Autumn is knocking earlier than usual this year since we are still only in the middle of August, but then, climate change brought us spring a bit earlier too. Autumn is signalled by the rise in Vata energy which is a combination of the elements of space and wind. This change causes a dryness in the air making the leaves fall off the tree but the body too will soon start to display signs of being affected too. Changes of season are associated with various ailments including dryness of the skin, hair and nails, colds, flues and fever. So what can be done to prevent this?
The aim is to find a way to counterbalance this seasonal increase of space and wind, which causes us erratic changes mentally and physically as well as a weakening of the immune system. But even while the warmth is still here in terms of the lingering fire element, there are actions we can take right now to prevent the negative effects of seasonal changes from affecting us too much.
The trick is to expose yourself to the opposite energy, in other words, a bit more earth and water.
How To: Food
You can add a few earth and water elements into your diet by ditching the salad and light summer eating habits for an occasional warmer meal, such as porridge in the morning or a sweet potato soup in the evening. It is important to remember though not to go overboard too soon in the season with hearty, heavy meals and this is for a couple of reasons.
1 it Is not yet winter – save that food for when your body will really need it
2 The change of season can have a temporary slowing effect on your digestive capacity. It is important to keep your meals light but with an increase of substantial ingredients.
Foods to avoid at this point of the year due to their ability to heighten the negative elements of the Vata energy include:
- Sparkling water
- Rice cakes
- Dried food
- Cold food
How To: Body Care
The dryness on the outside of your body is noticeable through dry hair, nails and skin but of course what is occurring on the surface is usually stemming from something deeper inside the body too and in this case this is certainly true. To counteract this, a body massage with Dashamoola, Dhanvantari and Narayan oils is ideal. You can either book yourself in for a massage or apply them at home ten minutes before a shower.
There are two reasons why it is recommended that you use these oils before and not after a shower.
1 These oils are activated by steam and heat, so the heat of the shower makes the effects of the oil stronger as they work in deep to help regenerate and soothe your skin.
2 These oils may have too potent a scent to keep on the body during daily activities, although if you can spend the day at home in them it could be highly beneficial.
How To: Lifestyle
A hectic lifestyle will be made to feel even more stressful with the arrival of the autumn energy so start to slow down around now, especially with the next major rush being the ever-manic run up to Christmas. Don’t get sucked into the speeding up of the commercial world and make a conscious decision not to burn out between now and December.
This means you must:
- Take it easy
- Give your body a stress-break occasionally
- Exercise a touch more gently
- Have an early night when you can
- Keep warm
- Keep calm
Strategies to help you follow these autumnal rules may include the simplest of things, such as a lovely cup of hot chocolate and a book, a lavender pillow at bedtime, a meeting with friends with light comfort foods, a walk in the park or a trip to the cinema.
The How To Rundown
The change of season results in a natural change to your body clock, and during this time we are vulnerable to breakdowns. But, we don’t have to succumb to these ill-effects if we give the body some space and support whilst it is resetting our internal body clock.
Sonja Breuer is a qualified professional health coach & nutritionist with MSc degree in health promotion from a UK university. She transforms diets and lifestyles, helping people to harness every little bit of their inherent potential.
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