Fall and early winter seasons are ruled by the Vata dosha, and we're offering tips and savory soup recipe (scroll to bottom) to help you ground. Vata is composed of the air and ether (space) elements, and its qualities are dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, clear. Inviting warming foods and practices will help keep Vata at bay, and keep you flowing through this season with more awareness, comfort and joy.
Most people tend to benefit from rest and meditation in any season, yet Vata season often yearns for them even more. When engaging in yoga, flow through practices the invite intentional joint mobility and dynamic movements. When exercising, aim for 50% exertion, which can warm the body and increase synovial fluid production in joints, yet not overwork and dehydrate the body. Pranayama (the practice of breath control) techniques such as Bhramari and Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) help to slow the mind and body down before rest times.
Favor well cooked, well-seasoned meals, and incorporate a variety of root vegetables, such as carrots, beets and fennel. Adding sweet tastes to hot breakfast meals, such as cinnamon, cardamom, dates and figs can help the body feel nourished and warmed to the core. Cooking double batches of pureed soups and freezing a portion can help decrease cooking time and invite more rest and ease into evening routines. Get creative with your vegetable, starch and spice combinations! Avoid skipping meals, and end the evening with a warm, spiced milk, or nut milk, beverage
Incorporating abhyanga into your daily routine is a simple way to nourish the skin and help the body maintain its warmth. Follow with a warm shower. Layer up wherever you go. It's easier to remove a layer or two, then to suffer through not having enough layering options. Sipping on herbal teas and warm water throughout the day can be another great way to invite and maintain warmth. Signs of an aggravated Vata dosha are stiff and cracking joints, and tight, ropey muscles. Joints and tissues can feel happier and more lubricated when engaging in these warming practices.
Carrot Ginger Soup
By: 1977 edition of Moosewood Cookbook, adapted by Christine Anderson
2 lbs peeled or scrubbed, chopped carrots
4 cups stock of choice or water
1 ½ tsp salt
3-4 Tbsp ghee, sesame oil, or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
1-2 crushed garlic cloves
⅓ cup chopped almonds
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
Place carrots, liquid and salt into medium sized soup pot and bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and nuts in ghee or oil until onions are clear. Stir in nutmeg and cinnamon, or any seasoning combo of your choice.
Add sautéed onions, garlic and nuts to the pot with cooked carrots and use an immersion blender to puree (or use standard blender, but allow ingredients to cool first).
Whisk in coconut milk. Garnish with almonds.
Serve with side of rice if desired.
Blog post published by Christine Anderson of Woven Postpartum.