We all still enjoy the late summer with its warm sunny days. But the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler and the first leaves are getting their colorful dress.
Autumn is a time of transition. Many trees and shrubs are quietly undressing in preparation for the winter. There is a subtle browning of the earth. Temperature will begin to hint at the telltale crispness of autumn.
Autumn announces itself and our bodies also begin to gradually adjust to the cold and dark season. Now is the ideal time to support the body in this transition.
Autumn is Vata time
Autumn is usually windy, dry and cool. These are all qualities that in Ayurveda we associate with the Vata dosha. That is why we speak of autumn as the season of vata dosha. Since in Ayurveda everything is always reinforced with the same, the Vata dosha is elevated in autumn and can very easily become unbalanced.
The signs of vata imbalance include anxiety, nervousness, fear, tremors, spasms, dry or chapped skin, constipation, bloating, low body weight, aversion to cold and wind, interrupted sleep, scattered mind.
Similar to how the autumn storms cause turbulence. Basically, it is now a matter of bringing the increased Vata Dosha back into balance and thereby optimally preparing for winter. To balance vata, it is wise to create the opposite qualities in your life—wet, warm, sheltered, grounded, heavy, slow and regular.
Provide inner warmth
The dryness and coolness of an exaggerated Vata can best be countered with warm and oily meals. Your meals should be steamed or cooked. Cold meals, especially raw food, weaken your digestive fire (Agni). Every meal should contain some ghee or oil, especially sesame oil is very good for Vata. Spices are also excellent for inner warmth. Try spicing your food with cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, ginger and nutmeg. This will be very beneficial for you.
Drink hot drinks
You should generally avoid cold drinks, because the body first has to “heat up” the cold liquid to body temperature. In doing so, you lose a lot of energy that you can use better elsewhere. This principle applies especially in the cold season. Drink warm drinks, such as teas with warming spices and herbs. Cinnamon, ginger and liquorice root are ideal for this. This activates your inner heating and strengthens your digestive fire (Agni).
Do an Ayurvedic hot water cure
Autumn is also the ideal season to do an Ayurvedic hot water cure. With this simple cure, you not only activate your inner heater, but also ensure a profound purification of your body. This is especially important because during the cold season you automatically eat heavier meals, which can lead to an increased build-up of Ama (waste products). You can find out here how to do a hot water cure easily at home.
Take care of external warmth
It is just as important to provide external warmth as it is to provide the internal one. Wear warm clothes, especially a head covering, because most of the inner heat is lost through the head. The best thing you can do in the cold season is an Ayurvedic massage with warm oil. This not only warms up the whole body but also brings inner peace and harmony. You can find out here how to perform the ayurvedic oil massage wonderfully at home.
Food and diet pattern for autumn
- Eat warm foods and garnish them generously with ghee or oil.
- Breakfasts of cooked grains—like oatmeal, tapioca, cream of rice, and cream of wheat.
- Lunches and dinners that include steamed vegetables, hearty grains, soups, and stews are grounding and moisturizing.
- Moderate amount of Meat and eggs based on your body type is good.
Food that should be minimized
- Reduce the consumption of raw vegetables, cold and frozen foods.
- Minimize light, cooling, and drying foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts, leafy greens, white potatoes, beans, popcorn, crackers, millet, and dried fruit.
- If you do eat these foods, eat them in moderation and make sure that they are soaked, well cooked, or served with ghee.
I wish you a lot of fun and leisure in carrying out these Ayurvedic tips. Take a little time for it and you will notice very quickly how good it is for you. Enjoy this great, colourful season. Namaste,
Your Dr. Raj