Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Preparing Our Bodies For Fall

According to a Wall Street Journal article I read, there are two types of people in this country, and their differences have nothing to do with politics. There are those who love fall and those who hate it. I am in the fall haters category. Maybe because I have too much vata (a body type or dosha) or maybe because I associate fall with the beginning of school, but I do know that I need to ease into fall.

In Ayurveda, transitioning into the next season is a big deal.  It is taught that the change of season is hard on the body and that little changes can help us and improve our overall health.

Summer is pitta season which was warm and promoted much agricultural growth. Too much warmth can leave one feeling dried out, dehydrated. In summer there is moisture with the heat but as fall comes, there is wind and a feeling of dryness. Notice how the leaves are drying out and falling off or how flowers seem to wilt.

Normally when treating vata, one uses warming heat. However, this heat needs to be balanced for two reasons. One, the pitta heat needs to gently release as nature is letting it and the season go. Two, vata is very sensitive and erratic. Too much heat will aggravate vata causing symptoms like sleeplessness, anxiety, poor digestion, constipation and low immunity.

A cleanse is the best way to balance the transition to fall.  Fasting is generally not done in Ayurveda as it is considered depleting. However, switching to a bland, simple natural diet and using a few medicinal herbs will create the perfect cleanse. Foods like brown rice, lentils and mung beans are good choices.  Vegetables like zucchini, asparagus and carrots are nice to use as well. Using energetically cooling spices like cilantro, coconut, peppermint, coriander, fennel, and mint is helpful.  Healthy fats are important in any diet, but the fats should be used sparingly and the types recommended are ghee and coconut oil.  Drinks should be at room temperature and should be water or unsweetened herbal teas. Taking aloe vera juice (1/4 cup) for two to three morning will also aid elimination and cool the digestive tract. Amalaki is a rejuvenating herb that has the ability to gently cleanse as well.

Doing this routine for 3 days will help reset the body for fall in a gentle way. Add vata pacifying activities like meditation, regular meals,, sufficient sleep and warm foods like soups to complete the fall transition.

I am not sure I can say that I will like fall or be able to let go of summer any easier, but at least my body will be up for the new season.

Stay healthy & well,

No comments:

Post a Comment