Transition into autumn
written by Gowri
Do you suffer from dry skin and scalp, itchiness, colds, flu, constipation, restlessness and anxiety during autumn?
As autumn sets in, it brings about a season of change with colder and drier weather. Our body works hard to keep warm and stay attuned to these weather changes. These changes in temperature and weather take a toll on our immune system, so many of us catch colds and fall ill. Having said that, autumn does not have to be a season of imbalances and illnesses. When we bring awareness to aligning our activities with the seasonal changes, we can more easily stay healthy during this time. It is like changing our wardrobe from summer clothes to warmer jackets and scarfs to suit the weather.
According to Ayurveda, the natural healing science from India, we are an inseparable part of nature. This means that when there are seasonal changes in nature, we are directly affected by them. These constant changes in the weather have an impact on our body and mind.
Vata Dosha and its qualities
Ayurveda divides the fives elements; air, water, fire, ether (= space) and earth that are present in nature into three doshas; Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These three doshas are present in each one of us and also in the nature in different proportions. Kapha dosha dominates in winter and early spring, while summer is high in Pitta and autumn is the season that is governed by Vata.
Vata dosha is made up of the elements air and ether, and some of the unique qualities of these elements are;
One of the basic principles of Ayurveda is “ Like increases Like”. When Vata is high in nature, it naturally increases in us too. When accumulated in our bodies, it leads to both physical and mental imbalances, such as dryness of the skin, irregular appetite, anxiety and restlessness.
All these qualities of Vata are slowly aggravated from end of summer to the beginning of winter. “Ritucharya” meaning ‘seasonal regime’ in Sanskrit is an important part in Ayurveda which offers solutions on how to avoid imbalance and balance this aggravated dosha . This helps to maintain good health and boost the immune system.
In Ritucharya, practical and natural remedies are suggested depending upon the predominant elements of that particular season. These remedies range from;
- Adjusting one’s daily routine;
- Dietary changes;
- Herb and spice recommendations;
Incorporating some or all of the above to the needs of the body during that particular season gives immense health benefits.
Five tips to stay balanced during the autumn months
- waking up before sunrise and spending 10 minutes in quiet meditation calms the mind and prepares the body for the rest of the day.
- Drinking warm water and herbal teas give the immune system much needed support.
- Having a routine helps keep the body and mind centred.
- Keeping warm helps to avoid dryness.
- Avoiding multitasking calms the mind that is more restless during this time.
➽ Interested in learning more about how to keep yourself balanced during this season? Check out the upcoming Ayurveda Yoga workshop for Vata balance. In this workshop you will learn about all the seasonal regimes in detail and also do a yoga and pranayama practice that will balance Vata dosha.