The wisdom of Ayurveda is about finding a way of life that flows with the changes of the seasons, weather, time and place. Health is maintained by balancing three subtle energies known as Doshas. individually they are Vatha, Pitta and Kapha. As a rule, we are a combination of doshas but it’s likely there will be a dominant one.
The three doshas are comprised of these five universal elements; space, air, earth, fire and water.
Vatha is a combination of air and space.
Pitta is mostly fire with some water.
Kapha is mostly water with some earth.
In the autumn, we work to calm the dominant Vatha element. This air element creates lightness, dryness, and coolness, for example you might notice your skin starts to feel dry, tight and a little rough. Vatha regulates the nervous system, the levels of moisture in the body, how relaxed we feel and how well we digest food.
Imbalances in the Vatha element often present in the mind; anxiety, insomnia, feeling troubled or unsettled.
Digestion is easily unsettled in autumn’s excess air. It agitates the digestive fire, making it flicker. When your digestion is knocked out of balance, then the harmful toxins can start to build. According to ayurvedic medicine, waste that doesn’t move down and out through the large intestine is called “ama” and moves up through the respiratory tract as mucous.
Interestingly, in Chinese medical philosophy, the seasons are also associated with one of the basic elements and major organs in the body. Autumn is linked with the element metal and the lungs and large intestine. As In Ayurveda, autumn is a time to focus on the breath and lungs, to let the asana and breath anchor the mind and maintain digestive health.
Ayurvedic approach to health and happiness in Autumn
Now that the growth cycle of the year has reached completion, and as we enter the dormant, composting phase of the year, take some time to pause and reflect on what you have achieved this year.
Cultivate a sense of completeness. Recognise your achievements; list all the things you have done rather than those you haven’t. In this way we may be able to learn to control the aspects of the mind that lead us to feel we are ‘not there yet’ not yet happy or fulfilled and to feel that we are complete and whole just as we are. It is all here in this very moment if we can just let it be.
Physically it is a great time of year to prepare the body for the winter. Clear out all the debris collected over the year with a detox (or adopt some new healthy practises into your daily life) to fortify and strengthen our immunity and nervous system.
Here are some simple ideas to keep your body and mind healthy this autumn:
~ Stick to a daily routine in the autumn. Schedule more down time to support wellbeing and balance. Join one of our Yoga Nidra classes each week.
~ Wake up with sunrise and greet the day with gratitude. Sit in meditation for a little while. Enjoy the stillness and focus on warm, steady breaths.
~ Drink hot water and fresh lemon juice in the morning to help cleanse liver and stimulate elimination.
~ Embrace a yoga practice that compliments how you feel and all the elemental changes taking place around you. Our yoga classes will focus on grounding and warming sequences with longer relaxations.