Fall into an Easeful Fall Routine
As much as I love summer and the casual, care free days that are longer and less "structured," I am SO ready for kids to be back in school, summer travel to wind down and my regular routine to kick back in by the end of August.
My fall routine is actually not much different from my transition to winter and spring routine. It’s the summer routine that often knocks people off track, me included. Whether or not you have kids, summer seems to be…. just a little different. The days are longer, the weather is better and there’s a pull in the direction of doing more to take advantage of the warmer weather. Summer is often a time of travel and connecting with friends and family. Often, we try to jam so much into a few months and then end up feeling over-scheduled, overwhelmed and burnt out.
Even though officially, fall doesn't start until the end of September, I think most of us see summer winding down much earlier. There's a definite transition taking place the beginning of September. For those of us with kids, our main marker is that our dear little ones are back in school :))) Most people have wrapped up travel plans, are back to work and are looking forward to the next season.
The transition into fall can be subtle, showing up in the changing colors of the leaves, trees beginning to shed themselves in preparation for the winter months and the days are becoming a little shorter. Temperatures are beginning to shift and the air might feel a bit more crisp and clear (depending on where you live). I find that there’s a subtle spacious or empty feeling that comes with fall, but at the same time there’s an essence of possibility and new beginnings. It feels like the ultimate time to curate the rest of the year, especially before the chaos of the holidays kicks in.
HOW AYURVEDA Views SEASONAL CHANGE.
Ayurveda means the “science of life”. It’s main focus is disease prevention and longevity.
Ayurveda sees that optimal health is based on how we align our internal rhythms with the rhythms of nature. Each of us has a unique constitution or dosha and when we can balance it with the daily, seasonal rhythms and various stages of life we are healthier and less susceptible to disease and more able to thrive on all levels- mentally, physically and spiritually.
Life is happening at a much faster pace than it ever has, unless you’re living on a mountaintop and have chosen to completely unplug. Technology, and the ability and expectation to be everywhere all the time and on top of everything is causing all sorts of dis-ease, not just in adults but in our children also. As a culture, we’re losing our connection with the bigger picture, with mother nature, the seasons and our connection to her. We’re overstimulated, overwhelmed and just “doing” too much. For some of us, this is our “normal” and familiar stance in life. If we don’t pay attention to this, we risk living a life on autopilot, feeling like we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, constantly trying to keep up and completely disconnected to our potential to live dynamic, thriving and fully aligned lives.
The Ayurvedic process of transitioning from one season to another, asks us to slow down, gather our energy and get very “on-purpose” as to how we desire to consciously design how we wish to move forward into the upcoming months.
Ayurveda and the Seasons
Pitta – Late Spring/ Summer – dominated by the elements of fire and water, this time of year is hot, penetrating, sharp, intense and oily.
Vata - Fall/ Early Winter – dominated by the elements of air and ether, this time of year is dryer and lighter. This is a time of transition. Autumn is dry, rough, windy, erratic, cool, subtle and clear.
Kapha – Late Winter/ Early Spring – dominated by the elements of water and earth, this time of year is nourishing to new life. It’s cold, dry and dark and can be wet and cold.
STEPS TO TRANSITION FROM PITA SEASON TO VATA SEASON (SUMMER TO FALL)
By making a gradual adjustment of diet and lifestyle from summer to fall and enjoying seasonal routines and self care practices, you can make a healthy transition between seasons and prevent problems that may arise as we get further into fall. Keep in mind that what is happening outside is happening inside of you too. Like increases like, this is why we want to do the opposite to find balance in our body, mind and spirit.
1. CREATE AND STICK TO A DAILY SELF- CARE ROUTINE:
Do the same things at roughly the same times daily - When you wake up, eat, exercise and go to bed. The body loves predictably and routine. Because of the light, airy and drying qualities of this season, it’s important to balance it with grounding, nourishing and more structured practices.
Go to bed early - If we want to optimize our energy levels, our productivity and our attitudes we MUST be well rested. I see this "habit of sleep" as the one we build all our others habits on top of. If we're not getting the sleep we need, we can't fully operate at our greatest potential. If we're tired, depleted and stressed out, we're approaching each day in a state of fight or flight. We're not making the best decisions on a regular basis, we're not showing up in our relationships as awake, tuned in and accessible as we could be and most of all we're at risk of all sorts of dis- ease and health issues. Ideally, we want to be going to bed by 10pm and waking up before 6am. Check out my blog on sleep for more detail.
Wake up early - Enjoy the magical early morning hours. This is the best time to tap into creativity, establish a mediation practice or journal. Use this quiet time to set your daily intentions, activities and connect to the bigger picture.
Rub oil on your body -This season can be very drying in many climates. Oil helps to calm the nervous system, ground energy and awaken the tissues. If you enjoy a little fragrance, vetiver, geranium, and citrus essential oils are great this time of year (either applying directly to the skin or using in a difuser). Using your own hands to heal your own body, tells your body that you’re paying attention and is also very grounding.
Move your body- The best times of day to exercise are in the early morning and evening hours (6–10 a.m. and 6–10 p.m.). Vata is very easily aggravated by fast, mobile activities, so instead think slower activities such as walking, hiking, swimming, biking, yoga, and tai chi. In the evening hours think more restorative and less energizing activities- even light housework, bouncing on a trampoline, going for a walk with friends or family.
2. TRANSITION INTO A FALL DIET:
Think seasonally- This is my favorite season of foods with squashes, roots and late summer season fruits and veggies. The markets are vibrant and overflowing. Shop the outer aisles of your local grocery stores and choose what’s new in this season.
Consume less raw food- Begin to shift from astringent foods such as raw salads to warmer foods and more cooked foods. Making this shift gradually will be easier on the system. Consider the warming and grounding qualities of root vegetables, soups and stews as you move though this new season.
Best foods for Vata season - Oily, nourishing foods that are high in protein, high in fat, brought to life with warming, stimulating spices, and served hot, will help to keep moisture in and help you stay grounded through the vata season. Favor the sweet, sour, and salty tastes. Breakfasts of cooked grains are perfect at this time of year. Lunches and dinners that include steamed vegetables, hearty grains, soups, and stews are grounding and moisturizing. If you eat meat and eggs, this is one of the best times of year to enjoy them. Dairy products and most nuts and seeds are also beneficial. In general, you’ll want to reduce your consumption of raw vegetables, cold and frozen foods, as well as the bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes.
3. DETOX YOUR SPACE and YOUR BODY:
Curate your “living space” - Fall, just like spring, is a great time for a clean out. Carve out some time to ditch, donate or give away that which you are not wearing, using or really really really care about ( Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray Love” says, saying it once isn’t enough to tap into our passions). Keep what brings you joy and taps into your passions- whether that’s what you wear, what you surround yourself with and the spaces you spend the most time in. This doesn’t only apply to your physical space, but also the space that you live in 24/7 - your body. I always recommend finding a group to go through a detox experience with, as you will receive accountability, support and trouble shooting. All seasonal detoxes are NOT created equal, so by feeling into what your body, mind and spirit really, really, really are desiring is key to a successful process. More on this later, but consider carving out a week or more to clear up leftover toxins, emotions and weight that may has accumulated over the summer.
Join a dynamic, supportive group of others that are ready to be “BOLD and THRIVE” in their health, careers, relationships and beyond.
Fall is the PERFECT time to reset your health habits, reconnect to what really, really, really matters in your life and take a step into your absolute greatest potential. Going through transition is just easier when we do it together (studies prove we are 80% + more successful in reaching our goals in supportive environments than when we go it alone) And…it’s a helluva lot more fun.
I’m excited to offer you a FREE DISCOVERY CONVERSATION for access to my October group of “Be BOLD and THRIVE” - my 11 week on-line coaching program. You’ll learn 10 foundational habits from yoga and Ayurveda to help you align your body and mind with your goals. You’ll gain clarity around those goals and you’ll have the support of a like minded community to help you make those goals a reality. Whether it’s losing weight, finding more time for yourself and loved ones, dropping bad habits that don’t serve who you want to be next, getting more sleep or simply learning the tools that help you take better care of yourself for disease prevention and longevity.
Head on over to my CONTACT PAGE to connect with me and schedule your one on one call.
Application deadline: September 28, 2017