Sara Garefalo in a field with arms up demonstrating Ayurvedic hacks for fall

Seasonal Ayurveda: Fall Energetics and Healthy Habits

Did you know that Autumn is a great time of transition? In fact, we move from summer’s expansive energy to winter’s contractile energy without even knowing it. This is the time to incorporate healthy Ayurvedic hacks for seasonal wellness.

From my advanced studies in Ayurveda (the 5,000-year-old ancient holistic science that originated in India) to experience as an Intuitive Health & Life Coach, I incorporate Ayurveda Fall Energetics to better position my clients, and myself, to thrive during seasonal changes.

In Ayurveda, every season is associated with an element. During Autumn, air and ether become the strongest elements in our environment. In principle, air and ether are inherently cold, dry, mobile, and light. Picture the leaves falling in the wind. The autumnal yellows, oranges and reds momentarily painting the crisp blue sky and then settling onto the earth below. Imagine the wind in your hair, blowing across your face and brushing up against your skin.

Ayurvedic Hacks for Autumn Health

From the ancient Ayurveda teachings, we learn that Autumn is the time to reset your body as well as your boundaries. I suggest that clients create a strong and self-loving container for themselves. As you may know, boundaries solidify and strengthen what is within. By setting healthy boundaries and daily structure, we are able to better contain the mobile air and ether energy that otherwise would drive us crazy. Using the following Ayurvedic hacks for better health are key to thriving this season and throughout the year.

7 Ayurveda Tips for the Fall Season

1. Favor Warm Foods

Substantive, oily, nourishing foods that are high in protein, high in fat, brought to life with warming, stimulating spices, and served hot, will go a long way toward maintaining your internal reserves of moisture and keeping you grounded through the season.

Some of the best warming food choices include the following.

  • Sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
  • Cooked grains, steamed vegetables, hearty grains, soups, and stews are grounding and moisturizing.
  • Dairy products and all nuts and seeds are also beneficial for adding healthy fats.

2. Change Your Exercise Routine

While seasonally-appropriate exercise isn’t really a concept in the US, Ayurveda recommends that you adjust your workouts according to nature. In fall, your strength may be a little lower so our capacity to exercise could be decreased. During fall, slower and more gentle exercise is best for the body. Fast and intense workouts or any kind of erratic physical movement could be scaled back at this time. One of the best workouts for this season is yoga, especially a grounding yin yoga or hatha practices.

3. Make Time For Yourself.

While the well-known Italian quote “ Il dolce far nulla” (the art of doing nothing) isn’t really embodied in the American culture, in Ayurveda too much activity or stimulation during fall season can derange the energy known as vata. It is important to slow down and take more time to bask in the sun, meditate, practice pranayama, or take a short walk outside can keep your vata in check.

4. Oil Up

Massage your skin with warm, organic sesame oil or with herbal oil. This will help you calm your nervous system, awaken your tissues, and ground your energy by massaging your skin. Follow this practice with a warm, relaxing shower, leaving a coat of oil on the skin to absorb throughout the day. Steam baths and humidifiers can help preserve internal moisture as well.

5. Dress For The Season

An essential Ayurvedic hack is to dress for the season. Wear autumn colors when appropriate — reds, yellows, oranges, and whites — and wear enough clothes that you stay warm throughout the day. When you step out into the elements, cover your head and ears to protect them from the biting wind and cold.

6. Maintain Consistency

While many of us rebel at the idea of routine, the body craves and needs routine and rhythm. You don’t need to restrict yourself to the same exact pattern day in and day out, but try to do the same things (wake up, exercise, eat meals, go to bed, etc.) at roughly the same times each day. Set the tone for your day by rising early, taking full advantage of the silence, stillness, and peace that are intrinsic to the early morning hours — somewhere along the lines of 10:00 p.m. — 6:00 a.m. This kind of regularity tames vata so that your nervous system is relaxed, your digestion is strong, and your energy is stable.

7. Perform A Cleanse

The transition of the season to fall signals “rejuvenation” in Ayurveda. Not only is rejuvenation beneficial for mitigating current imbalances, it also helps prevent future illness. Ayurvedic rejuvenation involves gentle cleansing and restorative actions, including a combination of dietary guidelines, herbal formulations and supplements.

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