Fall into Wellness
Fall is a time of movement and change. Nature is encouraging us to prioritize, to cleanse, to stay grounded. It is very important to take time for self-care. To slow down whenever you can.
I am deeply inspired by Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga. "Ayur " means life and "Veda" means knowledge. It is holistic medicine, it takes into account the whole individual and their unique constitution.
Ayurveda’s knowledge is inspired by the building blocks of nature, the five basic elements: fire, water, earth, air and space (or ether). These elements give rise to the Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These Doshas help us identify the elemental makeup of our natural world, so we use them when referring to the qualities of the seasons, foods, herbs, activities, or an individual’s constitution.
Fall is Vata season, the Vata Dosha being comprised of air and space. Therefore, the Fall Season is characterized by Vata’s qualities which are: cool, dry, light, windy and rough. Vata is often referred to as the “wind” in the body, it is active and the primary motivating force of all the doshas, inspiring creativity, activity and intellect. It is responsible for all action in the body. Vata relates to our nervous system, digestion, movement of joints and bones, ears, skin, and the energy of the thoughts that move through our mind.
But as Vata qualities increase around us in the Fall, they affect every one of us in some way. They can very quickly throw us right off balance if Vata qualities are already dominant in our constitution. The qualities accumulate in our body and our mind and become excessive. But we are able to achieve balance in body and mind by bringing in the opposite qualities to our daily lifestyles. We focus on using the elements of earth, fire and water which have qualities of slowness, warmth, moisture, heaviness to balance Vata. Specific tastes that balance Vata are sweet, sour and salty. These tastes increase the qualities of warmth, moisture, heaviness/groundedness to promote even digestion.
Some potential signs and symptoms of Vata imbalance include: bloating, gas, constipation, cold hands and feet, dry skin or scalp or hair, joint pain, back pain or arthritis, general feeling of unease, irritability, insomnia, headaches, anxiety and depression.
Here are some practical food tips for everyone to stay healthy and balanced during the Fall season:
Eat foods that are warming, fresh and well-cooked. Soups and stews are wonderful in the fall.
Stay well hydrated by drinking warm water, teas throughout the day. Stay away from cold or iced drinks.
Add a little extra oil (like good quality olive oil) to your food. This will also help your organs stay hydrated.
It's the best time to enjoy root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets and winter squashes
Eat green - try a side dish of cooked greens such as kale and swiss chard
Cook with warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cloves, cumin, fennel, black pepper, salt
Fall is an important time of year to prepare the body for the coming cold months. Just like you may feel an urge to clean and declutter your home before Winter, it’s equally important to prepare your body. In order to transition smoothly and keep your health on track, I've created two programs I'm excited to share with you. You have the power to radically shift the way you feel!
A Fall Ayurvedic Cleanse is optimal as it clears out accumulated toxins in the organs and blood, and prepares the body for storing nourishment in the deep tissue layers to sustain your health and energy throughout the winter. If a Fall Cleanse is something you would like to learn more about (sometime in October is best, before the snowfall) please check out my program here: https://www.heathermcdermidyoga.com/fall-ayurvedic-cleanse
Fall into Wellness - a 30 day online program is a great opportunity to renew a commitment to yourself, to make better choices to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. We'll keep it simple and get you focused to create sustainable enjoyable daily routines. You will be supported to eat cleaner, move better, and sleep deeper. As well you will receive access to yoga practices geared for season. And it's free right now for a limited time! https://www.heathermcdermidyoga.com/online-ayurveda