Ayurvedic Fall Tips
According to Ayurveda, the combined energies of air and space, or Vata, elevate in our external environment during the fall season (think wind, dryness, crackling leaves) and, as a result, in our minds and bodies as well.
Arguably, Sausalito seasons don’t always follow the ancient Ayurvedic calendar. My previous Ayurvedic Summer Blog was warning about Pitta aggravation during summer months while generously providing tips to keep your “heat” in check. Well, summer wasn’t that hot here and you might still want to keep those tips handy for the occasional hot Indian summer days that could still be ahead of us.
Without a doubt, Costal weather is a little tricky and we will see windy, cold, damp days alternate with hot summer-like days but nonetheless, Vata season is in full swing in Sausalito. You can probably feel it already — maybe you found yourself sitting on your yoga mat lately, trying to get through your practice and soon you’re off fidgeting, unable to sit still, picking up dust balls, or even getting up and starting something else all together; perhaps you have been feeling more nervous lately, more anxious, and distracted than usual; maybe you have not been sleeping very well too; perhaps your body has been a little stiffer, more sore than usual and perhaps your skin feels dryer too — yes, it’s Vata season.
Ayurveda provides many great tools to bring vata into balance. Living in harmony with nature through diet and establishing daily routines are of the essence.
Emphasize warm, cooked foods. This is not the time of year for a raw diet and/or a raw cleanse. Pick up what’s in season at your local farmers market and cook those foods with plenty of high-quality oils (ghee, sesame, olive oil). Drink warm water throughout the day and be mindful of your coffee intake. Caffeine aggravates vata.
Vata needs routine to find solid ground. Can you develop evening rituals that restore and reground at the end of a vata-aggravating day? Think eating home-cooked meals, having a cup of tea, turning off the phone and logging off from social media at night, reading, etc.
But there are two particular nuances to a Vata season that I believe ought to be highlighted here.
Firstly, fall is the optimum time to go on a detoxifying dietary cleanse. It is easier in this season, says Ayurveda, to change our habits, inject new life into our tired routines and boost immunity before winter. Accumulating toxins present similar symptoms as Vata aggravation: fatigue, feeling of heaviness, digestive problems, stiffness in the body, mental confusion. Ayurveda believes that toxins that are not regularly purged and eliminated are the root cause of disease in the body and/or the mind.
For more about Fall Ayurvedic Cleansing you can also check out our 7-Day small group cleanse program
Secondly, Vata governs all movement, internally and externally — from the universe always expanding, down to the smallest, subatomic particles in the body. Vata is creativity, vata is freedom but out of balance it can lead to restlessness and anxiety. Hence the beautiful challenge this season presents is finding the time to practice going deep within and finding grounding in our inner stillness. That place in us that is always still, always calm, always balanced, always complete. When we rise back to every day life from there, we will feel renewed, grounded and ready to face anything.
Focus on living in harmony with nature, let go of what doesn’t serve you and tap into your inner stillness.
Blessings for a beautiful Vata season.
About: Oana Stefanescu-Lansman
Oana is a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Health Practitioner (National Ayurveda Medical Association). She is a graduate of the Mount Madonna Institute College of Ayurveda. The focus of her Ayurvedic practice is diet and lifestyle counseling as well common herbs. As yoga teacher and avid student of yoga, Oana recognizes the deep and inseparable connection between Yoga and Ayurveda. Her individualized, holistic treatment plans include yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing technics) and meditation.