5 Non-Negotiables for Staying Hydrated, Healthy, and Joyful during Vata Season.
We are getting our first inch of snow in NYC today, and I felt it as soon as I stepped outside. I could feel the cold smacking me in the face, threatening to suck all moisture and happiness from my admittedly aging skin. Not today, wind. Not. Today.
How do I stay hydrated when the wind and cold starts to bite?
My first trick - collagen in my water. I’ve tried a few different brands, but my favorite is still Vital Proteins, and I don’t do the fancy ones. I use the original blue version because it has the most collagen per serving. I usually just drink it straight with water - doesn’t taste horrible and it actually works better on an empty stomach. Collagen has multiple benefits - it’s great for keeping the skin hydrated, but its also good for joints as well. My fellow yogis and athletes know that joints and winter are not friends. The more lubricated the joints and the skin are, the happier Daniele is. If you want to get super-fancy, (I do this on weekends), you can throw that collagen with some ghee and CBD oil in your morning coffee and through yourself a wind-fighting little party. You’re welcome.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize, but NOT with your typical moisturizer.
You'‘ve been hearing this from me forever, but I don’t use lotions. Everything I use is oil-based, and there’s a good reason for that. If you use the right oils for your skin, oils do a great job of lubricating the skin and oils with Vitamin E help to maintain that moisture. In the fall, I make my own version of my Vatascrub and Vatacify massage oil, and I use both everytime I shower. The Vata line I’m working with right now has an organic sesame oil base, and it’s chock-full of moisture-rich Vitamin E as well as grounding essential oils like Lavender, Rose, and Geranium. My Vatascrub that I whipped up today is sugar-based with a little Olive Oil added to the Sesame for good measure. My skin, which used to crack and callous in the winter months, is still soft as a baby’s butt. My face oil is from the Pitta line all year unless I’m spending a lot of time outside in the cold OR in places where there is dry heat and little humidity. Then, I switch back and forth between the Kapha and the Pitta face oil to make sure I keep my acne away. Everything applied to my face right now has both Vitamin E and rose oil - it’s like a magic potion of hydrating goodness.
Avoid Raw Food.
I’m sorry to say this, but it’s time to hop off the salad train for a bit. Though raw veggies are fine for most people in the summer months, eating raw, cold food in the raw, cold months of fall and winter are going to make you pretty dry, raw, and cold. You want to start incorporating veggies and roots and grains from the earth, cooked lightly and eaten warm - preferably with a light oil thats good for your dosha or some ghee - the holy liquid. Vata season is windy and airy. If you need more earth, eat more earth. It’s pretty simple.
Yoga on the ground, friend. YOGA ON THE GROUND.
I want you to imagine trying to balance in tree pose in a wind tunnel. Probably frustrating, right? Energetically, Vata season is a wind-tunnel. Even if the wind doesn’t blow you over, chaotic Vata energy will make it harder to balance which may lead to some frustration or feelings of being “bad at yoga.” While us yogis know that you can’t be bad at anything, feeling constantly out-of-balance may lead to frustration and giving up. Try to incorporate more of a grounding yoga practice - twists on the floor, asana that keeps both feet or feet and hands on the ground, and sun salutations are a must. You need stability, consistency, and the feeling of being successful. Maybe this isn’t the time to try walking to the bodega in a handstand for the first time. Wait for summer.
Spend time with people you love who know how to love you back.
The one thing I always ask people who seek out my services because their feeling mentally, physically, and spiritually drained is about their community. Are you spending your days with soul-sucking energy vampires who complain all the time? Are you constantly feeling like you’re being pulled in a million different directions by people who never let go of the rope? Here is my suggestion. Fucking stop, already. I know I know, it sounds easier than it is sometimes. But, here’s the thing. You control your time and space. If you’re stuck hanging around people who don’t bring you joy and you can’t get rid of them just yet, make some time for people who do. The light-bringers, the laughter-inciters, the people who no matter where they go, everyone in their space feels better. Yes, they do exist. Find them, make a date with them, and check how you feel after. If you eat a meal at a great restaurant, you’ll keep going back for more. If you spend time with a joyful human and love it, why not do more of it?
Crystals that ground are crystals you should keep around.
I know that not everyone is with me in the world of crystals. I even know that some of you think I’m secretly a witch and all your bad karma is actually me putting spells on you with my crystal witchcraft. Sorry, but I’m not the witch I wish I could be. I’m just a happy little yogi waving my Rose Quartz and Rhodonite around keeping all the crazy away.
I’ve shared a lot about crystals on my socials, and their ability to channel goodness and bring light. I am adorned from head to toe, and even use a rollerball with a crystal roller in it when applying lotion to my hands. Every town has a crystal shop, and every crystal shop has an eager crystal expert who knows where the gems come from, what they’re good for, and how they can help you with whatever you’re managing. Right now, I’m rocking some blue Kyanite in my purse for its high vibrations and chakra-aligning qualities. Some of my chakras are in excess and some are restricted. Lets flow that energy through the body and clear that shit right up!
I hope this was helpful for you! Remember, Vata season stretches AALLLLLLLL the way until February, so it’s a long run. Stay warm and hydrated, and you’ll float through the air like magic.
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