When the leaves turn gloriously red, yellow, and brown, we know that vata season (October through February) is upon us. According to Ayurveda, vata season is associated with a windy, dry, and cold climate. As the outside climate turns darker and colder, our internal climate also cools down and becomes more “windy.”
Ayurveda instructs us not only to live in tune with our individual body type, but also the seasonal environment. During the colder vata season, it is important to maintain a regular routine with our meals and to eat warm, soupy foods. If our body type is already vata, then it is especially important to follow a vata pacifying diet to correct potential imbalances such as restlessness, insomnia, constipation, dry skin, and worry.
The most important foods during vata season are warm, cooked foods. This does not mean you cannot eat anything raw at all, but if you do, always serve it with something warm, or add warming spices such as ginger and pepper to the food. Vata characteristics are cold, dry, and rough, so warming soups for lunch are great, and for breakfast, a warming compote made of steamed apples, berries, and spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and especially cloves for its antiviral properties.
In the fall and winter season, we are especially in need of antioxidants, and we can get a maximum dose of those by using a combination of fruits, berries, and various herbs, such as cloves, which has the highest anti-oxidant (ORAC score) of any food. So make sure you add fruits, berries and cloves in your food every day. Ginger and black pepper are also indispensable spices for this time of the year, as they are warming and help increase the digestive fire in the body. If you are unsure about your body type and want to learn more about how to live according to the seasons, then please join one of our upcoming retreats at Prama.
Here is a simple, anti-oxidant rich breakfast recipe for the fall/winter season:
3 medium sized apples
1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
½ finger shredded ginger
1 tsp cardamom
¼ cup water
Cut apples and nuts into small pieces and place in pot with water and powdered spices. Bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with unsweetened coconut yogurt, or coconut milk.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ramesh is the Director of the Prama Wellness Center where lifestyle is considered our best medicine. Ramesh is also a writer, yogi and workshop leader. He studied yoga therapy in Nepal and India, Ayurveda at California College of Ayurveda and is a certified yoga detox theraphist from the AM Wellness Center in Cebu, Philippines. He has taught workshops in many countries and is the author of four books, including Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit (InnerWorld) and Tantra:The Yoga of Love and Awakening (Hay House India).