Ayurveda Tips for Autumn. ~ Tania Kazi

Via on Nov 4, 2011

This blog also appeared on yogaanonymous on oct 6, 2011.

Ayurveda strives to create a balance within the human body and the climate it’s in.

Disharmony brings disequilibrium, and if gone unchecked it can result in disease. The ancient science of Ayurveda (translated: the science of plants), offers us guidelines, and food choices that will help maintain an environment of balance within our bodies, so that we are able to go about our business of living, fully supported by our inner system.

Unlike summer months when the climate has more Agni (fire) one can enjoy an array of raw foods (salads etc) without exerting the system too much, autumn however is a time when Agni in the climate has begun cooling off. Hence the body naturally gravitates toward cooked foods, desiring more soups and cooking with the earthier fall root vegetables. The climate supports what the body needs, therefore what the earth grows naturally in any given season is what we ideally should be consuming to maintain and enhance the harmony within.

Autumn is referred to as a Vata season, which means the presence of air and space is more noticeable in and around us. Ayurveda believes that ‘like increases like,’ so if the weather is dryer, and windier, we should be consuming foods that balance the dryness and the wind around us, so that it’s kept in check within us.

Food

In order to calm the vata within the body, we should start with a grounding breakfast of oatmeal, grains or quinoa. Cooking with ghee or clarified butter, is advisable during these months. Fall harvest such as sweet potatoes, squashes, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, arugula, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens cooked in delicious stews, or as main course, all support the body and the health during this season. Nature offers the best medicine through the earth. All we need to do is return to our origins.

Body

Oiling is highly recommended during fall months. The air is dry and cool, the skin in need of moisture quickly absorbs oils, and that aids to fight the dryness within the body and on the dermis. Some people prefer to oil half an hour before a bath or shower, and some who have drier skins or Vata doshas’  (Air/space body constitution) themselves choose to lightly rub oil into their skin, after a warm shower. Sesame and almond oils are recommended for this season.

Colors

Ayurveda also believes that colors contribute greatly to balance in the body. Everything in the universe is energetic and gives off a vibration, colors too. Since autumn is a cooler season, one balances this climate by turning to warmer, richer colors, like golden, yellow, orange and red. All the colors that fall is famous for! Nature wears her oranges to balance the coolness around, and in that offers us a useful suggestion.

Sound

Unlike summer months, when sounds of rivers and streams are soothing, in the autumn we should try to enjoy more grounding, earthy, calming tunes.

Scent

Opt for aromas that are sweet, heavy and warm during this season whether you use incense or aromatherapy, or a diffuser. Scents such as basil, cinnamon, citrus, cloves frankincense, lavender, pine, sage and vanilla keep the rising vata within the body in balance.

Photo credit: Tree

Tania Kazi is a yoga teacher, a meditation guide, an Ayurveda Life Consultant and a mom. she is also a student of Feng shui + Vastu Shastra and believes strongly in an outer environment that supports and compliments inner peace. Tania works for a think-tank in Washington, D.C. where she holds a position on the board of directors. Her loyalty lies in the betterment and the healing of the human soul, which she does through her yoga and meditation classes while also working toward empowering the indigenous peoples of the developing world. Tania is a thinker, yogi, a writer, an activist and a breaker of moulds. She resides in Manhattan. for further musings, do visit her here.

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6 Responses to “Ayurveda Tips for Autumn. ~ Tania Kazi”

  1. Brent Binder drbinder says:

    Yes! More Ayurveda Please! The integration of our special senses that you have outlined here, like sound and smell, are a powerful approach and fresh perspective for our modern western medical paradigm.

    Just Posted to Elephant Wellness on Facebook and twitter

  2. Valerie Carruthers Valerie Carruthers says:

    Good article, Tania. However, I would differ with you about the translation of the word "Ayurveda." It is usually translated as "science of life" (the word "ayur" meaning life and "veda" meaning science or knowledge). Not "science of plants" as you wrote. The use of plants is a significant part of Ayurvedic cooking and medicine, to be sure. Just not all there is to Ayurveda, which has many limbs. Anymore than asana is all there is to Yoga. For more on plants, an excellent resource is The Yoga of Herbs, by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad, two of the most highly esteemed Ayurvedic healers and teachers. Along with a comprehensive description of the major herbs from India and their Western counterparts which are more widely available, there is an exquisite description of the relationship between the consciousness of plants and human physiology. As Frawley and Lad write: "Plants bring us the love, the nourishing power of the sun, which is the same energy of the all the stars, of all light.These cosmic energies emanated by plants thus nourish, sustain and make grow our own astral body. They offer us not only their own nutritive value but the very light and love from the stars, from the cosmos whose messengers they are. They bring us the universal light so that we can enter the universal life." Peace.

    • Ramani says:

      Frawley and Lad are only esteemd in the western world. Frawley has no real Ayurvedic training and is just a popularizer of the subject who has dumbed it down to the point of being useless. Like he teaches that you should eat anti-kapha in the winter which will royally destroy your body. Lad is a bit more educated int eh subject no doubt, though has turned aorund a lot of the logic of Ayurveda as presented in the classical texts to feed to westerners and make it viable while also making it difficult to acutally apply it corectly. In fact many indians with PhD in Ayurveda and others ( Lad only has a BAMS which is hte lowest degree possible in India) are actually upset with what he is doing over here..Though he is a very nice and spiritual man and means well in the long run.

  3. Helene Rose Helene Rose says:

    Great tips! Thank you!

  4. [...] feel like I need to make an effort to include more grounding foods like root vegetables and soups to avoid feeling too scattered or cold. It’s amazing how you [...]

  5. Ramani says:

    Look at the classics maam. Pitta gets aggravated in autumn. Summer is vata time since it is dry. Summer is not the time to be eating lots of salads since they tend to be astringent and raw veggies are hard to digest generally. While the agni in the atmosphere is high in summer, the agni in the body is low which equals vata vitiation and the need for only sweet and easy to digest food. Agni in the body kicks up around autumn. Only people with vata problems will get dried out since the agni in the body is starting to eat the tissues up and if you dont feed it properly it will dry you out. I won't even go into much more, but be careful with this information people.

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