How to survive and even THRIVE in the dry cold of Autumn, according to Ayurveda? If you’re tired of feeling dry, itchy and chilled to the bone at the first leaf-drop, read on, as this post is your survival guide, or more specifically, your Vata-Pacifying Guide for your transition from the balmy days of summer to the windy, coolness of Fall.
Vata is a Dosha (a mind/body type in Ayurveda), comprised of the elements of Air and Ether (space). We don’t just find the Doshas being expressed in our bodies, but in everything in existence, including the seasons. Vata is most predominant in the late summer to early Winter.
Ayurveda offers us guidelines of living, specific to each season (rutucharya), including suggested foods, herbs, daily habits, types of exercise, colours, aromas, Yogic practices, etc. which will bring in the opposite energies of those that are most predominant during that seasonal period, thus bringing balance back to our bodies. This is why Ayurveda is so amazing in its simplicity and applicability.
10 AYURVEDIC TIPS FOR FALL (+ 2 BONUS TIPS)
1. Think HEAVY, WARM & MOIST. Apply these tenets to everything, including what you eat, how you eat, and your overall lifestyle.
2. Prioritize foods that are Sweet, Sour & Salty. These 3 Rasas, or tastes, balance/decrease Vata dosha.
3. Avoid or limit foods that are Pungent, Bitter & Astringent. These tastes increase actually increase/aggravate Vata dosha.
4. Choose herbs like Cumin, Coriander, Fennel, Cinnamon, Clove, Tulsi, or just drink our VATA TEA daily to simplify things!
5. Avoid or limit coffee, as it can be very Vata and Pitta-aggravating (dry, spacy, heated, jitteriness anyone?). Try our AYURVEDIC COFFEE instead. It offers all the comfort and ritual of your regular cup of coffee, but without all the detrimental short and long-term side effects. Plus, it is enriched with the stress-busting and immunity-boosting powers of adaptogenic herbs.
6. Avoid cold or windy environments, or dress warmly, especially covering the head. Vata literally means 'wind,' which is why we want to limit our exposure to too much moving air at this time.
7. Keep exercise slow, calm and repetitive! High intensity, erratic workouts will only increase Vata energy in the body and mind. AND routine is key! Schedule your daily activities at regular, repetitive times. Eat, sleep, work and wake at the same times, as much as you can.
8. Take warm baths. Practice Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Oil Massage) 30 minutes before you bathe (Our VATA ABHYANGA OIL is especially grounding and calming for this practice.)
9. Meditate once or twice per day. If you are new to the practice, begin with just 10 minutes. Tiffany offers some beautifully-crafted guided meditations to ease you into a place of deepened calm and inner quietude.
10. Adorn your body and environment in scents that are warming, comforting and calming, like our VATA SACRED ESSENCE, or use Ginger, Orange, Clary Sage, Vetiver, Spikenard, etc.
BONUS TIP #1. Yogic Asanas (postures) & Pranayama (breathing techniques) to pacify Vata? Try Standing-Forward Bend (Uttanasana), Legs Up the Wall (Upavistha Konasana) & Bee 🐝 Breath (Bhramari Pranayama). Hold each posture for 3-10 mins, and breath slowly, with soft awareness to whatever sensations and releasing that may occur.
BONUS TIP #2. Fall into a period of internal cleansing & dietary simplification. Order a KIND CLEANSE, if you live in the Toronto ON area, and ease into a self-retreat of 5 or 10 days in which your diet will be paired down to the delicious, nourishing, unctuous and deeply cleansing Kitchari dish, a highly-revered and traditional meal of organic rice, mung beans, spices and vegetables cooked specifically for your unique needs and doshic imbalances. The junction between the seasons, this time of pause, has always been known to be a potent and ideal time for bodily and mental cleansing.
Autumn does not have to be such a challenge for Vata constitutions, especially when we modify our lifestyle in ways that honor the changing rhythms of nature in accordance with the endlessly wise teachings of Ayurveda.
So here's to a wonderful Autumn transition rich with crisp walks, colours ablaze and spiced teas in hand!