This month’s blog is written in honor of my very first Ayurveda teacher, Vijaya Stallings, who passed away quite suddenly last September. For the few years that I knew Vijaya, he sent out seasonal newsletters with ayurveda recommendations specific to the season. In honor of his tradition, I write this month’s blog, offering ayurveda self-care practices as we transition into the fall season.
Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga, and it encompasses a range of healing practices from the Vedic era. According to Ayurveda, Fall is the season characterized by the Vata dosha. Qualities of Vata include dryness, wind, mobility and movement. When in Vata season, we are all prone to these same qualities of Vata – dryness, excess movement and transition.
To stay in balance during this seasonal transition, it is important to follow Vata-reducing practices; in other words, to cultivate lifestyle routines that are opposite to those qualities of Vata. To counter the dryness of the season, Ayurveda offers us Abhyanga, a daily self-massage typically using sesame oil in this season, although a different type of oil may be more appropriate for you depending on your individual constitution. Also useful is daily Nasya treatment, oil treatment to the nares after first cleansing the nostrils using a neti pot. To counter the effects of excess movement, we need to find stability in our daily routines and also to follow practices that keep us grounded. Examples of grounding practices include restorative yoga asanas, eating grounding foods such as root vegetables, spending time in nature, and enjoying stability in our relationships with family and friends.
Fall is also characterized as a time of “letting go.” We observe this in nature with trees drying up and shedding their leaves. Because of this, Fall is considered the best season to undergo a Pancha Karma cleanse and rejuvenation. Pancha Karma is an age-old process of cleansing toxins from our body, purifying and rejuvenating our bodies on the physical, emotional, and energetic levels. Pancha Karma helps us to follow the rhythm of nature by letting go and shedding what we no longer need and preparing us for the season ahead.
So, in this season of movement and transition, I invite you to find stillness and stability through these Ayurveda self-care practices. If you have any questions about Ayurveda, Pancha Karma or are simply seeking more information, please feel free to contact me; individual consultations are available.
Peace and love in Ayurveda!