BREEZE INTO AUTUMN
So here comes Autumn. There’s the all too familiar chill in the air. Its dark when we get up for work and we are most likely to be found curled up on the sofa of an evening. With a change in the seasons our living and eating habits must change too. We need to be mindful of supporting our bodies and re-balancing any elemental disharmony.
In Autumn, the Vata dosha (made up of the elements of ether and air) is most prominent. To put it simply there is more air or wind which stirs up not only the weather but also our emotions. The air can also get into our joints and can bring about cracking or popping. The temperature is cooler, which has a cooling effect on our internal body heat. Many of us will fall pray to the common cold at the turn of Autumn if we do not support the body during this change. The ether brings a dryness to the air outside which leads to a dryness of our skin, cracked lips and even constipation with the drying of faeces.
Vata controls the the mind, the heart, creativity, digestion, relaxation, and the nervous system. It becomes much easier to overwork your mind and nervous system in Autumn. Too much work and not enough down time in Autumn leads to anxiety, a weak immune system and ultimately dis-ease. It can also lead to cramps, insomnia, stiffness in the spine and an overly busy mind ~ what those in the medical fraternity loosely term “stress”.
DAILY ROUTINES TO HARMONISE THE ELEMENTS
Its very easy to counter the effects of increased ether and air in Autumn. We simply offer to ourselves the opposite elements to bring our mind and body in tune with nature:
EAT YOURSELF WELL
The keys principles to a great Autumn eating are WARM, MOIST NOURISHING foods:
FASTING IN AUTUMN
A 7 day fast of kichari (mung dhal, rice and vegetable curry) and cooked fruit can be taken to prepare the body for the on-chill of winter. It can also be good for hayfever, stuffiness or mucous build up which are all caused by a build up of toxins in the body. The kichari can be eaten for breakfast and lunch with cooked fruit, cinnamon and cloves for dinner. Herbal teas can be sipped for the duration of the fast. Mung dhal eats away toxins and is extremely light to digest. This fast allows the body to rest, recoup and eliminate toxins naturally. It is really important to rest during such a fast. You should not go to work whilst during this fast. To tax the body while fasting will weaken the immune system and can lead to sickness, headaches, nausea and insomnia. After the fast, re-introduce sugars, carbs, coffee and alcohol (if you feel you must!) slowly.
YOGA ~ GROUNDING ASANAS
Yoga asanas (poses) should be focused on downward-moving energy (apana) and the hips to help ground the nervous system and build strength and heat in the body.
Practicing any yoga posture in a relaxing way with slow deep breathing and the intention to let go and relax the nervous system can be very beneficial in decreasing the symptoms of allergies.
Good asanas to practice for Autumn are:
Practicing stillness and focus on the breath relaxes the nervous system which sends signals to the immune system to settle down. Pranayama (conscious breath control) and meditation are a great way to achieve this.
A great Pranayama technique for Autumn is "Kapalabhati" Kapalabhati breathing is great for allergies and hayfever and mucous build up as it forces out the toxins and mucous and clears the nostrils.
1) Sit crossed legged with a straight back. Rest hands on knees with palms upwards. Relax face and neck.
2) Inhale deeply through both nostrils and allowing the abdomen to fill up like a balloon at the same time.
3) Exhale out of the nostrils by forcefully contracting the abdominal muscles. (Pull the abdomen in by quickly contracting the abdominal muscles and exhale through the nose) to push the air out of the diaphragm.
4) The focus is on the outward exhalation - allow the inhalation to happen naturally
Start with rounds of 15 breaths. At the end of this round breathe in and out slowly and deeply and bring your awareness to your forehead as you do so.You can repeat this up to two more times.
Peace of I ~ Anjani xx
RELAX ~ REPLENISH ~ REJUVENATE