Ayurvedic Living: Self-Care for Fall
According to Ayurveda, autumn is Vata season (a predominant increase in the elements of air and ether/space). As the elements of air and space increase in the natural environment, and within our bodies, we can naturally experience increased lightness, coldness, dryness, roughness, mobility, subtlety, and clarity/emptiness. In order to support and deeply care for our selves, and our families, we can begin to shift our diet and lifestyle towards more grounding and nourishing practices, in order to prevent seasonal imbalances in the body, mind and spirit.
The Fall Diet
Generally, our fall diet focuses on increasing our intake of warm, oily, well-cooked, moderately-spiced foods and favouring the sweet, sour, and salty rasas (tastes). We want to focus on foods that are easier to digest, grounding and nourishing. Slow cooked meals like soups, and stews with spices like ginger, tumeric, cumin, cinnamon and cardamon are ideal options for fall. If meat and eggs are in your diet fall is a good time to re-introduce high-quality sources, along with high-quality oils and fats such as organic ghee, olive oil and sesame oil. Generally we want to avoid cold drinks, raw veggies, salads, frozen foods and reduce the pungent, bitter, and astringent flavours.
Practicing regular meal times and avoiding snacking between meals supports good digestion. Also savouring warm, non-caffeinated teas with fresh ginger, spices and a little honey between meals will help to stimulate “agni” (digestive fire).
The Fall Lifestyle
A simple daily routine is a powerful practice for creating balance in the fall season. Rise early, if possible, to benefit from the healing stillness of the early morning hours. Upon rising – hydrate, eliminate and practice yoga and meditation before moving into your day. Shower and massage your skin daily with warm oil, to counter dryness in the skin and joints. Also lubricate the nasal passages with naysa oil or coconut oil to protect the respiratory tract and calm the mind.
For exercise, focus on grounding and strengthening practices. Practice yoga at a mindful pace, with a focus on strength, stability and attention on maintaining breath awareness. Strong standing poses, inversions, twists and restoratives are all great practices for Fall.
If you have the desire to go deeper, consider joining me for my upcoming Yoga Immersion – Fall at The Haven, Oct 13 – 16th, 2017 on beautiful Gabriola Island. We will take a delicious, deep dive into the seasonal yoga practice for fall, including; asana, pranayama, meditation along with Ayurvedic tips for seasonal nutrition and cleansing. To register, or for more information contact me here.