Fall..ing into a new seasonal routine
Fall has always been one of my favourite seasons as child: I liked the feeling of wearing long sleeved shirts, the sound of the leaves cracking under my feet and the cooler breeze over my face. Each season would smell different to me in the island I grew up and October is the season of wet soil, new school books, mandarine zest and cinnamon - the one that my grandmother would generously sprinkle over her baked apples. The season of playdates, never ending days on the beach, big gatherings where we kids would fall asleep late at night - perhaps on a chair or all together on a big bed - while the adults were still dining was over and rules were back. Suddenly the days would shorten, they would become more predictable, the family would retire earlier: as a child I would fall back into a routine made of early rise, more studies than playdates and early dinner at home.
Changes are the signature of this season and Vata Dosha is the master that naturally calls us to re-establish balance. Our wisdom invites us to welcome a new rhythm: to connect to our wisdom we need to slow down and listen and to listen we need to stay silent.
We are invited to simplify and make things easy for us:
- simplify your schedule: try to plan ahead, do not make your day too full, set your boundaries and protect them. If this doesn't work, ask for support to your partner, friends and family members
- make it easy on your tummy: eat warm, cook your food with love and care, do not look for anything complex, simple recipes, soups, rice and vegetables. Favour nourishing grains, earthy vegetables and pulses, invite all the tastes but mostly sweet, salty and sour ones will support your unstable inner fire.
- simply look at the season for inspiration: eat in season and local. Warm up your meals with kitchen herbs that remind you of the colour of the earth and the one of the falling leaves: cinnamon, asafoetida, cumin, star anise to name a few.
The Ayurvedic golden principle: "like increases like, opposite subsides" would help navigate this season which is mostly mobile (changes) and to make you more resilient, invite in:
- stillness of the mind and body: soothing pranayama, restorative and mindful yoga practices
- ground yourself: stabilise your hormones by introducing good fats through your diet (ghee) and your skin (daily abhyangam and regular massages)
- strengthen your vagal tone: chanting, mantras are a wonderful way to work on your nervous system and tap into an experience that is encoded into an area of your brain that speaks an universal language
- practice sneha: it is a beautiful Sanskrit world that means both oil and love. When there is dryness of body and emotions, when you feel pulled in several directions at once, bring sneha.
Moreover, practice patience and compassion towards yourself, be sure your own cup overflows with love: if it spills out, so be it.