So much changes in September, it's hard to keep up with all the activity! Students and teachers settle back into their normal routine, the days get a little shorter and a cool breeze fills the morning air. The air feels drier, the leaves start to crisp and the sidewalks are blanketed with the first that have fallen.
September is a time of transformation both externally and internally. As you notice the changes in nature this month, take a moment to think about how a whole set of changes are going on inside your body too. As the heat of the summer dissipates and you move into the cool fall, your body is going through a transformation of its own.
In Ayurveda, fall is the season of Vata dosha. At this time of year, Vata will naturally increase, to some extent, in everyone. Vata is the dosha of movement, and just like the swirling wind increases in fall, so does Vata. You'll notice things become a bit more dry, rough and cold in September. The grass and flowers become dry and rough as they wilt, and the fresh morning air feels feels much colder than just a few weeks ago. Just as these Vata qualities increase in nature, they are also increasing in your body too.
The dryness of Vata season can leave you feeling dehydrated, depleted, fatigued and constipated. Your skin may also feel more dry and rough in fall. Your fingers and toes might feel that extra bit colder as you naturally start grabbing a hot cup of tea in the morning, and the cold air can make your muscles and joints feel that little bit tighter. The movement quality of Vata affects the mind as swirling thoughts can increase anxiety and insomnia.
None of this sounds very enjoyable now does it? But luckily, there is something you can do about it, and all from the comfort of your own kitchen. To stay healthy and vibrant year round, Ayurveda strongly promotes moving with the season. If you are eating summer salads in fall, having ice cream in the evenings and sipping cool drinks, it's likely you will feel some of these unwanted Vata symptoms. Adapting your diet to the season is one of the most important steps in staying vital at this time of year.
If you don't have the time to plan each meal day by day, we have the perfect solution for you - the Holistic Highway Ayurveda Meal Plan. Each week, you are provided with five seasonally appropriate, and seriously tasty, meals. Your shopping lists are all planned out for you too, so it's never been easier to eat right for the season.
What's even better, the Meal Plan is designed to suit your individual body type too, because we are all unique after all! Take our Modern Dosha Quiz to discover your Ayurvedic body type and enjoy the meals that will best support you. These recipes are also a great way to cater for a whole family, as each one comes with some easy adjustments to make it suitable for all body types. It also explains why this meal is right for you, and provides you with both the Eastern and Western perspective on its benefits. Best of all, most of the recipes take just 30 minutes or less, so a win win for even the busiest of people.
Now that the diet is taken care of, let's have a look at some lifestyle adjustments you can also make to ensure the smoothest transition this season change. Start gradually adding some of these techniques to your daily routine to keep Vata balanced:
- Excess Vata can lead to stiff and cracking joints. Apply some warm sesame oil to the whole body, paying particular attention to any stiff joints or muscles. This oil is heavy, warming and grounding - the perfect way to nurture the skin in a cooler climate.
Start your day with this set of dinacharya exercises. This sequence takes just fie minutes each morning, helps start your day on the right foot and also gives your joints some extra TLC!
Take 15 minutes, either before bed or first thing in the morning, for some peaceful meditation. Use this technique to clear and calm your mind, particularly if you feel anxiety accumulating.
Make sure you are sticking to a 10pm-10.30pm bedtime to ward off insomnia. Sticking to a regular bedtime can help calm Vata and the nervous system, ensuring you get a sound night's sleep.
Stay wrapped up warm. As simple as it sounds, this can really help you avoid a fall flu. Don't let the chilly wind creep into your bones. Get your boots and scarves out as early as you need them.
Avoid rushing around, multi tasking and taking on too many projects at once! Tackle one task at a time, as excess Vata can make you easily feel overwhelmed.
Some people will feel season changes more acutely than others. If you are feeling frenetic and stressed, take a moment and think about how you can support yourself best right now.
Remember, all the hard work is done for you when it comes to your meals for this season. Why not try the Holistic Highway Ayurveda Meal Plan. The first two weeks are completely free, so you have nothing to lose!
Once you've taken a look at changing your diet, carve out a little time each day to take care of you. Practice a loving self massage, pour yourself a cup of hot tea and tuck yourself into bed early with some cozy socks and good book.