AYURVEDA, IMMUNITY + SELF CARE
This next section of the course looks at our mind body connection with autumn, and offers some insight into Ayurveda-inspired tools to take care of ourselves.
Autumn and the mind-body connection
Naturally we are connected to our environments and this is a potent time for contemplation, with visual symbolism all round. Take autumn leaves and colours for example, the ample reds, oranges, yellows and some greens - all representing the lower chakras - synonymous with the more primal and downward moving energies via the root, sacral and solar plexus. We grounding baby!
Perhaps you're noticing around this time that you´re feeling unusually tired? Or perhaps experiencing a chill in your shoulders? Sniffles emerging? Throat got that slight closed-cave feeling? Lips a little chappy? Skin drying-up?
The transition towards autumn winter throws out junk at a cellular level so symptoms like these are not unusual. As we get rid of the stuff that isn't useful to us, we can make way for the goodness to move in. There's a deeper message there eh? More on that below.
Welcome autumn, Vata season!
Autumn is drying. Joints get poppy. In Ayurveda, it's the season of the Vata dosha which is comprised of the elements of wind and space (Ether). At best, Vata is a great creative energy, charged with sparks of expressive brilliance. But if imbalanced, it carries energy that's quite, well, all over the place. Unstable. Ungrounded. The physical side effects include insomnia, stiffness, aches, wind (!) and anxiety. Sound familiar?
We're all a mix of doshas but in this season, we might find our Vata increases or dominates. Our immunity can feel compromised as our energy is scattered- autumn tends to be the season where people get a little under the weather. So it can be great to restore the body at this time.
We can benefit from routine, repetition, a consistent rhythm, grounding, being warm and deeply nourishing ourselves. Self care 101.
Vata is a dosha or constitution in Ayurveda that essentially describes the airy energy of movement in the body.
It can be a physical thing but also very much about the mind - for example, those moments when you might feel a bit anxious or finding you have a lot of thoughts and ideas and your energy is all over the place making it difficult to focus on one thing at a time and writing too-long sentences to describe it?
Or being slightly over enthusiastic and carrying a pack of a4 paper rather than your ipad when reading the news?
...Yeah, that’s excess Vata in action.
Vata energy is of change (so it makes sense that Autumn is a Vata season!) It's creative, fluid, light, and kinda up in the clouds. Which is great when you need it, but if you’re a little out of balance it means you might be a little overstimulated. Gently unhinged if you like. Might also involve meeting an old friend, Insomnia perhaps. 😬
But it’s all good, cause we can shift our state.
So for me, it's all about routines baby! In short, getting myself to bed at a reasonable hour, being ok with energy being a bit up and down and learning to be more compassionate with those shifts, especially if feeling a bit, er, knackered!
SELF CARE 101!
I think it’s so easy for us to forget how much we are actually doing and there comes a point when the body is like, “hallo, remember me? Can we like, chill a little so i can have the energy to do all the things?” and sometimes we fight with it but trust me daddy when i say, taking a more gentle compassionate approach with yourself will result in you having even more to give than you would by pushing through.
Take care of you.
Balancing Vata, Boosting Immunity!
Here are some self care tips to find balance in this potent time as we transition the seasons.
Vata is irregular, dry and crispy, so the best guide to balancing it is to do the opposite. Increase the oilyness. Get heavier with foods.
Stoolwatch - it´s not uncommon for constipation to rear its head. Um, or not. So staying hydrated is so vital. Drink up and whilst at it, warm water is a good way to go. Teas. etc. BLOG POST IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTER
Watch out for the stuff that creates a spike in your energy levels and increase the erraticness. Look for the slow burning stuff. Sustainability and longevity are the order of the day.
We can benefit from routine, repetition, a consistant rhythm, grounding, being warm and deeply nourishing ourselves.
Some quick suggestions to balance VATA:
Keeping neck, wrists and ankles covered.
Switching from cold crunchy salads to more warming food. Get the crock pot out. Stews. Soups. Curries. Same with liquids. Switch to warm ones. Teas. Warm Cacao (recipe). Turmeric milk.
Add immunity boosting techniques to your practice *tapping + massaging TO FILM?
BP UNDER THE WEATHER post insert
A recipe for immunity support - TURMERIC MILK RECIPE
Slowing down - ODE TO SLOW LIVING BP?
Sesame oil for less oily times. Coconut oil for lighter.
Massage joints - circular motion.
HERE ARE SOME MORE IDEAS OF WAYS YOU CAN EXPLORE REGULATING, GROUNDING AND BALANCING VATA
For me this means working on getting more rest, attempting to uphold a daily meditation practice to help out my energy and stress levels, and avoiding stimulants like coffee and sugar. It doesn't mean depriving myself of things I want, rather being extra mindful about how i treat myself during these changes.
Of course, my physical yoga practice also shifts to one that offers me more stability. I seek out more grounding postures such as the warrior bunch and some standing balances, as well as twists and core focussed work which is a nice way to warm up and rinse out when things get a bit nippy.
I also take the opportunity to turn in, building warmth slowly, giving myself longer periods of time to melt into position. Also worth noting here, the things that work for me, work for everyone else. My point: Amp up your version of rest, babes.
Stress is surely one of the biggest factors in lowering immunity, so doing what you can to stress less is going to have a positive impact on every********************
It´s a good time to take a BATH. If you have one. And you feel like it of course. Add a heap of epsom salts for the road and anything to make it feel good (my go-to is epsom salts and some essential oils).
I also take the opportunity to look inside, building warmth slowly, giving myself longer periods of time to melt into position. Also worth noting here, the things that work for me, work for everyone else. My point: Amp up your version of rest, babes.
INSERT IMMUNITY BOOSTING TAP MASSAGE VIDEO
Fancy some recipes to boost your immunity?
a vata balancing manifesto
i propose a manifesto of being for this week (or as long as you need it):
✨ Get on that couch and snooze if you need to!
✨ Crawl under the desk for a cheeky roll around!
✨ Dance in your pants or nothing at all because it helps you “ground”! - hehe
✨ Eat all the things your body wants!
✨ Snooze a little more if that’s what your body needs!
✨ Take yourself to bed early with a great book or five!
Give yourself permission to say farewell to guilt, force and resistance.
Stay connected to yourself and what you need.
As we move towards chapter 3, we will explore tangible rituals to honour the autumn transition and honour your connection to the season.
to help you glide through transitions
some inspiration for rituals and inspiration to create your own autumn self care regimen