a series by Maria Margolies
Autumn is a beautiful time of year, characterized by vibrant colors, blue skies, and crisp air. According to Ayurverda, it’s also Vata season. Other qualities of Vata are windy, erratic, and dry. Although these can be wonderful qualities that shape the landscape dramatically, they can bring challenges and imbalances for our inner and outer bodies. Our skin especially has a tendency to become dry, dull, and crocodile-like. In order to maintain balance and transition into the new season with radiance, it is important to adapt our daily rituals accordingly.
COOKED OVER RAW: Focus on eating warm, grounding, oily foods. Think more soups, oats, stews, steamed veggies, and hearty grains. These are all Vata-balancing foods. Consider adding extra oils to your foods (I love flax and ghee).
PLANT-BASED BEAUTY: Use plant oils for the face and body. Oils will not clog your pores. They are incredibly healing and nourishing for the skin, and some can even be warming. There are many options to choose from depending on your own skin type, preference, and budget. One of my favorites is termini oil. It was used by Polynesian women to promote beautiful, clear skin. It’s rich but absorbs very quickly. It also has antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other recommended oils are: rosehip, almond, jojoba, and olive oil. I like to create my own blend of oils as a face serum or infuse them with flowers and spices.
SELF-CARE WITH SELF-MASSAGE: Start a ritual of massaging yourself with a warm oil. The ancient Ayurvedic practice of abhyanga locks in moisture, calms the nervous system, improves circulation, and boosts your immune system. Sesame oil, which is traditionally used for this practice, is very warming.
SOURCE LOCALLY: Get experimental with concocting your own beauty products using seasonal ingredients. If you don’t know what’s in season, get inspired with a trip to your local farmer’s market!