It is subtle; however, it is there. We all can see it. Yes, change is in the air! The green leaves slowly turn red, yellow, orange, and gold. The whisper of the falling leaves, a drop in temperature, and a cool breeze in the early morning and late evening indicate that beautiful autumn is knocking at our door.
This is the season to learn how to let go without complaining from Mother Nature. Trees let go of their leaves and still look so beautiful, standing tall confidently. They know how to celebrate this season with Mother Nature. Auto means self. Autumn is the season for the self to surface.
A Peek into Ayurveda’s Wisdom
Understanding Ayurvedic Principles for Vata Season
Ayurveda, the ancient system of holistic medicine from India, recognizes three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. According to Ayurveda, health and well-being are related to the constant interaction of our bodies and minds with external factors. The external environment affects our internal environment. As the seasons and weather change, we must know how to adapt to maintain balance in digestion, sleep, immunity, energy, and overall health. Fall is primarily associated with the Vata dosha, characterized by qualities like dryness, coldness, lightness, and mobility. To maintain balance during this season, Ayurveda offers some valuable insights:
Embrace the Ayurvedic Autumn Routine
- Sunrise Serenade: Greet the day with the rising sun. It’s like nature’s wake-up call to synchronize your body’s rhythm with the world.
- Nourish Your Skin: Start your day with daily self-massage using warm sesame or almond oil 15 mins before bathing. Warm oil massage will calm your nervous system and ground your energy. A little self-love goes a long way!
- Wrap-Up Warm: Layer up in cozy clothing to protect yourself from the crisp air as the winds become chilly. Dress in autumn colors such as reds, yellows, oranges, and whites, and wear enough clothes that you are warm throughout the day. When you step out into the elements, cover your head and ears to protect them from windy and cold autumn air.
- Eat Mindfully: Fall in love with warming dishes like soups, stews, and hearty grains. Eat a vata-pacifying diet. Heavy, oily, warm, moist, unctuous nourishing foods that are high in protein and moderate in fat brought to life with warming, stimulating spices such as ginger, cinnamon, and cloves to brighten your inner fire with ghee and served hot will go a long way toward maintaining your internal reserves of moisture and keeping you grounded through the vata season.
- Stay Hydrated: Sip on comforting warm beverages throughout the day: warm water after every meal, herbal teas such as ginger, cinnamon, and clove tea, or cumin, coriander, fennel blend, and water with lemon & fresh ginger, to kindle agni (digestive fire) and improve hydration.
- Gentle Detox: Consider a gentle Ayurvedic detox to bid adieu any lingering summer toxins. Fall is a perfect time to do an Ayurvedic cleanse, known as Panchakarma (Natural detoxification). A fall panchakarma can be a crucial factor in preventing winter ailments. Cleansing herbs such as Triphala will help remove the toxins that feed winter respiratory infections. Warming blends like trikatu will help by scorching away toxins. Include some Holy basil (Tulsi), ginger, and turmeric tea. It will help by inducing sweating and helping remove Kapha toxins. For personalized guidance, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner.
- Nasayam Soothes: To combat dryness and congestion that often accompanies autumn, explore Nasayam—an Ayurvedic practice of applying herbal oils to your nasal passages.
Savoring Fall with Delicious Soups
- Spiced Butternut Squash Soup:
- One butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- Half onion, chopped
- Two cloves garlic, minced
- One carrot, chopped
- half inch ginger, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth/water
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
- Heat the ghee or olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, and carrot until soft.
- Add the butternut squash, water or vegetable broth, and spices.
- Simmer until the squash is tender, then blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Mung Bean and Spinach Soup:
- 1 cup split mung beans, washed and drained
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Ghee or olive oil for sautéing
- In a pot, combine mung beans, water, and turmeric. Cook until beans are soft.
- In a separate pan, heat ghee or oil, add cumin seeds, and sauté until they sizzle.
- Add coriander, ginger powder, and spinach to the pan and sauté until wilted.
- Mix the sautéed spinach into the mung beans, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for a few more minutes.
This fall, embrace the wisdom of Ayurveda to align your body and mind with the season’s natural rhythms. Warm soups, grounding routines, and self-care practices like Nasayam will help you transition smoothly and enjoy the beauty of autumn to the fullest.
Remember to self-nurture this fall with Ayurveda.