For me autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. I love watching the leaves change their color from luscious green to a spectrum of yellows, oranges and reds. But as much beauty the fall brings, it can bring many disturbances in our body and mind. The fall season is associated with vata dosha in Ayurveda. Vata dosha consists of ether and air. Thus vata attributes are dry, rough, light, cold, subtle, mobile and clear. The qualities of autumn mirror those of vata therefore it is the time when vata is increased. During this season we can experience constipation, nervousness, anxiety, dry skin, insomnia, mental instability, muscular and nerve disorders, indigestion, bloating and gas. It is important to follow a seasonal routine to help balance vata. Here are several things you can try to help you balance and enjoy the beauty and abundance of autumn.
- Create a daily routine by going to sleep,getting up and eating at the same time
- Early to be and early to rise
- Consume predominately warm, cooked food (minimize raw food)
- Include root vegetables like beets, carrots, parsnips and burdock in your diet
- Turmeric is excellent for reducing vata
- Use warm sesame oil for self massage (abhyanga)
- Massage warm sesame oil on your feet before going to bed
- Take warm baths with essential oils like rose, sage, lavender, mineral salts and backing soda
- Practice yoga in a slow and mindful manner
- Alternate nostril breathing without retention is a great way to balance your mind through out the day
It is important to find time for relaxation and grounding during this time. Visit a restorative yoga class, schedule a massage and find 10-20 minutes each morning and night to sit quietly with your eyes closed focusing on your breath.