Vata Season Chromotherapy: Shades of Fall
Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. The days are still longer than winter but have cooled down from summer, everyone starts preparing for the Holiday Season, and the trees burst into drastic hues of yellow, orange, and red (if you’re as lucky as I am to live in a place where the leaves actually turn). Not to mention the annual pumpkin-flavored-everything craze. And with all the other autumn transitions comes one more—moving from the heat of the Pitta season into the cool, dry airiness of Vata. One of the best ways to start preparing yourself for this change in both the North American and the Ayurvedic seasons is to incorporate color therapy into your active daily routines and get a head start on balancing your doshas in the weeks to come.
Color therapy, simply put, is manipulating or effecting the physical reactions in our bodies and corresponding energy points—or chakras—by surrounding ourselves with certain colors on the spectrum and the energetic frequencies they inhabit. Over the summer, I wrote in a little more detail about where the practice of color therapy originated and how it went from the most surprising discovery in my Ayurvedic journey to one of the easiest, simplest practices I use anywhere when I need a quick, subtle nudge back into balance.
As the Vata dosha and upcoming Vata season embody light, dry, cool, airy, and unpredictable qualities, the best colors to transition into this time of year are red, orange, yellow, and gold (click here for an excellent breakdown of all seasonal colors and how they affect our doshas). These are all warm and energetic colors, which were previously not recommended during the hot and penetrating Pitta season just behind us but are now absolutely perfect for the coming months before winter arrives. It seems Mother Nature already knows exactly how that balance occurs, even regarding color therapy; the autumn leaves explode with these colors, which are already associated with fall harvests, pumpkins, and bonfires anyways. This makes it so easy for me to remember what colors are best during the Vata season, and I can really get into the spirit of autumn and the approach of the holidays when I know I’m also balancing my doshas and still following the Ayurvedic principles I value.
Of course, a simple change of wardrobe, which comes so naturally with the cooling temperatures, is one of the easiest way to incorporate color therapy during this seasonal transition. After the Autumnal Equinox at the end of this month, I’ll unpack my box of sweaters. I always love getting these back out at this time of year, especially because I’ve got a few burnt-orange pullovers (one of my favorite colors) that both keep me cozy during the cooler nights and really get me feeling like it’s fall. Orange is incredibly healing and, according to color therapy, is especially helpful in boosting the immune system against the fall and winter colds on the way. I also pull out my large, dark red handbag, which you’ll find slung over my shoulder at all times during Vata season. Not only is red a warming and stimulating color that helps with circulation, but the purse itself is big enough to fit all the extra things I need with the coming of Vata—gloves, a hat or scarf, Vata lip balm, and the herbal tea I like to keep available at a moment’s notice. When it comes to home decor, I love pulling out the yellow and gold cloth napkins to lay on the dining room table. They’re ready for guests to use when we strike up the big potluck dinners, and in between holiday parties, they add an extra pop of energy to relieve excess Vata and keep the room bright and warm while the nights grow longer.
As you can see, I’m going to keep myself energized, warm, and stabilized through autumn with the Ayurvedic knowledge embedded in color therapy, and so can you. If you haven’t already, give color therapy a try at the start of the upcoming Vata season by bringing more red, orange, yellow, and gold into your everyday life. A few simple accessories like jewelry, hats, scarves, or jackets in these colors are uplifting and keep you warm. Accents in Vata-pacifying colors can brighten up a room or workspace, livening the space with the added benefits of energetic stimulation in your chakras most likely to be blocked during Vata season—the root chakra, the sacral chakra, and the solar plexus chakra. And to help spark some ideas for a color palette in decorating (or even painting the walls, if you’re looking for a Vata-soothing space year round), this is a great collection of Vata-pacifying tones. You can also find Dosha-specific foods in seasonal colors too, like our Chai Me Up, Inner Glow, and Mytea Pomegranate candies. I hope that you stay on a health lick and enjoy the upcoming Vata season to its fullest.