insights provide us a conscious and balanced way of living.” – Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


What caueses Vata to aggravate? For those with Vata constitution or imbalances, add Vata season, and possibly a Vata climate, Vata stage of life, and that adds up to a whole lot of Vata. Maintaining balance of Vata is profoundly important as it governs all movement, it is the movement behind everything.



watch

Vata Time of Day


The doshas dominate certain times of day, which is to say, there is more of that dosha present. When we are knowledgeable of these changes in energy, we understand how to work with them and not against them. When we flow in harmony with nature, we feel better and more balanced.


Vata governs 2:00-6:00 a.m. and p.m. It governs all the movement of the universe inside and outside of us. Its primary qualities of cold, dry, mobile, subtle, and light. Have you noticed toward mid-afternoon it gets a little harder to focus? Our concentration is lightening up. We might feel spaced out and ready to call it a day. This is the light, mobile nature of Vata calling us to move (thanks to Vata’s mobile quality) on to something else.


Ever wake up at night around 2:00-4:00? That occurs as Vata is increasing in the atmosphere and we feel its impact. When Vata is out of balance, we are especially susceptible to such wakings. As women begin to move through the perimenopausal transition, even those who slept like a log, may find themselves suddenly waking up in the middle of the night. Why? Because they are beginning to move into the Vata stage of life and Vata dosha is a bit out balance and needing some grounding.



"During Vata time we want to start downshifting internally. We may still be at school, work, or driving around, but internally, we can recognize the shift that has occurred and that alone helps. It's a time not to do the most difficult tasks of the day, to not pile on more, but to start taking it easy. When we algin ourselves with nature in this way, we are swimming with the flow of the stream and not against it."

-Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

multiple leaves ranging from green to red

What is Ritucharya or Ayurvedic Seasonal Routines?


In Sanskrit, the word Ritucharya means to synchronize the body and mind to the changes naturally occurring. Sometimes we have a funny notion that we are separate from nature, but we're not. What happens in the environment has an influence on us.


We say, "I'm going for a walk in nature," yet we are nature--the fresh air we breathe in, is the air in our lungs, the calcium in the rock, is calcium in our bones and on it goes. The five elements, pancha mahabhuta that comprise the universe, are the same great elements from which we are made.

Depending on one's doshic picture, certain seasonal transitions have more influence. In my experience, for most people, flowing from summer to fall can be challenging. Why? Lots of reasons--the length of the days changes, less sunlight has an impact, and for some people a powerful impact. More time inside? Likely for many. Less active? That can happen too. Overall, happy brain chemicals that are nurtured by sunlight are less present.


For others, especially those with higher Pitta, the arrival of the cooler, drier weather feels like a cellular level sigh of relief and a boost of energy manifests--the fresh, crisp air adds pep to every step.


Whether one welcomes fall with open arms, or finds anxiety, insomnia and constipation increasing (Vata symptoms)--it's a dramatic seasonal transition and we need to attend to our dinacharya (daily rhythm--see Morning and Evening routines) and our ritucharya--seasonal adjustments to our Ayurveda plan to maintain balance.


Little tweaks to our daily choices go a long way to keeping us balanced and feeling our best mentally and physically. As Benjamin Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."


anxious woman

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Vata Imbalance?


When Vata Dosha becomes imbalanced, it can manifest in both the body and mind:


Body:

Mind:

15. Anxiety 16. Restless

How do you ground Vata immediately? With Ayurveda Breathwork Pranayama and ourfree daily guided practices.

carrot ginger soup with fresh herbs


How To Balance Vata in Autumn


Ayurveda Food as Medicine for Fall

Our treatment trifecta of food as medicine, herbs, and Ayurvedic lifestyle tools may need adjusting with the seasonal transitions.


As the famous Ayurvedic proverb goes, “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” When we know how to eat correctly for our body, mind, and entire being – we thrive.


Unfortunately, conflicting dietary information abounds, and many folks find themselves in tears (or even poorer health!) trying to develop an ideal diet on their own. With the guidance of a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, we can learn to eat to nourish our body, mind, and soul.


In contrast to other dietary regimens, Ayurveda does not label food as good or bad. Instead, it emphasizes how various energetic properties in food can aggravate or pacify the doshas. Dietary plans are tailored to the individual, to provide optimal balance to their unique doshic composition.


What Are The Best Foods to Eat to Balance Vata?

1. Food as Medicine. Explore our online recipe box for Vata recipes.

Using food as medicine is a delicious, effective, and vital way to balance Vata this autumn. Follow your healthy, natural cravings which may have you increasing your food consumption a bit.


Vital Vata Vittles


In a word, think crockpot. Since Vata’s primary quality is dry, think moist. Crockpot cooking and big pots of soup and stews, support your internal moisture and help to keep you grounded and calm. It's the perfect way to cook this time of year.

To Balance Vata, Eat Foods With These Qualities:

1. Well cooked

2. Spiced correctly with warm digestive herbs

3. Moist

4. Oily (garnish your meals with ghee or oil)

5. Deeply nourishing (Saumya online recipe box.)

6. High in protein and fat

7. Easy to digest

8. Consumed nice and warm

9. Food that grow under the ground such as carrots, beets, ginger, onion, garlic, sweet potatoes

10. Hard, winter squashes


As cooler temperatures arrive and days grow shorter, it's not a time for fasting, salads, raw foods, and juicing. It is time for nourishing. In autumn, we're preparing ourselves for winter, Kapha season.


As you're enjoying the fall leaves and watching those industrious squirrels burying their nuts, that activity communicates the arrival of fall and the necessary preparations for coldest months of the year. Live in harmony with nature and eat according to the seasons and save salads for summer.


"This is ritucharya, (seasonal wisdom) flowing with the seasons as one transitions into another, being present to the moment, and moving with awareness of the changes ahead." --Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


Saumya Ayurveda logo of Ayurveda's 6 best tastes for each dosha

Best Tastes for Vata:

These three tastes are the most supportive for Vata:

1. Sweet: e.g., most grains, most dairy, seeds, nuts, most legumes

2. Sour: e.g., lemon, tomato, tamarind, vingar

3. Salty: e.g., celery, seaweeds, and salt --consider red Alaea Hawaiian salt which is packed with minerals


Reduce astringent and bitter tastes as these are cold and dry and aggravate Vata.

Ayurveda herbs: ginger, cinnamon, turmeric

2. Herbal Medicine. Ayurveda offers no end to herbal options that may support Vata such as tulsi, ashwagandha, ginger, cardamon, fenugreek, cinnamon, triphala, basil, bay leaf, clove, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, turmeric, dill, and nutmeg.


As with all herbs, the tenet of Ayurveda is that what works well for one person may be imbalancing for another. To know what herbs are correct for you, book a consultation.


3. Ayurveda Lifestyle Tools. An Ayurvedic lifestyle is about more than adding a few habits to your daily routine, it’s a framework of wisdom for life itself. Many of us lack a compass, on the whole, for a path of how to move through life. An Ayurvedic lifestyle shows us how to live in harmony with the elements, and navigate the world with greater balance and intention.


According to Ayurveda, dinacharya - or daily routine - is integral to our physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Making space for meaningful rituals helps us ride the waves of energetic shifts throughout the day.


One of the most effective tools for balancing and grounding Vata, is with a morning and evening routine. An Ayurvedic morning routine lays the foundation for a grounded, focused day.


We’re often too exhausted to think much about our nightly habits. But our quality of sleep sets the tone for our entire day. Intentional evening rituals help us flow from busy day to restful sleep. An evening routine can help us reclaim balance after our busy days pull us in a million different directions keeping our minds revved up long after we finish our to-do lists.


Establishing a daily rhythm (known as dinacharya in Ayurveda) anchors the start and end of our day providing us with the knowledge of how to tune into the rhythm of the universe from the moment you open your eyes to the moment you close them.


woman peforming Ayurveda oil massage

Ancient Practices for Your Modern Ayurveda Lifestyle:


  1. Perform Abhyanga Massage - a type of Ayurveda massage done with warm oil - can nourish your body and improve your overall wellness. Best of all, you can use Abhyanga oils to do self-massage at home. Daily Abhyanga practice can boost your energy levels and help you keep the doshas in balance.

  2. Use Nasya Oil is a therapeutic oil used in Ayurveda to nourish and cleanse the nasal passageways. Nasya oil is used for both Panchakarma (specialized deep cleansing) and Dinacharya (daily routine). Nasya oil is infused with Ayurvedic herbs to balance the doshas, improve the flow of prana, and alleviate a number of mental and physical health ailments.

  3. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life Breathing links us both to the mind and the body. And the more we pay attention to breathing by way of a gentle awareness, the more we can relax and find our mind concentrated. When we breath diaphragmatically, we shift from flight-fight-freeze, to rest-restore-relax mode.

  4. Dress according to Ayurveda to Ground Vata dosha. According to Ayurveda, one can reduce Vata by choosing fabrics and colors of clothes that balance Vata. One can extend the science of Surya Chikitsa (color therapy or treatment) to the environment in general, such as the color of paint on the walls, furniture, or at work something as simple as the color of flowers or picture on your desk. Best Colors for Vata: Whites, oranges, yellows, and reds. Keep your body warm and avoid drafts and wind specifically on the head, ears, and neck. Some nice wool socks on the feet is a good idea too.

  5. Practice Breathwork Pranayama. Prana means "life force" and ayama means "expansion." Pranayama practices help us permeate our bodies and minds prana, with the vital force. Pranayama increases your vitality. In addition to diaphragmatic breathing, add nadi shodhana to your pranayama practice. Alternate nostril breathing is one of the most effective pranayama exercises to relieve anxiety. This exercise can restore Vata balance and put your body and mind at ease. Nadi shodhana is especially balancing in autumn.

  6. Perform Restorative Yog-asana. It is a slower-paced, meditative yoga practice that allows you to ground your body, calm your mind, and focus on your breath while releasing tension. As opposed to quickly moving from posture to posture (as is commonly practiced in yoga), restorative yoga is about slowing down and coming in touch with your inner being through breath awareness, or prana. It is particularly soothing for Vata because these slow, long movements encourage the regulation of internal movement (for which Vata is responsible).

woman at lake performing Bālāsana child's pose

Try These 3 Asanas to Soothe Vata and Reduce Anxiety



1.) Bālāsana — also commonly referred to as Child’s Pose is a resting pose that closes the front body and evokes feelings of being nurtured and protected. This pose stimulates mental and physical relaxation.


  • To move into Child’s Pose, kneel on your yoga mat with your thighs apart

  • Sink your buttocks to the heels of your feet

  • Curl your spine and fold your body forward

  • Draw your forehead down towards the ground

  • Breathe deeply into the back of your body

  • Extend your arms in front of your body

  • Relax and observe the breath.


Savāsana — also known as Corpse Pose


2.) Savāsana — also known as Corpse Pose, Savāsana is used to promote relaxation and stillness at the end of your restorative yoga practice. While in Savāsana, listen to our guided progressive relaxation.



Viparita Karani - also known as Legs Up the Wall Pose

3.) Viparita Karani - also known as Legs Up the Wall Pose, Viparita Karani calms the nervous system and reduces stress and anxiety.

  • To practice Legs Up the Wall Pose lay on your back with the spine, neck, and head aligned.

  • Move your legs up against the wall

  • Place your hips about 6 inches from the wall or the distance that is comfortable for you

  • Arms about 8-12 inches from your sides

  • Stay in this position for as long as you are comfortable and relaxed.

  • To release the pose, gently push away from the wall and bring your knees to your chest, roll to your left side, pause, keep connected to your relaxed state, and slowly come to a seated position.

  • This is a perfect pose to transition from the day to your dinner and evening.


woman walking in the fall woods

Following a supportive dinacharya (daily routines, especially morning and evening) and Ritucharya (seasonal routines) are key to good health. We likely need to tweak what we do with our daily and seasonal routines to feel out best.



An Once of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure


While your foundational plan will take you a long way, you'll benefit from tweaking your program to best support you throughout the year.


During your follow ups, we’ll cover a lot of ground, including: ​

1. Herbal Check-In The herbs you started with are not intended to be used indefinitely. Our approach is to use the fewest herbs, for the shortest amount of time, and get you balanced! In your herbal check-in, we’ll review your current protocol and tweak your dosages and formulas as needed. It might even be time to stop certain herbals. Your protocol is designed to gently and effectively support you.


2. Food Program Review You’ve already learned Food is Medicine, but our bodies and minds are always changing. We’ll check in on how things are progressing, and make small changes to your Food Program as needed.


3. Add to your Ayurvedic Lifestyle Tools Once you’ve integrated your foundational plan, it’s time to add to your lifestyle toolkit and expand your Ayurveda knowledge. We’ll explore in-depth aspects we can add to your plan to move you deeper into your healing path.


A note: follow-up care is particularly essential for clients traversing perimenopause and menopause. This phase of life (which can last decades) is marked by profound hormonal and doshic changes. Your needs shift constantly and drastically during this period, especially during seasonal transitions. Regular follow-ups help prevent imbalances to keep you feeling your best.


Book your seasonal consultation today.


Vital Vata – Ayurveda Guide for Autumn provides you with a seasonal routine to keep you feeling your best mentally, physically, and spiritually.


Saumya Ayurveda's 3 steps for transforming your life wiht image of a woman meditating by a lakee

There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 Step meditation Process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.


"The breath is the connection between the mind and body, so by training the breath, we become calm, focused, and grounded, we slow down the aging process by decreasing stress. These practices are so simple and easy to have as part of our daily life. We actually feel and look younger."

- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


1. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. When we re-learn to breath diaphragmatically, we move from the flight-fight-freeze mode, to rest, restore, relaxation mode from where we want and need to live.


2. Daily Guided Practices: 11 minutes in the morning and in the evening, as anchors of your daily Ayurveda routines.


"Choose a couple of practices from the routines that provide you with the greatest support. Perform them while applying our two minute meditation technique and your mundane tasks, just transformed into a mellifluous meditation. This is meditation applied to daily life." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

 

"Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again! I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.”

-Molly Rossini, Minnesota


client stories

“I came back from India searching for a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner to help me continue my Ayurvedic journey and I was so grateful to find Veena! During our first consultation, she asked all the right questions to truly understand the underlying causes of my sleep and digestive issues.


Veena was very thorough in her questions, research, and follow-up to determine the right treatment plan, recommend the right activities, and practices along with special spices and herbalized oils to help me feel better and restore my energy. I meet with Veena seasonally to reassess and guide me with Ayurveda tools that keep me in balance year-round. Thank you Veena.”

-B.S., Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

Veena has helped my overall health improve in many ways. We addressed my health concerns using food, lifestyle, and herbs that best support me. I used to have chronic sinus infections and in the first year of her care, I didn't have one.


She also works with my emotional health. My anxiety has decreased significantly and I'm almost completely free of it! Emotional ups and downs are gone.


Veena teaches you what to eat and drink to maintain balance from one season to the next. I'm amazed that learning what foods to eat, which teas to drink, and the herbal treatments helped mental health as well and my physical body.


I highly recommend seeing Veena if you are looking for better physical and emotional health.” –M.B., Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

“So glad I came across Saumya Ayurveda’s clinic in Corrales, New Mexico This is a gem offering holistic preventive care. I had great results with seasonal allergies and general well-being.


Veena is extremely knowledgeable and takes great care in remedying underlying health issues. Thank you for all your help and continued services to our Corrales community.” --Pawan K., Corrales, New Mexico


How to Balance Your Vata Dosha This Autumn with Vital Ayurveda Tips.

antique map and compass

Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way


When we gain clarity about what to eat, we can cook and eat with confidence knowing we are turning our food into medicine and with Saumya Ayurveda, you'll know what to do. As Julia Childs put it, "This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun."


We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.


Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.


Saumya Ayurveda provides concierge, top-notch, award-winning Ayurveda care. We strive to keep it simple, so you can focus on you! Opt for virtual consultations and we'll come to you.


Our practice model is client focused, we’re not in the retail herb business. We’ll guide you where to order herbs directly online. Our top-shelf Ayurveda oils and herbalized ghees are the best in the land and we’ll ship your care package right to your doorstep.


Our effective multi-appointment consultation packages provide you with experienced Ayurveda care, enthusiastic guidance, and inspiring support.


Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today. Psst! Our clients say it best – so read and watch our client's stories


Veena at Saumya Ayurveda

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.


She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.


Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.


These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.


She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.


An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.



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