The Autumnal Equinox is the time of “equal night” where night and day are roughly in balance as the plane of the Earth’s equator passes the center of the Sun. The warming fall hues shower us with reds, oranges, yellows, and greens, which balance the cooling energy that is emerging with the seasons to come. In Ayurveda, at this time of year we prepare for the season of vata dosha, one of the three biological humours, that governs the season of fall and winter. The qualities of vata are dry, light, rough, cold, subtle, mobile, changeable, clear and dispersing. We see these qualities as the leaves on the trees dry and dance with the wind, we feel a drop into cooler temperatures, and the conditions of Nature become more rough and even create roughness in our skin, and dryness in our bodies. Understanding the dance of the doshas in Nature is such an important way to support your health.
At a spiritual level, fall is a time to remember that finding the balance of the dark and the light within us is part of the journey of Life. Fall is also a time of letting go and clearly seeing the impermanence of Life. It is a time to get back to basics and anchor in what is really important. The change of seasons are also a great time to bring consciousness and intention for the seasons ahead.
Here are some Health Tips to support you during the fall season.
Fall Health Tips for YOU
* Routine. Get back into a routine that serves you – you know some of the things that help you feel your best. Routine is grounding and helps us align with the rhythms of life. It also brings consistency that helps to balance the changeable nature of vata dosha at this time of year. If you’ve gotten off track, it is time to get back to basics and do the things that serve you well.
* Hydrate and moisturize. It is always important to stay well-hydrated, but the dry quality increases as we move into fall. We see this in the leaves that are drying, ferns that are turning brown and crinkly, and flowers that are now gone leaving their potent seeds as a promise for new Life. The dry quality is further increased when we are exposed to the dry heat in our houses in winter. Staying well hydrated helps prevent internal dryness which creates conditions for constipation, colds and flu. In Ayurveda, we use oils on the skin. If you use a moisturizer, I recommend using local, organic handcrafted moisturizers, like those from Indian Meadow Herbals or other local organic companies near you. Or make your own! If you use a wood stove for heat, put a pot of hot water on the stove to keep some moisture in the air. And if you are familiar with the daily self-massage (abhyanga) that we use in Ayurveda, be sure to use oils that are balancing for you and the season in your self-massage.
* Drink hot water when you first get up in the morning, and sip warm/hot water throughout the day. This helps to balance the cold of the season and keeps you hydrated.
* Keep your neck warm. It sounds strange, but cold and wind can adversely affect your body through too much cold and one of those areas is through the back of your neck. In the fall, it is especially important to protect this area and keep it warm. Be sure to wear a scarf or something around your neck when the weather starts to get chilly.
* Eat root vegetables. It’s no accident that the Earth gives us exactly what we need in each season. Root vegetables help with the grounding and rooting that is needed as the air element increases in fall and winter.
* Eat warming foods. As the days and nights get chilly, we are naturally drawn towards more warming foods, which is just what we need. Healthy soups, stews and warming spices balance out the cold quality of fall and winter. If you eat a lot of raw foods, be sure this is supportive of your constitution, and focus on warming fruits and vegetables and warming raw meals.
* Get outside. Enjoy the crisp fall air, drink in the colors and allow the sun on your skin. Fresh air and time in nature are always essential and healing, and this is a beautiful season to enjoy.
* Prioritize. Align with the season and draw energy inward to become clear about what is important to you, and what you want to create for yourself. Journal, draw, dance, play…use whatever helps you explore your heart’s desires. Allow yourself to consciously reflect on and refine your priorities so you create a life filled with even more meaning, Love, health and joy. Return to the beauty and essence at the center of your being, just like Mama Earth is doing this splendid season.
* Cleanse. Cleansing during the change of seasons in the spring and fall is recommended annually to support good health by ancient natural health systems like Ayurveda. Doing a cleanse at this time of year helps you align with and incorporate all of the tips above and gives your system a great foundation for a healthy winter.
Check our schedule to see if we are currently offering a Fall Nourish & Cleanse and enjoy the beauty of this gorgeous season!