We are beginning our slow transition into autumn and can feel it in the chill of the morning air. Autumn can be a lot of different emotions for different people.
Autumn can mean...
1- Spooky Season, Yay!
2- The start of winter, No Thanks
3- Fall hikes & apple cider, Welcome
4- Cold & Flu Season, Hell No!
Whatever it is for you, there are great Ayurvedic ways to prepare our body & mind for the transition.
Autumn is vata season. This means transition is in the air for our natural world. 2020 has been a high vata year because of all the changes that have happened so quickly. We may have felt the need to cuddle up and sleep off the overwhelm. This is a natural way we balance vata imbalance! Usually vata is high when the cold weather begins to blow. In past years we are ready to rest after the high energy of summer. This year may feel a little different. We can enjoy a high energy autumn, safely on hikes and camping, if we keep ourselves in good health with these preventative practices!
1. Nasya Oil - This is the practice of using cold-pressed oil in your nose. It has been my saving grace so many times! Basically it is just a natural nasal spray that can prevent head colds, allergy symptoms and help lubricate all your nasal passages. I also use it before traveling to ease my vata. Nasya is a good practice to incorporate every day, but especially in autumn and winter.
2. Structure - Vata is creative and erratic. Giving yourself structure (especially during quarantine) is a way to support yourself. Vata thrives with a regular schedule and consistent meal times. When I first started dedicating myself to a routine it was really helpful to set alarms on my phone for meal times. It is so easy to get distracted or absorbed in a project, the alarms help to train your body to signal for food so it feels more natural. You will know what times are best for your body. Usually a version of 3 meals a day (8am, 1pm and 5pm) or 2 meals a day with small snacks (10am, 3pm) is very in tune with nature.
3. Eat warm - Summer is when we enjoy raw foods best, but raw foods can be disastrous for vata. Begin shifting your cooking to include cooked veggies, rice and even a little dairy. Vata needs warm and cozy, inside and out! Kitchari is a perfect & easy option for autumn to release the excess heat from summer and reset our digestion for winter.
4. Abhyanga - In Ayurveda, most things can be prevented with a little oil. Abhyanga is a self massage practice that helps us pour love onto ourselves (in sanskrit they use the same word for love and oil: Sneha) Very practically in Autumn Abhyanga helps with joint and muscle aches & pains. It is super simple to practice. Simply heat up some cold pressed oil and massage it all over your body!
I will be hosting an Ayurveda Intensive for Winter into Spring! If seasonal transitions are tricky for you and you want to be on top of your preventative care - reach out to get on the wait list!