An Ayurvedic approach to Seasonal Health and Well-being
In climates that experience seasons, Ayurveda defines the seasons according to the qualities that are based in the elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether (also known as space). In the fall, we kick through dried leaves, watch plants wilt, dry and fade away, hear the geese call from the wide blue skies, feel the cooler air and experiences the many Changes that are happening!
This is the season when Vata rules in nature & increases in our physiology.
The following Vata qualities are based on these two elements. According to Ayurveda, treating with opposite qualities brings balance!
Cold~ How can you bring warmth into your life?
Rough~ How can you soften, gentle your life?
Dry~ How can you moisten?
Light~ (as opposed to heavy)~ In what ways can you consider grounding?
Mobile/ Erratic~ what ways can you practice stability? Routine? Moments of Stillness? Create more peace?
Best daily practices for those with Vata constitution, Vata time of year (autumn- early winter) and Vata time of life (55 years and older):1. Routine: creating a daily routine creates a sense of stability and lowers anxiety.
2. Self-massage with warm sesame oil, followed by a warm bath or shower.
3. Nurturing hints/food choices:
a.) Improve Agni (digestive fire) in a few ways:
b.) Eat seasonal foods that are warm, moist, unctuous, sweet and soft: cooked fruits, steamed, or roasted squashes and root vegetables, sweet grains and savory soups – mainly cooked meals.
c.) Favor sweet, sour & salty tastes.
d.) Use warming and grounding herbs and spices: Ashwagandha, Ginger, Cardamom, Basil, Cinnamon, Hing, Rosemary, Nutmeg, Vanilla.
e.) Include healthy fats in your diet, such as ghee, olive, coconut and sesame oils.
4. Wear clothing that is soft and warm; keep your head and neck warm – protect your ears from the wind and cold. Hat, scarf, etc…
5. Spend quiet time in nature: and be sure to dress for the weather.
6. Practice restorative yoga~ (hatha, kripalu, quieter types of yoga).
7. Be sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Restorative, helps with clearing brain-lymph, offers dream time.
8. Allow time for deep relaxation and daily meditation practice.
9. Become comfortable with simply being~ and less doing.