Aligning with Autumn: An Ayurvedic Guide
Seasonal changes affect our physical and mental health; We've all experienced the impact temperature, rain, and daylight hours can have our energy level and mood. Here are five easy self-care tips to help align our daily routines with the qualities of fall, helping us to 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 sauté 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 can 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
Science backs up this Ayurvedic adage. In 2009, researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that people who get less than an average of seven hours of sleep nightly were three times more likely to catch a cold than those who regularly got eight or more hours of sleep.
TIP #5: Follow A Routine
For optimal health, 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.
Most important of all, pay attention to the signs that are expressed in your body and mind. As you learn to ride the waves of nature instead of going against them, you'll find yourself with more energy and at greater ease. And adopting this qualitative approach will keep you health no matter the season.