Ayurvedic Fall Wisdom: Tips and Resources for Nourishment and Healing
"The body is a boat which carries the soul in the ocean of the world. If it is not strong or it has a hole, then it can't cross the ocean. So the first duty is to fix the boat." ~ Baba Hari Dass
Our environment affects us profoundly. According to Ayurveda, the combined energies of air and space, also known as “Vata dosha”, elevate in our external environment during the fall season (think: wind, dryness, crackling leaves) and, as a result, in our minds and bodies as well.
Fall is a time of transition from summer to cooler months ahead. Ayurveda explains that throughout the hot summer days we accumulate excess heat in our system - that's the fiery “Pitta dosha”, or the fire element in us. As the leaves dry up and the wind begins to blow, Vata dosha starts taking over. Metaphorically speaking, what happens when you add random blasts of air to a fire? It burns even stronger. When the accumulated heat of Pitta is fanned by Vata, it can lead to mental and physical burnout, it can stress our adrenals and nervous system, and it can put some of the body's natural detoxification processes on hold.
Vata dosha is marked by change, instability, lack of focus, and sometimes increased anxiety. You can probably feel it already - maybe you found yourself lately sitting on your yoga mat trying to get through your practice and soon you’re off fidgeting, unable to sit still, picking up dust balls, or even getting up and starting something else altogether; perhaps you have been feeling more nervous lately, more anxious, more distracted than usual; maybe you have not been sleeping very well; perhaps your body has been a little stiffer, more sore than usual, and your skin feels unusually dry - yes, it’s Vata season!
Ayurveda provides many great tools to bring Vata into balance. Living in harmony with nature through diet and establishing daily routines are of the essence. Emphasize warm, cooked foods. This is not the time of year for a raw diet and/or a raw cleanse. Pick up what’s in season at your local farmers market and cook those foods with plenty of high-quality oils (ghee, sesame, olive oil). Drink warm water throughout the day and be mindful of your coffee intake. Caffeine aggravates Vata.
Vata needs routine to find solid ground. Can you develop evening rituals that restore and reground you at the end of a vata-aggravating day? Think eating home-cooked meals, slow time enjoying a cup of tea, nourishing Ayurvedic oil self-massage (abhyanga), switching the phone off at night and logging off from social media.
But there are two particular nuances to a Vata season that I believe ought to be highlighted here:
Firstly, fall is the optimum time to go on a detoxifying dietary cleanse.
This is an ideal time for the body to detox from the summer heat and pacify the wind. It is also a good opportunity to unhook from unhealthy patterns, build practices and resilience around the times we are living in, clean our bodies of accumulated toxins and find mental clarity and calm. When toxins accumulate in our bodies we experience increased fatigue, a feeling of heaviness, digestive problems, stiffness, mental confusion. Ayurveda believes that toxins that are not regularly purged and eliminated become the root cause of disease in the body and/or the mind.
I am offering a Virtual Ayurvedic Group Cleanse this fall, October 19-25**
Please find more details and the schedule for the week here.
Learn more about the Ayurvedic Detox Protocol here.
Bring a friend and you will both get $25 off. Returning clients receive 15% off.
(Individual dates are also available.)
Secondly, Vata governs all movement, internally and externally - from the universe always expanding, down to the smallest, subatomic particles in the body. Vata is creativity, Vata is freedom but out of balance it can lead to restlessness and anxiety. Hence the beautiful challenge this season presents is finding the time to practice meditation by going deep within and finding grounding in our inner stillness. That place in us that is always calm, balanced, and complete. When we rise back to every day life from this place we feel renewed, grounded and ready to face anything. (Yoga and Meditation Classes)
From my heart to your heart,
love, healing and blessings for a calmer Vata season,
**Please allow 5 to 7 days to procure your cleansing supplies prior to the start date.
About: Oana is Certified Ayurvedic Health Practitioner with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). The focus of her Ayurvedic practice is diet and lifestyle. Oana believes that what keeps each one of us healthy is unique and it depends on a delicate balance between mind, body & spirit. She works with clients to design and implement targeted treatment protocols consisting of diet, lifestyle, yoga, herbs, pranayama & meditation. Oana offers Ayurvedic Detox Cleanses either privately or in a small-group setting.