Why you’re feeling so frisky this winter.

This time of year, we are a bit more extreme, with less impulse control, and, let’s face it, a bit more desperate for loving. For some of us, this means that whole phenomenon of getting wasted and going home with someone from the club can be very real. Why? Well, let’s talk about Vata. 

According to Ayurveda, the fall and winter seasons are predominated by Vata energy. This means we see the qualities of Vata in our climate and tend to show these qualities in ourselves. Vata embodies death, release, movement, coldness, dryness, emptiness, lightness, and degeneration, among other qualities. You can sense the energy of Vata in dry forests with empty trees, in the drying cold of the ever-moving wind in the lightness of dried leaves and soil, and perhaps, in the emptiness in our hearts. 

Vata season, along with being a time of creativity, travel, and social engagements, is one of extremes and irrational decision-making. While the consumer industry takes full advantage of impulsive behavior during Vata season (hello, clearance sales!), that certain someone eyeing you across the bar may be pouncing on your Vata as well. 

Because winter is a season of depletion and hypersensitive emotions, and keenly feeling any emotional voids, we naturally crave being nurtured, connected and loved. We just want to snuggle and feel connected and cherished in order to balance the Vata energy.

In Ayurveda, we approach balance by bringing in the opposite qualities of whichever energy is in excess. To balance Vata, for example, we would bring into our lives warm, moist, nourishing, grounding, still, heavy, constant, regular and rhythmic qualities in every way we could. A one-night-stand may feel like the right remedy to fill the void temporarily, but in truth, it’s not grounding, constant, or deeply nourishing, so it does little to balance Vata.

So what should all of the single folks out there do this season? Well, to have a balanced approach this time of year, you either 1.) Make love to yourself and/or 2.) Wait until you are in a grounded romantic situation before getting sexual. 

Self-love is a good way to practice feeling connected and in touch with what your sexual proclivities and needs are. This helps to ground your sexuality and self-confidence while expressing your sexuality, and is inherently Vata balancing. 

For those of us with a partner, creating the time and space to make love is really important during the winter months. Increased connectedness, nurturing, touch, softness, and suppleness are all qualities of experience that help to balance Vata. Now that the busy holiday season is over, try to shift your focus to scheduling and planning romantic moments. 

For Vata-balancing love making (with self or partner), simply bring in the qualities that balance Vata. Bust out that bear skin rug in front of the fireplace and you’ve brought grounding, softness, and warmth into your experience. Make love in the bathtub and there is warmth and moistness to balance Vata. Take it slow, be present, and double the amount of foreplay to counteract the quick, dry, ADHD, fleeting nature of Vata.

Warming aphrodisiac essential oils are a great fit this time of year (in your oil burner, not your body, as essential oils applied directly on skin may burn or irritate). Examples include frankincense, cardamom, patchouli, clary sage, nutmeg, and sandalwood. Sweet aphrodisiac essential oils such as rose, jasmine, neroli, and ylang ylang, also balance Vata. Many of these oils also calm the nervous system, which tends to be overactive during times of high Vata. 

Lastly, find moderation. Vata is extreme, so even making love with too much frequency can be depleting and increase a Vata imbalance. One to two times a week is Ayurveda’s idea of moderate. And that will likely feel like plenty when you have a deeper intimate experience.

Of course, we can all bring in more touch, nurturing, and intimacy in our non-romantic relationships as well. Just giving more hugs and smiling warms Vata as well.