As the air gets colder, wind picks up, and days get shorter our body is also changing. You may notice dry skin, cracking joints, stiff muscles or digestive irregularities. You may have feelings of restlessness or spaciness. But our lives get busier, more stressful, and indulgent as the holidays approach and we don’t adapt to these changes. According to Ayurveda – the ancient mind-body holistic healing system from India- nature is telling us it’s time for deep reflection and cleansing of our mind-body.
This post is an adaptation from the original article at Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, by Kellen Brugman.
RITUCHARYA: THE SEASONAL ROUTINE
According to Ayurveda, seasonal and weather changes significantly affect the physical and mental body. Factors like temperature, humidity, wind, rain, and daylight hours, all influence the body’s natural cycles and vital systems. So, we must know how to adapt diet and lifestyle in order to maintain balance in digestion, sleep, immunity, and energy.
As the seasons change, so must our daily routine. This practice is known as a ritucharya. “Ritu” means “season” and “charya” means “routine”. Ritucharya is a seasonal regimen for diet and lifestyle that helps maintain health and well-being.
In the midst of all the festivities to come, try integrating 2-3 of these Ayurvedic self-care tips into your fall & winter routine for a healthier, happier you this season.
5 AYURVEDIC SELF-CARE TIPS FOR FALL
- Do a seasonal cleanse. As summer turns to fall, it’s important to remove excess heat from the body and mind, and prepare your immune system for winter. Observe nature and notice how trees naturally shed their leaves. Autumn is the perfect time to shed habits and foods that no longer nourish your body and mind. The Integrated 6 nutritional program at Integrated Wellness is an excellent way to cleanse, boost immunity and emotional resilience in fall/winter weather.
- Grounding Yoga Poses. Finally start doing yoga, like you’ve been saying for years, or slow down your yoga practice and focus on grounding poses. Take a cue from nature, where her pace slows down in the amount of daylight hours and by the waning of plant life. Grounding yoga poses benefit the nervous system, prevent adrenal fatigue, and support the liver’s function of detoxing.
- Warm Oil Massage. The Ayurvedic fountain of youth is Abhyangha – warm oil massage. Abhyangha pacifies the dry, subtle, and cool qualities of fall. It nourishes the body, calms the mind, relieves dry skin, improves circulation, and maintains the skin’s youthful glow. Almond or sesame seed oils are best, but coconut or olive oil are fine. Try with essential oils that are earthy, such as frankincense, clary sage, cedarwood, or other woodsy blend. Even better, make time to treat yourself to a professional massage at Integrated Massage & Wellness Spa.
- A Harvest of Nourishing Foods. During autumn, nature provides the perfect foods to nourish the body and ground the mind. Enjoy the harvest of root vegetables! Roast or sauté carrots, turnips, beets, and parsnips using organic oils like coconut, olive or ghee, for extra support for the nervous system. Use spices to warm the body and stoke circulation. Enjoy kitchari once a week. Kitchari, an easy to digest dish of mung dal, rice, vegetables and spices, gently detoxes and powerfully nourishes the body. Click here for my Grammy award-winning Kitchari recipe.
- Rest & Reflection. During Autumn, many trees stop branching out and shed their leaves. With less daylight hours, it’s more effective to receive nourishment from their roots. It’s a great reminder of the sacredness of letting go. Clear your calendar to make room for rest and reflection. Reflect on what you wish to let go of in your life. Root into Ayurvedic self-care and enjoy autumn and a lifetime of health and happiness.