Transitioning Into Fall - Balancing Vata – Melinda VanKirk

Transitioning Into Fall – Balancing Vata

As we begin transitioning into Fall, and out of the heat of Summer, you may find yourself feeling “off” or out of balance.  As the temperatures drop, the days get shorter, and the air becomes dry, we often find ourselves in a state of flux.  

Personally I have been having some difficulty transitioning to this new season.  As much as I love Fall, I find myself out of balance almost always during a seasonal change.  Odd sleep cycles, vivid dreams, and poor digestion have been the result of my body needing to make changes in order to come back into balance.

What are you Experiencing?

Take a moment and think about how your body has been reacting to the seasonal change.  Has your sleep been interrupted lately? Have you been having lucid dreams or waking up at odd hours? How about your digestion – is it poor? If so, you may be experiencing an imbalance, which could be caused by this change in seasons.

Transitioning Into Fall
Transitioning Into Fall
Transitioning Into Fall

Combatting the Fall Transition –  Finding Balance through Yoga

One way to combat this transition into the Fall season is through your asana yoga practice.  Grounding, strengthening poses and repetition will help balance the body, and challenging poses heat the body and release mental tension.  Twists make space in the body – physically flushing out the old and making space for the new.

Challenge yourself!  Forget your ego – forget about if you can “nail it” and experiment with some challenging postures.  It’s all just playtime – falling out of a pose can be fun, and laughter is always the best remedy for stress.

Come join me in a class to try out some fun and playful peak poses.  

Tips to Help the Seasonal Transition into Fall

Transitioning Into Fall

Seasonal Change and Yoga – what do they have to do with each other?

Read this detailed guide for the Ayurvedic perspective –

Banyan Botanicals Fall Guide

Seasonal changes are directly linked to our bodies’ sense of balance.  Yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, helps us work through these imbalances in our lives.

As we begin Transitioning into Fall you may have noticed some changes happening around you – in Ayurveda, we are moving from the heat of Summer, or Pitta season, to the cooler, drier temperatures of Vata season. We are now in this time of transition where the hot temperatures give way to cool, dry air, and unpredictable changes in the weather.  Vata season is governed by the air element, and just like Fall, Vata holds these qualities – cool, dry, windy.  This change in season can cause us to become out of balance, which impacts us physically and mentally.

How Can You Stay Balanced with these changes?

According to the Chopra Center, “when too much Vata accumulates in the body and mind, the imbalance may manifest as physical or emotional disorders, including insomnia, dry skin, arthritis, constipation, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.”

If you are feeling any of these things, it may be time to pause, look at your eating and routine and make some changes.

See our tips for how to keep balanced this time of year.

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Change up your diet to eat seasonally

Look for local fresh produce (organic when possible) and eat for the season.  Apples, squash, sweet potatoes – these are all great for this time of year.  Soups for dinner are a wonderful choice, as they are warming, oily, and comforting – the opposite of Vata.

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Switch-Up Your Asana

Slow down your practice and get strong!  Use grounding poses to build strength, and introspective poses to help you reduce “monkey mind.”  Move fluidly and with intention, making your practice a moving meditation.  Check your ego at the door and tap into you.

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Practice Grounding Breathwork

Practice balancing breathwork (pranayama) like alternate nostril breathing – Nadi Shodhana.  Click to see my video on my favorite version of this breathwork practice.

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Nourish Your Senses

Dress for the weather – be careful to not get cold and dress appropriately.  Give yourself a daily warm oil massage after your shower (I love sweet almond oil with a drop or two of your favorite essential oil).  Clear-out your nasal passages with a Neti Pot, and even lubricate them with a dab of sesame oil.  Pay attention to your mood and be sure to take time for nourishing self-care practices.

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