This time of year is vata season. We already live in a vata infested world, but the fall winds bring even more vata into our world, so, this time of year the vata will increase in all of us. However if vata is already your dominant dosha this can mean drier skin, hair, fingernails, stool, and most of all drier sinuses. When the mucous membranes dry out, the body produces reactive mucus (the stuff of runny noses), which disturbs the nasal environment for good respiratory microbes and becomes the breeding ground for colds and flus. If the imbalance of vata is drying out your sinuses, dip your finger into some sesame oil and rub it in your nostrils, this lubrication of the nostrils will protect the sinuses from being that breeding ground.
These are some tips I give to my clients and students this time of year, every year.
1-Use a neti pot every day, and oil your nostrils right after.
2-If you feel a sore throat coming on, as soon as you notice the scratchiness, mix 4 drops of clove oil with 4 drops of sesame oil, and rub it on your neck, on the bridge of your nose, and across your forehead, 6 to 8 times a day, YES, I said 6 to 8 times a day.
3-Chant twice a day for 5 minutes, if you need a mantra to chant you can contact me or just chant “Om” chanting will encourage deep breathing, which will help to relax your nervous system, which will in turn help you stay relaxed so you can get rest that you need, breathing through the mouth, as you normally would when you have a cold, causes stress and restlessness. And, the vibration of the chant can loosen the congestion of the lungs.
4-Do the self-massage every day (my blog entitled “The Skin is the first layer of Intelligence”) it nourishes and soothes the nervous system, stimulates lymphatic flow and aids in detoxification. It also improves circulation, increases vitality, nourishes the skin, and promotes body/mind balance.
5-Do yoga every day, this will help push the illness through and boost your immune system. If you don’t do yoga, starting a yoga class this time of year will help you stay well. If you already do yoga you probably won’t get sick, and if you do, you won’t be sick as long as you would if you didn't do yoga.
Gary and I never go to the Doctor when it comes to flues and colds. We know how to treat ourselves. One time, Gary was out of town when he felt he was getting a scratchy throat, he didn't have any clove oil with him so, he found a health food store and bought some. He started using the oil right away, along with his neti pot. Three days later he came home as well as when he left.
Fortunately, we can look to ancient wisdom for answers: Ayurveda has evolved ways to remedy vata imbalance and its accompanying diseases. I have given you some tips to help ease the cold and flu season for you and your family. If you pay attention to your body and start the remedies right away, as soon as you feel a little out of sorts, you will stay well. And you really will have Happy Holidays. :)
Nancy Adams Certified Thai Yoga Therapist
Certified Yoga Instructor
and Ayurveda ConsultantThese are my own thoughts. I sometimes take writings from others to support my own ideas.