Pumpkin lattes, hay rides and the celebration of the harvest!
I just love how my American friends greet the Autumn!
Wherever you are, however you like to call it, "Fall, "Autumn" or "Sarata" ( in the Ayurvedic tradition), this is the season that signals the transition from Summer to Winter. As the weather gets cooler, days get shorter and the leaves fall from the trees, our bodies crave more warmth, nourishment and care. It may be rainy, windy or even snowy outside, so we tend to stay indoors for longer periods and sometimes become less active. Energetically and instinctually, our whole beings shifts. Physiologically, our hormones and body processed change to greet the season. Emotionally and spiritually our whole being moves into a new rhythm. This can sometimes leave us feeling disconnected, dull or heavy.
Sarata's rainy days and breezy nights are the gateway into the stillness of winter. It prepares us to move from the rajastic firey, quick flow of summer into the tamastic, slow, heavy and darker pre-winter or " Hemanta". Pitta, the predominate dosha of Summer blurs softly into the cold currents of Autumn's Vata dosha, sometimes altering our own constitution or "Doshas".
As the subtle body and physical body shifts, our needs shift too. The seasonal pattern of less sunlight and more darkness profoundly affects our mental state and can also stir up different sensations and feelings in our emotional body.
This seasonal shift or "Uttaraya" calls for change in our daily routine, or "dinacharya" in order to maintain a healthy, balanced life. Our lifestyle and Yogic practices must also evolve to meet the demand of the external elements in nature. As the Earth engages in her primordial, cyclical dance, so must we. There are several ways we can remain copasetic , energised and balanced through these changes. Below I offer a few tips and little daily rituals drawn from the Ayurvedic and Yogic tradition to help us navigate into winter. Below are short, simple practices you can incorporate into each day to stay healthy, balanced and blissful.
Simple Daily Routines for Autumn Wellness
Wake up at 6 am, each morning. Take time to awaken slowly, meditate, do gentle stretching, Yoga or write in a journal
Tongue scrape! A good tongue scrape before brushing the teeth clears the body of toxins or "Ama", a bi- product of digestion. It also clears and strengthens the throat Chakra, our most powerful vessel of communication, the seat of our voice! This practice is said to enhance speech and hearing. Use a stainless steel tongue scraper and start from the back of the tongue toward the tip, repeat 7 times.
Dry brush the body! Use a natural fibre brush to facilitate lymphatic drainage and alleviate any stagnant fluid in the body. Start from the feet upward and move in a circular motion. Do
not do the head or face, stop at the neck. **Learn more about Lymphatic flushes on my online mini workshops , FB page: Raiza Red Yoga
Have cold shower! or at least a cold Splash! Splash the eye well seven times too. Cold showers are known to boost the immune system and activate lymphatic drainage. They facilitate a clear and focused mind
Drink a glass of warm water to flush your digestive system and activate your metabolism. Add Lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra kick!
Sip Green tea and take your vitamins! Immune nourishers like vitamin C, D and Zinc up the immune response and help you to sustain your stamina. Green tea boosts a plethora of goodies for the body. It is a known anti carcinogenic and enhances brain and memory efficiency
Eat a warm breakfast. Stewed fruit or your favourite style bowl of oatmeal can help stave off hunger pangs in the late morning hours, early afternoon hours and keep your body fueled until lunch time.
Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water, fluids and eat natural, healthy foods for lunch. Remember to take breaks through out the day to stretch and reboot the brain! Relax the eyes and take a few minutes away from the computer screen when possible!
Take a few minutes to unwind and settle in when you come home . Leave "work" at work whenever possible. Walk your dog, cuddle your cat or chat with a friend. Shift the energy to relax mode
Have a warm, cooked, healthy dinner of easily digestible veggies and protein
Drink a digestive chamomile, fennel or herb tea that facilitates digestion and rest
An hour before bed, turnoff TV's, devices, social media, etc.. Go Airplane mode on your mobile and dim the lights in your home
Enjoy a warm bath or shower. Afterward, gently massage your skin with sweet almond oil or a natural moisturiser ( you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to the mix)
Try a guided Yoga Nidra meditation or a meditation for sleep of your choice
Diffuse Lavender, Eucalyptus or bergamot..or all 3 combined in your bedroom
Go to bed early, 9pm if possible! The body regenerates most efficiently during deep sleep.
Make your bedroom dark or use an eye mask, keep it at a comfortable temperature and get cozy... ( I personally like to rub some Jatamansi essential oil the soles of my feet to help "process" the day's thoughts, enhance lucid dreaming and soothe a busy mind.
Nighty Night...Drop into your dream space!
Hope these little tips serve to keep you shining and radiant through out the Autumn season!