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Ayurvedic Workplace Tips for Vata Season

This part of Vata season may be the most wonderful time of the year. We’re all planning for the holidays, enjoying the festive lights, spending time with friends and family, and trying to narrow down our New Year’s resolutions. But this season can also feel like a rollercoaster ride as we scramble to tie up all our loose ends at work before the end of the year.

While some of you might get to come home and curl up next to a warm fire with a hot cup of Holy Basil tea to balance the cool, dry and erratic Vata qualities that have been accumulating in our minds and bodies for the past few months, it takes a more targeted effort to integrate appropriate Ayurveda techniques to create balance in our lives when we are in the workplace.

Vata season can even get the better of Ayurveda candy makers like me, when anxiety zaps my energy and creativity, throwing off the balance I need to end my days feeling satisfied with my work and ready to enjoy my home life. The good news is I’ve found that incorporating Ayurvedic principles in these five areas of my workplace tip the scales in favor of more good days – physically, mentally and spiritually.

  • Cleaning – If my workplace starts reflecting the clutter of fall leaves littering the ground outside my office window during Vata season, I get too distracted. Once I’m organized, I balance Vata season’s light, rough, dry qualities by making my own simple cleaning solutions containing essential oils that promote heaviness and warmth. Sandalwood and Vanilla are two of my favorite aromas to invigorate my office space and revitalize my focus and energy for the craziness of the holidays.
  • Colors Chromotherapy (color therapy) is an easy way to balance your doshas (Take a free test to discover your personal dosha!) through what you wear and the colors you surround yourself within the work space. Balance during Vata season calls for colors that emanate warmth and calm like yellow, orange, green and deep purple. There’s nothing better than wrapping a grounding forest green scarf around my neck for the commute to work. And no matter where you work, from candy kitchen to cubicle, there are easy tricks to integrate chromotherapy into your work life. Wrapping paper makes great temporary wallpaper, especially when it takes the place of a grey cubicle wall! Warm that fluorescent chill with a soft yellow lampshade on your desk and you’ve got Vata season mastered!
  • Food – When we get overwhelmed at work, the first thing to go is a calm, healthy lunch. But lunchtime is when our agni, or digestive fire, is at its strongest. During Vata season we want to choose cooked, warm meals like Miso soup or veggie stir fry over brown rice. Snacks should be vata pacifying. I love to pack my thermos with baked apples and a pinch of cinnamon as a special treat. Nuts like pistachios and almonds are always a good pick-me-up.
  • Music – While “Jingle Bells” may be fun for caroling, creating a calm, productive atmosphere at work during Vata season chaos requires grounding and soothing music that warms your mind to the job at hand. I play more than a few classical meditation tracks accompanied by nature sounds like running water or ocean waves on Pandora. You can even find specific Vata-soothing flute music here.
  • Exercise – I know what you’re thinking, exercise, at work? But this could be as simple as taking a few seconds to do some pranayama (breathing exercises) while sitting in your chair, or standing up next to your desk to stretch. If you can manage a short walk after lunch your digestive system with thank you. Just 100 steps will do it!

With the holidays quickly closing in on us, the last thing we all need is more work to do. But you will see that integrating even a few of these Ayurvedic techniques for health and balance will actually help hone your focus on completing the things that really matter, and give you the peace of mind to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Lastly, we all know joy is sweeter when shared. Pass on those good vibes by sharing Vata-specific Dosha Pops like Velvet Rope’s notes of mulled spices with your co-workers this holiday season!

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