According to Ayurveda the five elements—ether, air, fire, water, earth—are present throughout the world around us and also within us. Ayurvedic teachings explain how these fundamental elements are naturally grouped into three distinct bio-energies called doshas: vata (air + ether), pitta (fire + water), kapha (water + earth). These organizing principles govern all the biological, psychological, and physiological functions of the body, mind and consciousness. When out of balance they contribute to the disease process.
By studying the doshas and their interactions in both our inner and outer worlds, we can improve our holistic wellbeing and live in alignment internally and externally as intrinsically connected to nature.The doshas govern not only our own constitution, but everything else in existence, as well.
Throughout the year it is quite apparent to observe the doshas with the changing of the seasons. According to Ayurveda, the year is divided into three seasons: vata season (late fall into early winter), kapha season (late winter into spring); and pitta season (summer into early fall)
During the fall as we move into the winter months, we experience dry, cold, rough, light, subtle, clear, mobile qualities—all of which are associated with the elements ether and air (hence vata season). You can observe these qualities in the dropping of the temperatures to crisp, cool and often windy or brisk days; the drying and falling leafs exposing the bare trees and shrubs, the subtle browning of the earth, and the animals migrating or hibernating.
In understanding the qualities associated with each season, we can prevent and mitigate any adverse effects. Remember that your predominant dosha increases during the season it governs, so take care to choose foods and activities that will pacify and not aggravate it.
Since vata season brings a predominance of vata energy, here are some symptoms of excessive vata to look out for:
Dry—skin, hair, eyes, ears, lips, joints, stool, and we can experience dehydration, bloating, and gas
Light—headedness, ungroundedness, dizziness, thinness, weight loss
Cold—body parts, poor circulation, muscle spasms, tightness
Rough—chapped skin and lips
Subtle—anxiety, insecurity, fear, twitching
Mobile—restlessness, fast actions, chattering, fidgeting
Clear—racing and agitated mind