04 Nov It’s Vata Season
If you are not already familar with the holistic health care science of Ayurveda you may be wondering, what is Vata? As an Aveda Concepts Salon and Spa our products and treatments are influenced and guided by the 5000 year old Indian healing science of Ayurveda. “In Ayurveda, health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body, and environment.” (The Chopra Center- http://doshaquiz.chopra.com/) The foundation of Ayurvedic health care is built upon the five elements predominately found in nature, Ether (Infinity), Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, and the understanding that these elements are what make up our human nature too. In Ayurveda the five elements are placed into three categories of mind-body types referred to as doshas (Vata, Kapha, & Pitta). When we become aware of the doshas and which ones dominate our bodies and minds, this helps each of us to find a greater state of health and well being in our lives. If you are interested in finding out more about your own body’s dominate doshas you can take a quiz at the link above or just do an internet search for ‘dosha quiz’, (taking more than one quiz from different web pages will help you to identify your dominate elements even better).
Like our bodies, the seasons in nature also have dominate doshas, understanding which elements dominate this time of year will aid us in staying healthy and vibrant through the Winter months. Autumn into early Winter (Nov.- Feb.) is the Vata season. Vata is derived from the elements of Air and Ether (Infinity), and is governed by the energy of movement. Outside as the leaves fall to Earth, and nature begins to retreat inward we are experiencing the outer environment become windy, cold, and dry, these elements affect our inner environment in a similar way. Our bodies may feel dry and rough, as the cold seeps in our digestion may become sluggish, and as the qualities of air/wind intensify our minds may lack focus, we may feel scattered. Lucky for us, we can begin to balance and ease these environmental influences on our lives and bodies with some preventative health and body care practices. The vata season is a great time to adopt new routines for your health and body, and to stick with the old ones that have served you well. Adopting a regular schedule for all your body, skin, and hair treatments now will help to reduce those potential sick days at work. Here are some of the practices that may aid you to find a greater sense of balance and well being this winter:
Diet: Eat warm foods (stews, & soups), root vegetables (beets, carrots, & pumpkins), and warm spices (pepper, ginger & cinnamon). Beverages like our herbal, caffeine free Aveda comfort tea or warm spiced milk are also perfect now. Stay away from anything iced, raw, crunchy, and dry.
Exercise: Tai Chi , Qi Gong, Yoga, or any movement practices that are a bit more focused and grounding would be excellent this season. Stay away from exercises like running or biking right now, that may create a lot of wind/air.
Sleep: Stay with a solid sleep schedule this winter and make sure you are getting enough rest, some relaxing aromas like lavendar or chamomile can help. Turn off the computer or tv a hour before bed, and let yourself just relax, try lowering the lights and burning a soy wax candle like Aveda’s ‘grounding’ candle with ginger, cassia, and organic vanilla aromas.
Skin: To prevent or soothe dry, rough skin, treat yourself to a body wrap or add an exfoliation service in your treatments during this time. You can also begin a routine of dry brushing (or exfoliating) the skin at home to stimulate circulation (warmth) and remove those old dead skin cells, making room for the fresh healthy ones.
Body: In the morning, or at night before bed, massage your body with a personal blend massage oil or hydrating lotion, letting it stay on the skin for 20 minutes before washing in a steam bath or warm shower. Vata season is also a great time to take special care of your hands and feet, using hand and foot relief at home or adding an eco-fin hand treatment onto your services in the salon or spa.
Hair: Keep your hair luminous and healthy this season by adding on a Botanical Therapy Treatment (Hair facial) to any hair service, or at home you can treat your hair by using Aveda’s Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque weekly through the winter.
Everyone can benefit by adapting their lives and routines to the season. Take the time to nourish yourself, so you can be present for the moments that are most valuable to you. Be open to letting your body guide you to what it is that it truly needs now, listening to your own unique inner voice and letting your body know it’s being heard.
~ Blessings to all, as we move into a healthy, balanced & vibrant holiday season! ~