Ayurveda: Balancing the Vata Season

October 21, 2010 By: Patricia Tedeschi Category: Mind Body Spirit

“Her long, silken tresses like the lustrous plumage of a black
Swan, a simmering swarm of bees, spill down like the dark
Rain-swollen clouds.”

- Shivalilamrit

Ayurveda may be a 5,000 year-old approach to holistic health, but its message strikes a refreshing tone in today’s culture.  Ayurveda emphasizes beauty from within; not from cosmetics or anything that tries to cover up the authentic “you”.  Part of beauty and feeling beautiful is to accept and love ourselves as we are.

Literally translated as “the science of life,” Ayurveda is the belief that there are three basic energies that make up a person’s constitution: vata, pitta, and kapha.  Vata correlates to air and space, pitta to fire and water, and kapha to water and earth.  Each person is born with an essential  nature, or constitution, which is expressed through these doshas.

These three forces – vata, pitta, and kapha – govern nature, too, including the changing seasons, the hours of the day, and the different stages in our lives.  We are born into a kapha stage, which lasts from birth to about age 25, where we use the forces of stability to build our bodies and identities.  In the pitta cycle, from age 25 to 55, we draw on our own fiery energy to achieve in the world. Vata, the final stage, happens after menopause in women, at about age 55.  It’s a time to pursue creative endeavors and to relax.

We celebrate the vata period of the year which is mid-July through mid-September (early fall) and mid-September through mid-November (fall).  Since the vata dosha correlates to air and space  (think windy and unsettling fall and winter weather), it is important to try and balance our energies.  In terms of food, this could be soups, warm, freshly baked bread, stews, fruit compotes, etc.

Dryness is the main problem with vatas and the vata season.  This can cause premature wrinkles, hair loss, and extreme dryness in hands and feet as well as scalp problems.

For dry hair problems, it is important to make sure you have plenty of essential fatty acids and zinc in your diet.  Give yourself regular warm oil head massages (try Better Botanicals Herbal Hair Oil).  Work deeply into the scalp to relax and nourish the nervous system.  This helps to rejuvenate the hair roots so they can once again produce healthy hair.

To offset the tendency toward dryness,  massage daily (for body) with Better Botanicals’ Ayurvedic Body Oil and weekly (for hair) with Better Botanicals’ Herbal Hair Oil.  Daily oil massage not only calms down the “spacy” vata energy, it can help delay the aging process.

A head massage is a most pleasurable and relaxing  experiences.  Massage while shampooing is good, but as with the skin, oil massage is better.  Traditionally a variety of herbal oils have been used.  The herbs enhance the effect of the massage by nourishing and strengthening the hair roots and promoting hair growth.

Warm a small amount of Better Botanicals Herbal Hair Oil before using as it is more relaxing and penetrates better.  Once a small amount of oil has been thoroughly massaged into the scalp, brush the hair with a natural bristle brush.  Leave on for a minimum of twenty minutes or overnight.  When the body rests, the skin is able to take in more nourishment.  Using Better Botanicals Herbal Hair Oil is a wonderful way to combat dryness from tints, perms, electric curlers and blow drying, and promote healthy hair growth.

Patricia Tedeschi is the owner of Better Botanicals a socially and environmentally conscious company whose natural body care products are based on Ayurveda.

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