How to Stay Grounded and Calm this Autumn

During Autumn, Vata season, the elements of air and ether are at their highest in our natural environment and in our bodies. We can tangibly see much of this in the natural world as things begin to cool down, leaves change colors and drop from trees, and the air starts to dry out.

More subtly, the energies of letting go, spiritual ascension, creativity, and visioning are at their highest in our inner and outer worlds. This is a precious time of year for connecting to your spirituality and creativity, and to hunker down at home with a good book, a cozy blanket, and a cup of warming tea.

On the other hand, feelings of anxiety, distress, agitation, nervousness, restlessness, and hypervigilance can often increase exponentially. If you’re going through a big life transition or recovering from a physical or emotional trauma, this process can often feel even more challenging simply due to the state of our natural environment.

This is especially true for individuals who have a lot of vata (air and ether) in their natural constitutions. Knowing that Autumn can at times agitate our feelings of security and groundedness, it’s powerful to enter this season with an intention to be gentle, sweet, and kind toward yourself whenever possible.

The strengths of this season lies in our ability to connect to that which is greater than ourselves, recognize the beauty of impermanence, let go of things we no longer need, and tune into our creative life force. The challenges reside in our ability to stay grounded, warm, nourished, and stable while nature exhales toward winter.

There are many simple and powerful ways to stay grounded, warm, and calm this Autumn. Try practicing one or two habits from each list below. It usually takes about 40 days actualize a new habit into our routine, so stick with it for at least 40 days and notice what shifts and changes for you. 

Lifestyle Recommendations Food Recommendations

Routine, routine, routine:

Create a stable and consistent daily routine for yourself where you are waking up, going to sleep, and eating at around the same times each day.

Warm, oily, and moist one-pot meals.

Eat warm one-pot soups with ghee or butter.

Oil your bodacious body:

Abhyanga is a lymphatic oil massage you can give yourself. I practice this massage technique each morning before I shower to keep my tissues hydrated, my nerve endings happy, and to support my body’s natural detoxification. I recommend sesame seed oil for this time of year. This is also a great time of year to add oil-swishing to your oral care

Root veggies for the win:

Ayurveda supports the practice of eating seasonally. When you go grocery shopping, buy lots of seasonal fruits and veggies for the foundations of your dishes. This is a wonderful time to eat vegetables like beets, squash, and sweet potatoes due to their warming, grounding qualities. Eat a lot of veggies to keep your fiber intake up and to avoid constipation (a common vata imbalance).

Gentle exercise:

Move your body each and every day, right up to the point where you break a sweat. Ideally, do this outside. Go on a walk, do gentle yoga

Spice it up:

Favor the following spices while you are cooking; cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, black pepper, cumin, basil, mustard seed, and sea salt

Bundle up:

Wear cozy, warm, and soft layers. Be sure to bundle up with scarves and hats around your head and neck, which is where Ayurveda says that the air element enters the body.

Slow it down:

Eat slowly! This is usually one of the hardest practices for vata dosha, and very fruitful for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Learn to fully taste your food, chew until your food is a soupy consistency, and eat until you are around ⅔ full to give your stomach space to digest your meal.

Be still:

Give yourself at least 5 minutes every day for body-based meditation. If you’re unsure of where to start, take a peek at my IGTV Channel to ground and center the mind.

Foods to focus on:

Organic dairy, healthy oils and fats, soaked nuts and seeds, steamed root vegetables, meat, fish and shellfish, whole grains, and squash are great choices for this time of year.

If you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts, please leave a comment below or if you know someone who might benefit please feel free to do so also.

If you’d like to experience this practice and process directly, I hope you join me for my Goddess Retreat in Panama this 10 - 16 November 2019.

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