Fall - An Ayurvedic Perspective
"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Summer has collapsed into fall. Since the autumn solstice, the earth's axis has shifted away from the sun in the northern hemisphere. It's the time of the year in which each day decreases in daylight. The increased darkness is a time for turning inward, slowing down and becoming more reflective on the recent harvest of the past season. The past two seasons have been marked with change for all of us. Change, like the windiness of fall, is erratic. It switches directions quickly and is not always forward moving. Sometimes we feel like we're taking one step forward, and somedays it feels like two steps back.
As the trees release their leaves, it's a valuable reminder to let go. What keeps you in old habits or patterns that are no longer serving you? Reflect on how change has affected you positively and negatively. What has been your personal harvest? Which seeds have grown and which have not? What seeds of insight will you collect to replant successfully in the new season?
Ayurveda recognizes fall as the Vata season. This means that out the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether/space) air and ether are the most predominant. It can be understood through the qualities of these elements. Air and space are cold, dry, mobile and light. We can feel it in nature. The air is becoming windy, crisp and cool. Gone are the hot and humid (fire and water) days summer. We can see and feel things drying up around us. We align with nature so these qualities begin to increase within us. You may notice you're feeling cold and need socks and sweaters for comfort. You're skin and hair might feel dryer and you may be craving soups over salads. Our body naturally recognizes the need to balance rising qualities with opposing qualities like heat, moist and static energy.
Our body needs warm foods and liquids at this time of year. Drinking warm lemon water in the morning upon waking, stirs the digestive fire, boosting our metabolism and our ability to eliminate. (Constipation results from dryness in the colon.) Oil massages (abhyanga) help to keep the skin, hair and joints from drying out. Making time for rest, yoga and meditation helps us to decrease the excess mobility of the mind (high prana) which can result in scatteredness, anxiety, overwhelm, insomnia and fear. It's important to be mindful of routine and to make time for self care.
Did you know that all imbalances (dis-ease) in the body and mind relate to excessive or deficient elements? Knowing your mind body type, the nature of your imbalances and the qualities that have risen or decreased, can give you a road map to how the body can heal itself. Ayurveda is not just a means to treat disease, but a system of how to live to maintain balance and good health.
Are you curious about the science of Ayurveda? Consider a consultation and learn more.