Sunday, 20 September 2015

Ayurveda and autumn

Autumn is a time for letting go, just as the trees let go of their leaves. It is also a time to rest and reflect.  

Autumn is the season when vata is the dominant dosha, a season of cool, drying winds. It is important to bring vata dosha into balance for otherwise you may experience insomnia, anxiety, constipation, bloating or dry skin.  

In terms of your yoga practice incorporate grounding poses to connect with the earth, slow movements and hip openers which encourage letting go of negativity. The seat of vata is the colon so twists help. Poses which stretch and stimulate the colon such as shoulder bridge or poses such as apanasana which encourage the downward flow of energy are also good to practice at this time of year. Twists also 'light' the internal 'fire', agni which helps digestion.

For your diet, sweet, sour or salty tastes should dominate and bitter, pungent and astringent tastes should be reduced. It is time to replace summer salads, raw vegetables and ices with more warming foods such as soups and casseroles. Warming spices are good to include such as ginger. Squash, pumpkins, beetroot and sweet potatoes are in season and good to include along with onions, and garlic. If you are not vegan or vegetarian, chicken, lean meat, fish or eggs may be included. Vegetarians may eat eggs and vegans should include tofu or beans. 

Oily foods help heat the body from within so include coconut oil, olive oil or rapeseed, nuts and seeds. 

Cold cereals should be replaced with hearty, warming grains for breakfast. Quinoa, amaranth or oat porridges are excellent choices. Top with cooked apple slices. 

Baked apples with dried fruits or figs with yogurt are a good choice for dessert or how about a brown rice pudding made with almond milk if you are vegan, organic milk if not. Sweeten with honey if you are not vegan, stevia if you are vegan.

You may also enjoy these three autumn yoga videos on my YouTube Channel-

Happy autumn days
Janet x

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