Fall is a time when the light, rough, mobile and cool qualities predominate in our environments. These qualities show up as cooler, windy days; lots of transition in our daily rhythm; trees losing their leaves, and shorter days.
When these qualities predominate in our external environments, they also begin to accumulate in our internal organism, causing an excess. In Ayurveda, these qualities make up Vata dosha.
A dosha is an aberration, and Vata dosha relates to the wind and the qualities associated with it. Vata also governs our nervous system. When Vata becomes dosha, an aggravation of the qualities of air causes problems in our system. These show up as excess mobility (racing thoughts, multi-tasking like crazy), dryness (dry skin, constipation, and a feeling of loneliness/separation), coolness (poor circulation, variable digestion, cold hands and feet), and fear and anxiety (related to an imbalance in the subtle dimension of the space element which also makes up Vata).
Vata dosha is responsible for 80% of all diseases, which means that an overstimulated ungrounded nervous system is at the root of most illnesses.
The keyword to bring balance this season is CALM. We can calm our nervous system and balance excess Vata by adding in balancing qualities: heavy, grounded, steady, warm. As we transition into fall, here are some guidelines to support keeping Vata calm (for more individualized support, book a complimentary strategy session).
Substitute warm soups for raw salads. As the temperatures drop outside, so does our digestive fire. Warm, grounding food supports warmth and grounding in our whole being and will be easy to digest.
Use sweet and warming spices when you cook, like freshly grated ginger root (which is also anti-inflammatory), fennel, cumin, and coriander are good this time of year.
Eat apples, ideally cooked, to cool your system from the excess heat of summer snd support healthy elimination.
Take a week to do eat a cleansing diet, use herbs, and rid your body of the excess heat of summer which will support your immunity through the Winter.
Go to bed a little earlier at night (extra credit if lights are out by 10 pm).
Wake up with the sun.
Drink a large glass of warm to hot water with lemon upon awakening.
Practice 5 or 10 minutes of alternate nostril breathing once or twice a day.
Practice 10 minutes of hatha yoga and 10 minutes of meditation/prayer before you go out.
Rub warm oil on your skin before or after you bathe. Put some on your pinky finger and massage inside your ears and inside your nostrils to soothe and protect these sense organs.
Lubricate your sinuses and your ears with sesame oil.
Calm your nervous system through more restorative practices, walking outdoors (stay warm and cover your head and neck when it's windy and cool outside), and connecting with loved ones (and that includes YOU).
Get the support you need so your stress/support ratio is in balance (if you feel stressed out most days, it's not in balance; let’s talk).
Schedule an abhyanga massage, a blissful experience.
Get all of this and more in my Fall Cleanse. Registration closes Sept 30th.
Here's to a grounded Fall!
In service and love,