And just like that Autumn has arrived
Autumn is the season of change, transformation & release, when nature shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.
I love this time of year, not only for the crisp sunny days, rich autumn colours & sense of possibility it brings, but also because it’s a great excuse to cosy up with big sweaters, fluffy socks, warm drinks & a good book!
Ayurveda & Yoga consider our seasonal routines central to good health so, just as nature adapts, so should our own daily habits, practices & dietary choices
Autumn & Vata Energy
According to Ayurveda, there are three primary doshas – Vata, Pitta, Kapha – and in the same way that each person has a predominant dosha, each season is also dominated by one of the three doshas.
Autumn is the season of Vata.
Vata is the dosha of air & ether with the attributes of dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, & clear so, while I see autumn as a time for creativity, spontaneity, freedom, inspiration & positive energy, if we do not work to counterbalance the excess of vata energy circulating at this time of year, it is easy to become unbalanced. Vata governs movement in the body, the nervous system & elimination so, if out of balance, it can instead be a time of feeling empty, anxious, unsettled & fearful & this can manifest in many ways physically – for example, pain in the joints, dry skin & hair, sleep disturbances & digestive upsets.
Great care is needed to stay in balance, especially for those with a predominant vata dosha.
So, as the leaves on the trees change colour & fall, the air cools, a whole array of new & different seasonal fruits & vegetables are harvested & preparations for the winter season & hibernation begin what can you do to stay in good health & what do you need to think about as part of your seasonal routine to stay in sync with the changing rhythm of nature?
- Eat cooked, warm, nourishing foods & spices – think soups, stews & grounding, moist foods like mashed potatoes
- Reduce the amount of cold, raw, dry & light, foods you eat, such as salads, cold snacks & frozen foods, as well as cold drinks
- Avoid fasting & skipping meals
- Emphasise foods with sweet, sour & salty tastes & cook with the fruits & vegetables of the season
- If you eat meat, eggs & dairy, this time of year is a great time to enjoy them
- Settle into a consistent daily routine (get up, go to bed, eat, exercise etc at around the same time each day)
- Indulge in warm, steam baths & self-massage with warm oils
- Try to be in bed by 10pm & prioritise good sleep
- Include regular meditation practices to help stay grounded & stable
- Keep the body warm, especially when outside facing the elements
- Get outside, close to nature & rooted to the earth with gentle walks or hiking
- Participate in slow, gentle forms of movement such as swimming, yoga, tai chi
- Include deep relaxation & restorative yoga practices to enable to body to rest and restore
- Incorporate warming, grounding asanas into your regular yoga practice to increase stability, strength & connection to the earth – for example, Mountain, The Warriors, Tree, Cat-Cow, Thunderbolt, to name just a few.
- Practice balancing, calming, cleansing pranayama such as alternate nostril breath (Nadi Shodhana)
These guidelines are all general of course, for more specific & detailed guidance related to your individual dosha, especially if you feel you may be out of balance, I would recommend having a full ayurvedic consultation – contact me for details or more information😊