Fall is right around the corner. These ayurvedic tips will help you function better this year. In the Ayurvedic tradition, there are only three seasons in a year – late winter/spring, the summer months, and late fall/winter.
With each passing season, nature begins to exhibit some telltale signs that change is coming. But did you know that the cycles of nature reflect what is happening in your physical body?
The body’s reaction to the changes of seasons can be subtle, showing up mentally or emotionally, but these shifts can also affect your digestion, circulation, and overall energy levels.
In a previous post, we talked about ways to combat the summer heat or Pitta season as it’s called. Now, as autumn begins to peek its head – the nights growing cooler, the sun setting earlier – it’s time to prepare for the next phase.
Keep reading to learn three excellent Ayurvedic practices that will promote healthy digestion, maintain your energy levels, and keep you feeling grounded through the fall/winter months with ease.
Ayurveda – A Quick Recap
Ayurveda directly translates to the “Knowledge of Life.” It’s the oldest healing science in the world, originating in India over 5,000 years ago. Based on nature, it’s a system comprised of five elements – ether, air, fire, water, and earth.
These elements are divided into three constitutions, or doshas, that govern nature and the human experience. The late fall and winter months are attributed to the dosha called Vata.
How Does Vata Season Affect the Body?
The elements that rule Vata are air and ether, which embody the qualities of cold, light, dry, rough, and moving. Now think about how these qualities manifest in nature. Dry leaves are blowing across the ground, cold air, light winds, etc.
These same qualities are at play in your body, manifesting rough hands and feet, arthritis, or constipation (an imbalance of the cold, dry qualities in the intestines). In the mental and emotional centers, an imbalance of Vata is linked to anxiety and depression.
However, Ayurveda is about finding ways to counterbalance what is happening outside, so your body maintains a balanced state.
Below are three easy things you can do to combat the Vata season’s cold, dry effects.
Three Ayurvedic Tips for Autumn
1. Consume Warm Foods/Drinks
To pacify Vata’s naturally cold and drying effects, it is better to eat warm foods during this season. Try to avoid raw, uncooked fruits and vegetables, as well as salads and sushi. Drinking lots of warm water (or herbal tea) will keep your intestines and skin hydrated.
Some wonderful foods to incorporate during this season are avocados and bananas (okay to eat raw) and seasonal produce like pumpkins, peaches, carrots, and asparagus. Try substituting ghee for butter for an added benefit.
Ginger is a great fall/winter herb. It is warming and has anti-microbial/anti-bacterial properties that help fend off pesky germs and sicknesses. Add it to hot water with a bit of lemon and honey for a fresh, homemade tea.
2. Abhyanga Massage
This ancient technique of massaging warm oil into the skin is grounding and relaxing. Not only does it moisturize the skin, but it also calms the nervous system.
It is best to use a heavier oil like sesame or coconut during the Vata season. Start with the top of your head and finish with the souls of your feet. Rub the oil into your skin. Let it sit for 5-15 minutes before enjoying a warm bath or shower. The oils will naturally pull toxins from the body, so allow the water to wash away the excess without scrubbing too hard. Then pat your skin dry with a towel.
You might be surprised how much oil your skin absorbs the first couple of times you try this.
There are many additional benefits to Abhyanga:
- Lubricates the joints
- Reduces wrinkles, anti-aging
- Increases circulation
- Aids in detoxification
- Reduces stress/anxiety
- Heals the nervous system
- Improves sleep
3. Create a Routine
Vata is defined by being light, airy, and moving, so it’s not uncommon to feel ungrounded during these months.
Create a routine to help combat the more unpredictable elements of data. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, eat meals at predictable times, and schedule time for both exercise and rest.
A simple daily routine will help you feel more centered and energized throughout the day.
Ayurvedic practices have been around for thousands of years. It follows the seasonal cycles and believes that your body is a mere reflection, a microcosm, of what is happening in the natural world around you.
When nature moves from summer’s hot, oily qualities into autumn’s cool, dry qualities, your body follows suit. By utilizing these three practices, you can help your body and mind combat the effects of Vata season.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Littleton, CO wellness center.