Autumn is truly upon us and we are feeling the cold snap in the air, we might start to notice that with the colder weather, darker nights and the ideas of Christmas creeping up on us we are feeling a little cold, tired and sluggish.
When Autumn is in the air, we want to feel ourselves naturally adapt rather than creating resistance to the changes we experience. Let's accept it, from the glorious warm summer days we have had this year, It's now feeling COLD! We start to notice our shoulders lifting towards the ears because we are trying to keep warm and we start to notice more aches and pains within the body and we might even start reaching for the comfort food!
Research shows that adding self-care into your daily routine reduces stress, decreases the chance of mental and physical ailment, increases productivity, and influences your day with positivity and the happy hormone. By giving ourselves a daily dose of kindness & compassion, not only do we benefit the most but we are able to approach our work and relationships with a clear, happy mind.
Change is all around us, every single day. From a small task we have to do, to something as vast as the changing seasons, change is inevitable and we have to learn to move with it. Its absolutely normal to create resistance to lots of things in life but the more accepting we can be of things the easier we can find fluidity and inner peace. Autumn brings cooling aspects, darker mornings and evenings, fresh brisk air and the inspired intentions of renewal.
+ Finding it hard to get out of bed? Set your alarm a little earlier and HIT SNOOZE.
+ Aid digestion by drinking warm water rather than cold. (Ice is a no go all year round).
+ Cold (cooler) showers this time of year can actually help boost immunity.
+ I know we may have turned the heating on but keep a flow of fresh air moving through the house. I personally get headaches from having the heating on... electric blanket all the way!
+ Adapt your eating habits to soups and broths. Easy to digest food when its naturally feeling slower.
UNDERSTANDING VATA -
Vata Dosha is one of the 3 Ayurvedic constitutions that we are all made up of, we will find that we are dominant in 1-2 of these energies and this will change over our lives depending on what we are faced with, eat, how we exercise and if we are balanced body, mind and spirit. With a little more research and guidance into the Dosha's you can learn to know your 'natural' dominant state and recognise how you can create harmony.
Vata - Space & Air. Cold. Hard. Dry. Movement. Lightness.
Pitta - Fire & Water. Warm. Transforms. Metabolic.
Kapha - Earth & Water. Heavy. Stable. Moisture. Damp.
This time of year its Vata season! Autumn is cooling, fresh, dry and will always have an impact on our bodies and minds. Wrapping up warm and eating warming foods helps the Vata energy not get excessive. If you are dominant in Vata you have to work a little harder to keep balance. Think about honouring a slower pace, warm simple foods like soups, broths, curries are perfect to aid our digestion, you may notice constipation or even more bloating this time of year.
As I mentioned we are dominant in 1-2 of the energies and if you take the quiz you may notice that suddenly everything in life seems to all make sense! Right now in life Im dominant in Vata & Pitta which means with the cold weather my skin goes dry, Im a little irritable because I cant stand the cold and my yoga practice is predominantly Yin.
Have a look at the quiz and let me know what comes up! Im currently writing another blog about the Doshas....theres a lot of content to cover in it so bare with me!
What do we feel called to eat this time of year? We don't eat sugar or processed food and with me being ill this past week Ive had no appetite. But I do notice a few sugar cravings hinting at me... digestive biscuits anyone? Just a biscuit with an earl grey makes the world a better place! But after many chops and changes with our eating habits over the years sugar is the craving for ENERGY. The high is quick, satisfying and the crash is LOW and then we find ourself in the cycle of eating rubbish (just being honest) and not gaining ANY nutritional value.
Want to help boost your immunity and try healthier alternatives?
+ Need a sugar snack? Eat DATES, dried fruit, blueberries.
+ Invest in Agave Nectar and use as a sugar substitute.
+ Dairy increases mucus within the body so if you're feeling congested cut back on the cheese. If you have a cold or feel like you're coming down with something I would seriously recommended cutting all dairy out while you heal.
+ Sleep more, you may feel hibernation mode creeping in, listen to it and rest!
+ Add herbal teas into the mix to keep you hydrated, chrysanthemum & elderberry (separately) are really good at supporting us this time of year.
+ Enjoy making warm soups, broths and curries. Roast a load of veg and go wild!
MOVE YOUR BODY
We want to move our body each day but you will find that as its colder you either want to completely change your exercise routine or throw in the ball and do NOTHING! Whats so amazing about Yoga is how adaptable it is, this time of year calls for both sides of the coin, heating energetic flows to keep us warm and motivated AND slow practices like Yin and restorative yoga. As each day goes by really feel how your body feels, what does it want? I promise you're going to enjoy what you're doing a hell of a lot more if you made the decision to listen. If you don't feel up too much meditation can just be as beneficial as a yoga practice.
LOOK AFTER YOU
With the end of the year in sight and Christmas on the horizon (sorry I had to mention it!) keep yourself grounded. Life seems to be so fast again and I personally cannot and will not keep up with it. Take as such time as you can for yourself, to fill yourself up with self care, time out. Cooking good food, getting early nights, walking in nature, meeting with friends and family. Honour your highest principles as we come to close the year, let it move you forwards with clarity and grace.
Take each day as it comes, slow down and enjoy the journey.