Fall is a time for celebration, for harvest, for giving thanks for what we have reaped, and for taking care of those who need our help. Fall is also a time of transition, evident in the slightly cooler weather and the subtle changes in the plants around us. In Ayurveda (a holistic science over 5,000 years old) Fall is considered a Vata season, combining elements of air & space; it is dry, windy, rough, erratic, cool, subtle, moving, and clear. All these qualities can create a feeling of emptiness and leave us a little raw and exposed. During this season everyone is more susceptible to a Vata imbalance. Signs of excess vata can include anxiety, insomnia, gas/bloating, dry skin/hair/nails, and a poor ability to focus or commit. When properly balanced the positive qualities of Vata are creativity, high energy, enthusiasm, good temper, and a high degree of tolerance.
The following are some simple steps to balance excess Vata and create a soothing and stable fall season:
-Emphasize warm, cooked foods and plenty of fresh, late-summer harvested fruit. This is not the time of year for a raw cleanse! Think more along the lines of comfort foods, like casseroles, hearty soups, and delicious baked veggies. Fresh apples and pears provide an excellent source of fiber, helping prepare your gut to digest heavier winter foods. Eggplant, corn, melons, okra, and figs are also good produce choices for early fall. Hot, nourishing beverages are also a wonderful addition. Drinking spiced teas such as ginger, licorice, and cinnamon are balancing for light and airy Vata.
-Keep moving!! Vata is pacified by heat. Create internal heat by moving more! Vata can be aggravated by fast, high intensity activities, so consider gentle and strengthening forms of activity instead, like Yoga and Pilates. While practicing, make a conscious effort to focus on your breath and remain fluid. Be aware of your thoughts, choose an intention, and invite your workout to ground your physical body. Cultivate flexibility to release any unnecessary tension or constriction in the body; stretching before and after exercising will help prevent excess tightening and contraction. Pranayama and meditation are key practices this season so try a yoga class that emphasizes both, like Wednesday nights Yoga For Maui People.
-Nurture Yourself. Give yourself an oil massage. Or better yet, let someone else give you one! Rubbing the skin with oil nourishes and protects against the environment. It relaxes the nervous system, removes impurities from the blood, and feeds the inner tissues of the body. It’s also very grounding, relaxing, and provides stability and warmth as we transition from hot summer days to windy, unpredictable fall weather. Consider an Ayurvedic Yoga Massage to aid the body in moving from stress-fighting to rejuvenation, allowing the cells to repair themselves, bringing healing to both body and mind. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for massage inquiries and appointments.
A seasonal routine is an investment in your own health and vitality! While specifics vary from one person to the next, we all benefit from Ayurveda’s extensive body of knowledge that allows us to understand and align ourselves with the rhythms of nature. Here’s to a healthy, happy, balanced Fall season at Om Maui Studio!