“How to help your child stay balanced physically, emotionally and mentally during the fall season.”
The winds of change are blowing as we enter the early fall season. It may still be very warm and humid although the wind has a new feel to it, more movement, more chill in the evening. The sun is setting earlier too, so never fear, it is going to get cooler and this shift usually takes place before the end of September.
Fall is a time of new beginnings for your children with a new year at school requiring focus and steadiness and being grounded. Windy and cooler days can throw your children off with them flying about in several directions at once. So, understanding and implementing the principles of Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, will bring children back into balance.
Ayurveda, which means “knowledge of life,” is the ancient art and science of keeping the body and mind balanced and healthy and is connected to yoga, balancing the mind, body and spirit.
The philosophy of Ayurveda is based on a combination of the five elements in nature and in our bodies with each child having a unique body type (kid-type) or dosha: 1) Vata – the magic elf 2) Pitta – the invincible warrior 3) Kapha – adorable teddy bear.
We are all made of the basic elements of nature: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Air and ether combine to create Vata; Pitta is derived from fire and water; and water and earth constitute Kapha. All physical functions of the body are governed by these three body-type characteristics.
When working with the doshas, remember these basic principles: Like increases like, and opposites balance each other. In other words, foods, weather, and situations that have similar characteristics as the doshas will increase them; those that have opposite characteristics will decrease them. Different factors will influenza all the doshas: age, season of year, lifestyle, nutrition, and so forth. Knowing this, diet, yoga and other environmental factors can be adapted in ways that create greater balance and harmony.
The three doshas fluctuate constantly. As they move out of balance, they affect particular areas of our bodies in characteristic ways. When Vata is out of balance—typically in excess—we are prone to diseases of the large intestines, like constipation and gas, along with diseases of the nervous system, immune system, and joints. So your child, when out of balance, will most likely also have dry skin and lips, palpitations, breathlessness, muscle tension, etc. It is because Vata is cold, dry, light and rough in nature.
The mind of a Vata child becomes restless, irritable and hyperactive as Vata is air and movement and when out of balance creates a restless child who has a hard time focusing for a long period of time and forgets quickly.
Your Vata (Winter kid-type) child will do well with a tonifying, strengthening and warming diet with an emphasis on sweet (natural) and sours tastes. Salt is fine in moderation. Foods should be heavy and moist, and meals are better eaten at regular times each day. Also, your Vata child will do better with routine that manages the air and ether. And oil sesame massage to your children’s feet before bedtime bring relaxation and a good sleep.
Children catch on to Ayurveda easily as it is simple and based on nature. They naturally understand that the universe and their bodies are made of the five elements and when asked what it feels like to have fire in the body, they will yell – ‘a fever’. You can have fun with your kids making dinner talking about the qualities of various foods and how to prepare them for their particular dosha.
And remember, your Vata child will also have influences of Spring and Summer Types because all are a dance of all of the 5 elements. Your child also might be a Summer or a Spring Type kid, yet because of their life situations, have a fall (Vata) imbalance.
Balanced Fall Kid (Vata) Types:
A balanced Fall Kid Type is happy, easy going and creative and very imaginative. They love to create and express themselves in their own unique way. They are attracted to dancing, gymnastics, and other creative sports. may be good short-distance runners, dancers and gymnasts, given their flexible bodies. They are sensitive by nature and can pick up on the energy of a person or place.
Out of Balance Fall Kid Types:
They are hyper, unfocused and cannot stop moving with an extreme example being the classic ADHD type. Due to their sensitive nervous systems, these children become easily over-stimulated by busy, loud, fast and changeable environments. They become easily anxious and insecure, have a tendency to have emotional outbursts, talk excessively, disrupt others and cannot sit still and fidget a lot.
They may also have difficulties falling asleep and wake-up often during the night. Dreams may be disturbing with lots of movement, flying and anxiety provoking themes.
Tips to Balance Your Fall Kid (Vata) Type:
- Keep a steady routine.
- Have a regular bedtime.
- Massage their feet with warm sesame oil before they go to bed.Sesame oil is heavy, warming and grounding.
- Spend time cuddling as these children need lots of touch.It reassures them and soothes their nerves.
- Provide quiet time. Give them the space to create from their active imaginations.
- Have them practice Meditation that allows them to experience their own inner silence.
- Balance activities with down time to allow them to recharge after an action-packed day and allow them time to share and express themselves.
- Serve warm, cooked, grounding foods.Some excellent foods are: sweet potatoes; basmati rice spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves; warm, spiced whole cow’s milk, (add some turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to it); cheese; eggs; almonds, soaked overnight and skins pealed; cooked, spiced apples with cinnamon; dates; tahini; oatmeal; beets and peaches. *See http://thebookoftaste.blogspot.com/p/the-book-of-vatta.html