Oil is Thicker Than Water
Friendlies! Vata season is quickly approaching! Here again we find ourselves in ritusandhi or, the joints between seasons. Right now, we are ending summer and quickly moving into fall so it’s important to start incorporating vata habits now so that when the end of September arrives, our body-minds are conditioned for it.
One of the things you can do is start incorporating more oils into your diet. Vata is very dry and so is fall and winter. Since like increases like in Ayurveda, that means we have to balance the dryness with wetness. And not even wetness, but unctuousness (oily!). Don’t get me wrong, drinking lots of water is great, but it doesn’t really “lubricate.” It helps to cleanse and nourish our bodies, but it doesn’t plump anything up or provide elastic cushion like oil does.
Think of it this way, if your skin is dry would you put water on it as a moisturizer? Or, if your wagon has a squeaky wheel, will you put water on it to lubricate it? No way Jose! You would use some sort of oil! (please note: most moisturizers and lotions have water + alcohol as the first ingredients, which just makes the skin drier!).
In Ayurveda, oils are used a lot to keep the outer AND inner bodies supple. Our tissues really like it when they become more lubricated around the joints as well as nice and stretchy so that we can extend into our yoga poses. Oils help aid digestion, pooping, massage, it keeps us mentally grounded, and keeps our skin soft and wrinkle-free. Now, I don’t mean just put oil on the outside and rub-a-dub as a massage. That’s good too but vatas (and during vata season where vata balances rise in all of us) really need to start eating more healthy oils and fats in their diet. **Kaphas don’t need as much oil because they are naturally oily and too much oil will imbalance them.
Types of oils
Ghee – internal and external for vata and pitta. Use it as a cooking oil (has a high smoke point) to fry veggies in, as a spread on bread, melt in oatmeal, melt in soup, be creative! The sky is the limit. And if you’re bored, try some ghee-licious flavors!
Sesame Oil (cold, expeller pressed) – massage on vata skin
Almond Oil (cold, expeller pressed) – massage on pitta skin
Safflower Oil – good in case kapha skin gets dry during vata season
Olive Oil – vata and pitta can have plenty! Cook and drizzle with it
Flax Seed Oil – you can’t cook with this stuff but you can drink it or drizzle it on warm foods like a veggie & rice bowl
Also, if you have a problem with constipation and water isn’t helping, try oil! You can take 1 tbsp of ghee and melt it in a small amount of warm water or warm milk. Drink! Do this in the morning on an empty stomach and soon you’ll be pooping happy :D I’ve heard that Italians also do this with olive oil, although I don’t think they use a chaser. You can also try flax seed oil (liquid or gel caps) to lubricate and butter up the insides!