Yoga and Ayurveda Tips For the Fall
In this post I cover a few of the best tips for navigating the fall season from a yoga & Ayurveda perspective. A short introduction into Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, is also included.
The fall season brings dry, cool, and airy or mobile qualities to our surrounding environment. But it also brings those qualities to us as we are a part of nature not something separate from it. According to Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, in order to stay balanced during each of the seasons we employ the idea of "like increases like" and "opposites balance". For example if you are feeling cold it's best to eat something warm instead of having a cold smoothie.
A Short Introduction to Ayurveda
I will keep this short as there is much to be said about Ayurveda. For the purposes of this post I think a short introduction is needed.
Ayurveda, also known as the "science of life" and the "sister science to yoga", has been around for thousands of years. In fact, it's believed to be the oldest system of medicine still in existence today. Ayurveda teaches that everything is made up of 5 elements, earth, water, fire, air, and space. Each of us are comprised of varying amounts of each element. This is part of what makes us unique.
Nature is the same way and as such, things are always in a state of flux or change. Nothing is constant. With this knowledge we can begin to adapt our lifestyle to our surrounding nature and live a more balanced life. In harmony with nature not misaligned.
Food For Fall
Soothing and warm foods are best for us in the fall. This is intuitive to us as many of us look forward to breaking out our favorite soup recipes when the temperatures start to drop. Eating foods that are in season is also important. Root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, radishes, beets, and yams, to name a few, are especially great for this time of year. This is their season to thrive.
Nature has its own innate wisdom. Providing us with the right foods at the right times to balance out the qualities of each particular season.
Due to the dry qualities of fall it's also a good idea to take in extra liquid, especially warm liquids. This can help hydrate the body both inside and out. Applying a nice warm oil to your body is also beneficial for combating dry skin.
Due to the more mobile and wind qualities of fall, we may find ourselves feeling flighty or ungrounded. This can present itself as easily distracted, all over the place, unable to make decisions, or feeling disconnected in some way.
The best way to combat those feelings is through grounding yoga practices. Poses that are lower to the ground. Really noticing the points of contact between our body and the earth. Slower practices to help bring down that flighty energy.
In our modern world, fall tends to be when things become more chaotic only adding to our imbalances. Kids return to school. The holidays are approaching or occurring. Add all of that to the qualities of fall and it's easy to see why so many of us feel ungrounded or imbalanced during this time.
Take Time For Yourself
Within the chaos and busyness of this season, it's important to take time for yourself. This is a time to go inward. Be reflective. Evaluate the things that are no longer serving your greater good and let go of those things.
Much like the trees let go of their leaves to allow for the dormant period to follow. We too must take the time to let go. By doing this we make way for more of the things that will nourish us.
Taking time for yourself can look different for everyone. Maybe it means saying no to too many commitments. Or taking an afternoon off work just for you. Spending quality time with a family member you haven't seen in awhile. Taking a walk and enjoying the crisp fall air as the leaves give us a dramatic show of colors. Finding time to start or continue your yoga practice. Curling up with a cup of tea, a good book, and a blanket in your favorite spot in the house.
Whatever it is, the important thing is to give yourself permission to do so. Often we feel we must be doing, doing, doing. But what we really need is to take time to be. Be in this moment. Reflect, wander, listen. Take the time to tune into your inner being.
Tips For Fall Balancing
Make a big batch of your favorite soup and freeze some for a busier day.
Set aside time each week for you time. Pick your favorite thing to do and make it happen.
Try out some slower flowing and grounding yoga classes.