Ayurveda

Routines and Rituals to Balance Vata

Smiling person with eyes closed enjoying sunrise at the beach
Smiling person with eyes closed enjoying sunrise at the beach

When the heat of summer dwindles and the chill of autumn begins to set in, we welcome the onset of Vata season. Vata is the Dosha associated with the elements of air and space. The dry and cold qualities of fall can tend to aggravate Vata in certain people this time of year, so it’s imperative we implement proper self-care to counteract Vata imbalance.

Vata’s qualities include cold, dry, fast, and light. To balance excess Doshic qualities, we want to incorporate more of their opposite. Slow, warming, and grounding practices and rituals help to balance excess Vata. Here are some of our favorite routines and rituals for Vata season to soothe your mind and warm your body.

Prepare Warm Food and Beverages

Cooking and preparing nourishing beverages is a self-love ritual that can take your health to the next level. During autumn, it’s imperative that we ditch the iced beverages and brittle, dry snacks. Warm food and beverages warm and ground our entire system, as well as stimulate our agni for optimal digestion and assimilation.

Prioritize consuming warm, well-cooked foods with a healthy dose of ghee or oil. Drinking warm or hot water and tea throughout the day is an amazing way to balance Vata and calm the mind and body.

Slow Pranayama

If fast and stimulating breath-work is typically your go-to, the onset of Vata season is a great time to tweak your breathing ritual. Vata tends to increase the activity of the mind which can lead to anxiety, insomnia, and excess mental chatter. To soothe and slow down the mind, slow and easeful pranayama can be very powerful this time of year.

Try prioritizing slow and deep belly breaths throughout the day, in for a count of five, and out for a count of seven. Nadi Shodhana and Sama Vritti breath are great pranayama techniques to add to your practice this fall.

Warm Abhyanga

Abhyanga, or Ayurvedic self-massage, can be a nourishing and grounding ritual to get in touch with your body and calm excess Vata. Warm sesame oil can be used during Abhyanga and has warming, grounding, and lubricating qualities – perfect to help ease the dry and cold qualities that can accumulate this time of year.

To practice abhyanga, heat up half a cup of sesame oil. Lay a towel down somewhere where you can relax and not worry about getting oil on anything. Massage the oil into your skin for at least 15 minutes, using long downward strokes and circular motions around your joints. Breathe deeply and stay present with the sensations in your body. Rinse off with a warm shower when you are finished.

Curate an Intentional Environment

A warm and soothing environment can help you thrive during the fall season. Prioritize creating a space with warm and dim lighting, limiting blue light and stimulation, especially in the evening.

Ensure you have a space that feels cozy and warm to you as it’s important for Vata to ground and relax. Light candles and burn soothing scents. Take plenty of time to restore, breathe, and prioritize rest and nourishment.

Vata season is an amazing time to focus on slowing down and nourishing the transition from summer to winter. If you find yourself feeling flighty and unable to settle into this sweet time of year, try some of these rituals to soothe the mind and ground the body so you can keep Vata at bay this season.


Discover yogic tools that will provide calming, grounding, and nourishing with Vata Season Practice, a new session with Sarah Finger, available now in the Chopra App under For You.