Ayurveda in the Autumn
Although Ayurveda is officially known as a medical science, it is actually a way of life, a culture! Ayurveda means "THE KNOWLEDGE OF LIFE" and describes how you can live according to the laws of nature, so that you can live a long, healthy and happy life.
Ayurveda is concerned with the laws of nature, not just our own individual nature, or basic constitution, but also the nature around us, such as climate and seasons.
Ayurveda is based on the concept of the three DOSHAS; Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
These three doshas, each representing two elements, namely:
VATA: ETHER + AIR
PITTA: WATER + FIRE
KAPHA: WATER + EARTH
Every person is made of the three dosha’s: they determine what we look like, affect our personality and propensity for certain diseases. When the doshas are in balance, a person is considered to be healthy. When there is an excess of one or more doshas, there is an imbalance and it can affect us in a negative way, on both a mental and physical level.
The three doshas are influenced by everything we think, do and eat. Knowledge of the three doshas is important to make the right choices in terms of lifestyle and nutrition.
The nature is continuously, by means of the seasons, in motion. Every season carries its own characteristics with them, which affect our doshas. You could say that every season has its own basic constitution: each season has a different dosha playing a central role, and therefore it is important to adapt our precepts in every season, so that these doshas do not cause excess credit or debit and thus disrupt our balance sheet.
Autumn is the season in which VATA dosha plays the central role. Vata is mobile and destructive, much like the autumn season itself. Vata is a combination of ether and air, and these two elements are most noticeable in the autumn.
Ether is the most spiritual of the five elements; hence during this season you may experience a strong desire for turning inward through Yoga and meditation.
Air is associated with creativity and movement: the challenge in the autumn season is to avoid too much mobility which can cause mental imbalance. When your mind is calm, you can clear your creative energy and use it at an optimal level!
As it gets colder in autumn, our digestive fire works harder and as a result, your appetite increases. While having salad as our main meal is often sufficient during summer, we go into autumn weather yearning for pumpkin soup and steamed vegetables. This is a natural desire of our body, since it wants to keep us grounded and avoid getting out of balance.
Vata is connected to the joints and the nervous system. Symptoms such as joint pain, insomnia, anxiety and nervous disorders can also worsen in the autumn. With these tips however, you can avoid this and make sure you are calm and able to enjoy this season!
OUR AYURVEDIC TIPS FOR THE AUTUMN
- Get up early! Take advantage of the spiritual energy that autumn contains within itself. During early morning is the best time to feel this energy.
- Avoid unnecessary stimuli. Minimize the use of TV, internet and your iPhone! These cause the nervous system to get restless.
- Get enough sleep. Make sure you are in bed on time, so you get plenty of rest. In the fall you need more sleep than in summer.
- Massage yourself daily with warm oil. Use nourishing, warming oils such as Sugandhadi Rejuvenating Treatment
- Daily perform slow and grounding Yoga. Focus on your breathing during the poses and carry out the poses slower. Put an extra long shavasana (corpse pose) and do calming pranayama, like Brahmari and Nadi Shodanam.
- Make use of soothing ethereal fragrances such as Lavender. Put some drops in an oil burner to spread a wonderful fragrance around your house or use as a natural perfume!
- Focus on nourishing, warm and sweet foods such as pumpkin soup, cooked apple with cinnamon and oatmeal. Avoid raw foods like salads: any raw food brings Vata out of balance!
- If you suffer from insomnia, a cup of warm (almond) milk with a pinch of nutmeg before bed will help to sleep!
- If you notice that your bowel movements are irregular, before bedtime take a teaspoon of Triphala (well known Ayurvedic herbal remedy) with a little warm water