Ayurveda: 5 Tips To Stay Centered And Energized This Fall
By Sachi Doctor
According to Ayurveda, fall is considered vata season. It’s a time when the energy of movement and change swirl through the air like the cool wind, drying, distracting, stimulating and exhausting both our minds and bodies. We've all experienced this, the affect seasonal changes have on our physical and mental health, and we know the impact temperature, rain, and daylight hours can have on our energy level and mood. But rather than feeling lackluster or depleted, small shifts in our diet and lifestyle choices can help us feel nourished and inspired. To get started, here are five easy self-care tips that will help you align your daily routines with the qualities of fall, helping you stay centered and healthy this season.
TIP #1: EAT NOURISHING FOODS
During autumn, nature provides the perfect foods to help us stay warm and grounded. Enjoy roasted or sautéd carrots,turnips, beets, and parsnips using organic oils like coconut, olive or ghee, for extra nourishment. Using spices also helps to warm the body and stoke circulation.
TIP #2: SLOW DOWN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE
Take a cue from nature, when her pace slows down in the amount of daylight hours and the waning of plant life, slow down the pace in your own life. On the mat, favor grounding yoga poses like Supported Reclining Twist (Salamba Bharadvajasana) and Supported Straddle Pose (Salamba Upavistha Konasana). They benefit the nervous system, prevent adrenal fatigue, and support the liver detoxification.
TIP #3: MASSAGE YOURSELF
An Ayurvedic self-care practice called abhyanga (a full-body oil massage, which you administer yourself) is said to reduce anxiety, stress by soothing the nervous system. I recommend using organic a heavier oil like sesame or almond in the fall, as their warming qualities counteract the season’s cold, dry nature.
TIP #4: GET MORE SLEEP
Research has shown that sufficient sleep is a staple of optimal health. Sleep is a natural time for the body and mind to rest, reset, detoxify, and rejuvenate . In terms of our overall health, sleep is actually on par with eating; it is essential to both physiological and cognitive functioning. And in much the same way that what we eat changes with the season, so does the body's need for rest.
TIP #5: FOLLOW A ROUTINE
For our bodies to achieve (and maintain) balance, it is best to wake, eat and sleep on a similar schedule every day. We are creatures of habits, after all, and function best when we abide by them. Actively and consciously following a daily routine is particularly important when balancing the mobile, erratic nature of fall.
Navigating your way through seasonal transitions need not be overwhelming. Following these basic guidelines and paying particular attention to the signs that are expressed in your own body and mind will go a long way in staying centered this fall. As you learn to ride the waves of nature instead of going against them, you'll find yourself tapped into stable energy and great ease. And adopting this qualitative approach will keep you health no matter the season.
The author, Sachi Doctor, is an Ayurvedic health practitioner, yoga teacher, and communication facilitator. Sachi founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health. To learn more, visit: www.elemental-alchemy.com.