Kyle returns to AYR for an Ayurveda workshop in December
For many practitioners of today, yoga is merely a form of exercise or a pseudo-spiritual routine. Classically however, yoga literally means “union” or “to bring together.” From this understanding, yoga practice – with its traditional origins in India – can be used in harmony with Ayurveda, Indian’s ancient system of medicine. The key is to establish a balance between the many factors in your life that can act as a catalyst for good health and wellbeing. This is especially important when one season changes into another.
With Ayurveda, you seek to “unite” with seasonal changes. This has a tremendous influence on sustaining balance. The more aligned that you can be with the expressions of the seasons, the healthier you can be all year round. As summer morphs into autumn, it’s important to “sync up” with the weather and the environment. This can be done using foods, beverages and seasonal activities that are part of the Ayurvedic system.
Autumn is mostly characterized by vata dosha, which is expressed through the qualities of lightness, dryness, mobility, and roughness. These qualities are greatly increased as daylight diminishes, nights extend, cooler temperatures fluctuate with summer’s last expressions, and gustier winds push fallen leaves everywhere. Autumn leads to more of an introverted disposition as the cooler weather also tends to keep people indoors.
When these autumnal expressions occur, it’s common for people to have a disturbed union with their environment and consequently struggle with vata imbalances such as low-grade fevers, insomnia, digestive issues, respiratory infections, and even the flu. Ayurveda can serve as a preventative measure for these troubling imbalances by changing both diet and lifestyle.
The following are simple suggestions to sustain health and maintain a balanced union throughout the fall season.
- Favor foods that are predominately sweet, sour, and salty such as: sweet potatos, winter squash, pumpkin, oatmeal, basmati rice, avocado (if regionally available), nut butters, tahini, well-cooked carrots and beets, cooked apples or applesauce, chicken, and salmon
- Avoid foods that are overly dry and raw such as: crackers, dry cereal, too much salad, raw veggies, dehydrated fruits, and seeds
- In the morning, drink a cup or warm water with fresh ginger, lemon, and honey or with maple syrup.
- Drink warm teas, including chai (if caffeine isn’t too aggravating), tulsi, and licorice
- Drink spiced apple cider
- Before bathing, apply warm sesame oil as a gentle massage
- Stay warm by wearing layers that cover your neck, head and chest to protect yourself against the wind
- Maintain consistent meal times and sleeping routines. Vata is aggravated by irregularity and inconsistent meal/sleeping patterns, which creates more imbalance
- Stay hydrated by drinking room-temperature water with lemon throughout the day
- Spend time soaking in a warm bath or hot tub or visit a sauna 1-2x a week
Seasonings for Meals
- Fresh ginger
- Black pepper