Of all the season changes, I find the transition to fall both the most beautiful and the most challenging. I am already noticing that people are falling sick, catching colds / sniffles / sore throats, and it isn’t even the middle of September yet (pretty close tho).
According to Ayurveda all season changes aggravate Vata dosha, which corresponds to the air element. The fall season is particularly vata aggravating because fall is the season that has the vata qualities of being cold, dry, rough, mobile (think windy and changing), subtle and clear.
I feel that this is a good time to share some tips and tools to support yourself during this season change.
With all the variability (aka mobility) of the season change, we can end up in a situation where we get cold (watch for head, low back and feet) and from here it gets easier to catch a cold. During this season change I have been doing the following things to make sure that I stay warm:
· Start your day with a cup of warm water to kick start your digestion
· Wear a scarf to keep you neck and throat warm
· Pull out your slow cooker – time to get back to soups and stews
· Let go of raw foods
· Bring a jacket with you
- Drink herbal teas throughout the day – I love tulsi, ginger, and turmeric teas at this time of year
The more well rested we are, the better our systems can handle the variability of the season change. Getting adequate sleep boosts immunity, helps to stabilize the mind and emotions, and allows the body to naturally and appropriately detoxify.
One of the best ways to rest well is to have a consistent bedtime and wake time that honor the rhythms of the sun and moon. This means going to bed between 9pm and 11pm (depending how much sleep you need) and getting up between 5am and 6:30am (sunrise). This consistency supports and stabilizes the natural rhythms of the body, and cultivating stability through routine is very important during the vata times/seasons.
The fall season brings with it an increase in the dry quality. If your skin is dry, then your inside skin is dry too. Here are some of the ways we can maintain hydration and lubrication in our systems:
· Drink plenty of water
· Drink one hydration drink a day (check here for a great “homemade Gatorade” recipe https://janatiyoga.com/healthy-gatorade/ )
· Add more healthy oils to your food
· Self-Oil massage for your skin – you can use any oil that you would eat (your skin is a digestive organ) like sesame, sunflower or sweet almond. If this is new to you, start with oiling your feet before bed. When you develop some confidence, you can oil your whole body. It’s a lot like moisturizing.
· If your throat gets “tickly”, then gargle with sea salt turmeric warm water. For each cup of warm water I use 1 tsp of sea salt and 1 to 2 pinches of turmeric. Lots of gargling.· If your sinuses get dry, oil them. Use a dropper to put 2 to 4 drops of sesame or sunflower oil in each nostril and then inhale deeply to get the oil into the nasal passages.
Hopefully these tools support you in your self-care during this transition into fall. I know they help me a lot!
I would love to hear what works for you… Please leave a note in the comments below!
Happy Fall (without pitFalls)!