My kapha-ness is highly affected in seasons in which we see things turning colder, dryer, and darker. Every fall, I tend to *fall* into this sort of existential boredom that makes me question various aspects of my life choices, from career to partners to diet and exercise.
It wasn’t until I began yoga teacher training that I began to get a handle on what this was: vata imbalance. Western medicine basically made me feel that it was just something I had to get over. My doctor might give me a sad look, tell me all my bloodwork/etc was normal, and that was that.
And then, when Marcia Meredith stopped in for a lecture to the class, things started to click. There was a time where I would have discounted a person’s immediate ability to see into your health, but that’s passed by the wayside as my circle has grown to include more wellness folks, from Ayurvedic professionals to acupuncturists to Reiki/massage therapists and beyond. Marcia pegged me as a dominant kapha, and gave me some tips on keeping my focus when vata tries to throw me off.
Managing a Vata Imbalance
- Stay warm
I know, I know, this might be an obvious one, but once I started to look around at the frozen elements around me, it was enlightening. Take care to wrap up in scarves and extra layers when outside and at your desk. Avoid iced coffee (a huge one for me!) and indulge in hot beverages, from tea to coffee. Same with foods. I’d pack cold salads and vegetables, and feel dissatisfied. Limit raw, cold foods and make extra left overs so you can bring hot soups, pastas, whatever your mind wants.
It’s like turning on your internal furnace. I use Insight Timer for their guided meditations (look me up as ‘megtalla’).
- Go out
When I’m down, I shut down. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to curl up in bed with a book or Netflix. No, there’s nothing wrong with taking this kind of day once in a while. But when it’s stopping you from engaging with friends and family and the outside world? It’s time to shake it off. Spending time with the ones we love is another facet of warmth; opening ourselves up to interaction and receiving their warmth brightens our own lives.
- Practice yoga daily
It’s not feasible to make it to a class everyday? Start your day with a few sun salutations. Lift one leg into tree pose as you brush your teeth. End your day in supta baddha konasana, legs up the wall, or other restorative poses. Take time for you, and use the asanas to strengthen the connection between body and mind.
In addition to these vata-specific countering things, I’ve also given up caffeine completely and am gradually decreasing white sugar and flour in my diet. These things, in addition to making me *feel* more alert and less groggy, also aggravate vata. Dropping them is another way to combat fall logy-ness.
You can learn more about your own dosha constitution (and pick up some products!) at Banyan Botanicals!