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Welcome to mid-September!
September is a month of transition, hanging as it does between summer and fall.
Sometimes it’s cold, sometimes it’s hot! Sometimes the gusts of wind are strong and erratic, where other times they feel calming and sweet.
It is a very unpredictable and shifting period of time where nature is slowly inviting us to turn inward and begin to slow down.
Autumn is the time when vata (ether & air) is elevated. So managing your vata is a beautiful way to stay grounded and nourished as the seasons change.
Keeping your digestion strong and nourished is key for maintaining health.
The Ayurvedic concept of the digestive fire, or agni, is critically important to our overall health. Agni is the force of intelligence within each cell, each tissue, and every system within the body.
Ayurveda teaches us that impaired digestion (agni) is at the root of all imbalances and diseases.
Not only is this fire essential for proper digestion, it also plays a critical role in the maintenance of overall health, affecting everything from our digestive and excretory functions, to our mental capacity, emotional health, and enthusiasm for life.
The Importance of Routine
Having a daily routine is one of the pillars of Ayurvedic medicine, and one of the most powerful tools for working with the elements within your body and the natural world as the seasons shift.
Ayurveda considers a seasonal routine an important cornerstone of health, year around.
Balancing the nature of your local climate with lifestyle choices that offset the potential for seasonally-induced imbalances is one of the simplest ways that you can protect your well-being.
And one of the most effective ways to support vata is by establishing a daily routine. This means trying to do the same things or at least similar things (wake up, exercise, eat meals, go to bed, etc.) at roughly the same times each day.
Having said that, it is important to recognize that Ayurveda is not a collection of absolutes. It is often helpful to pay attention to generalities and overarching patterns.
“Vata season” is whatever time of year most embodies the attributes that characterize vata dosha: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, and clear (or empty). Thus, the transition to autumn will be less aggravating to the mind and body if you fill it with warmth, oiliness, deep nourishment, loving relationships, and a sense of stability, routine, and groundedness.
General Qualities to Consider:
- Favor warm over cold
- Favor moist & oily over dry
- Favor grounding & nourishing over light
- Favor smooth over rough
- Tastes to favor: sweet, sour, salty
8 Practical Tips for Moving into Fall
1. Sip on ginger, cinnamon & cardamom tea
2. Enjoy warm, well spiced and grounding cooked meals (ex: soups/stews)
3. Add extra oils to cooking for internal moisture
4. Rub warm sesame oil on the body before bathing to lubricate the joints & skin, and to calm the nervous system
5. Put a little cotton in your ears if going out into a very windy environment
6. In general – eat mushy, soft foods and garnish them generously with ghee or oil
7. If you enjoy a little fragrance – vetiver, frankincense, clary sage, geranium, ylang ylang, cedarwood and lavender essential oils are very appropriate this time of year
8. Dress in autumn colors: reds, yellows, deep purples, oranges, browns, dark greens and whites
Writing compliments of
Blog Contributor, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayurdoula
Leigh’s work is characterized by a mission to share an integrative approach to health by empowering individuals to be part of their healing and wellness journey. Leigh holds a bachelor’s degree in both Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Colorado. In 2016 she received her 250-YTT at the White Lotus Foundation under the tutelage and mentorship of Ganga White and Tracey Rich. Shortly after, she moved to New
Mexico and spent two years studying Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute and is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (CAP). She continued her journey to India with Dr. Lad and assisted as a Pancha Karma therapist at the Vasanta Institute of Ayurveda. She is a certified doula for postpartum care through the works of Ysha Oakes and the Center for Sacred Window Studies. She has studied women’s hormonal health under the guidance of Dr. Claudia Welch and uses an integration of Ayurvedic medicine and Western traditions. She is currently studying to become a clinical herbalist at the Herbal Academy.