Staying Balanced through the Season of Change
Along with it's beautiful colours, autumn, being a season of transition, can be challenging to anyone sensitive to change. Signs of imbalance include: nervousness, insomnia, constipation, erratic digestion and dry or cracked skin
As the Autumn season is dry and light by nature it is provoking to vata so it is valuable for anyone suffering from stress or anxiety to know that this is a season where self-care goes a long way toward increasing your sense of well-being.
Ayurveda's richly supportive science offers some beautifully simple ways to protect yourself, calm your mind and nourish your nervous system.
Here are a few that you can add to your day to help you transition smoothly through the Autumn months.
Get a Head Start
Give yourself time to wake up before the world starts rushing around. Vata types are sensitive to change, if they can rise before the busyness starts and take some quiet time to breathe and sip a warm drink, they will feel more settled throughout the day ahead. Routine is important to vata as it has a stabilising effect. Try and start your day at the same time and with the same brief self-care routine as often as you can.
Warm, Wet and Oily
The key words for balancing vata are: warm, wet and oily! Remembering this will help you adopt a supportive diet and lifestyle for the Autumn months.
Warm showers or baths after a gentle oil massage with sesame or mahanarayana oil protect your skin and joints from the dryness that is typical of Autumn and nourish and protect your nervous system too.
A simple breakfast of organic oat porridge with a little cinnamon and honey is a warm and wet perfect start to the day. If you were to experiment with almond milk instead of dairy you would introduce a little oiliness too from the nerve nourishing almond.
Steamed vegetables with rice or pasta, soups, veggie stews, dal and rice, are all perfect warm, wet and slightly oily winter dishes.
Sip spicy teas between meals to help eliminate toxins and hydrate the tissues of your body on a deeper level than cold drinks. Ayurveda also recommends sipping hot spiced water to cleanse the body and dissolve accumulated toxins. To make your own, heat a couple of pints of water in a sauce pan and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes. Then add four slices of ginger root, a teaspoon of fennel seeds, six black pepper corns and four cloves. Cover and leave to steep for ten minutes then transfer to a thermos jug or flask and sip throughout the day.
Stretch and Breathe
Autumn is the perfect time to embrace simple breathing exercises to calm your mind and oxygenate your blood. The autumn season is highly charged with Prana (or chi) so remember to pause throughout your day to stretch and breathe it in.
photo by Beatriz AG
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