5 Ayurvedic Tips for an Easeful Autumn
Autumn is a season of transition. Follow these 5 simple tips to make a smooth transition into the quiet stillness of winter.
Oil Massage. Now is the time to start your morning Abhyanga practice because the air is turning cold and dry. This is the nurturing practice of treating your body to a self-massage with a warming oil. You can do this before your morning shower, or afterwards. Sesame oil is a good one to use. Warm it up and massage your entire body. Rub the oil into your nostrils, around your ears, your gums, even around your anus. We want to keep the body warm and moist in order to counteract the dry and cooling action of autumn.
Autumn Diet. This is the perfect season to have a stewed apple for breakfast, which is great for digestion. Simply quarter an apple and simmer it in water for 15 minutes. Enjoy with a sprinkling of warming cinnamon and clove powder. If for some reason you have an aversion to apples, make yourself a nourishing bowl of oatmeal, barley or quinoa with ground cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. For your midday meal, get grounded with root veggies. Roast sweet potatoes and serve with ghee or coconut oil along with a hint of cinnamon. Have a bowl of miso soup with a sliced avocado on the side to boost tummy health. For dinner, a soup with greens and root vegetables such as kale, cabbage, cauliflower, squash and collard greens is a nice treat. For dessert, treat yourself to a couple Medjool dates. Take out the seed and place your favorite nut inside – pecans, almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts are good, and roast for a few minutes. Autumn is also the time when we need to start hydrating by drinking warm water throughout the day. Add slices of lemon, lime or any citrus fruit, sipping slowly and mindfully.
Get Grounded. You can do this by taking long walks in nature, tuning into her rhythms with their natural grace and beauty. Feel your feet touch the earth as you walk. Watch the squirrels in all their hustle and bustle. Bundle up and walk in the morning to greet the sun and again in the evening as the sun is beginning her decline. Then head home to settle in for the rest of the night. Listen to earthy music such as Shamanic drums and other primal beats. Read an inspiring book while sipping a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea. Any practice that feels earthy to you is fair game. Use your imagination!
Settle into a Routine. It feels somehow natural to settle into a daily routine during the autumn season. Wake, exercise and eat at roughly the same time every day. Aim to be home a bit earlier in order to wind down and have ample time to rest before bedtime, which comes earlier now. Snuggle into your warm bed around 10pm, as your bodily rhythms are ready for sleep.
Yoga for Vata. This is vata season which means we don’t want to aggravate vata by doing jumpy, jerky movements. Notice how it’s cool and windy outside? To balance that, we practice steady, fluid movements with a grounded and connected quality to them. Focus upon poses that create heat in the body while eliciting a smooth, steady nature. Balancing postures, warrior poses and flowing sun salutations with longer holds throughout are good for autumn. After your practice, treat yourself to a spicy herbal tea, and give thanks for your body’s innate desire to align with Mother Nature’s seasonal rhythms.