Summer is winding down as we move into September. There is a lingering of heat in the air in most states, yet leaves and foliage are starting to turn color and things are drying out due to the long standing summer heat. What is happening in nature is also happening to us. The key to riding the wave of change is to act intuitively and intelligently so that you can stay balanced and healthy.
Summer time is pitta (fire/heat) accumulation of heat in the body can cause:
We usually are more tiered in the summer as the heat tends to zap some of our strength and we usually crave lighter, cooler and more raw type foods and drinks to counter-act the fire quality of summer. These habits are great for calming this fire within our bodies but can create in an accumulation of vata (air/wind) as we move into fall. This is because all the habits are cooling to the body, which increases the cool, dry, rough qualities of vata.
When we have too much vata qualities in the body come winter time we may see an increase in ailments like:
low back ache
dry sinuses and sinus issues
In-between these seasons we want to respectively pay attention to both pitta and vata. A great way to do this is by bringing more seasonal specific foods into our diet and adopting a routine that will help balance these two dosas. Specifically, purging excess heat from the body while still keeping things soothing and moisturizing to alleviate dryness.
- Rise before 6am
- Dry rub your body with Gharshana gloves or a luffa to move lymph and allow heat to escape through the skin (Instructions: Before bathing and while still dry, vigorously massage your whole body towards your heart. It is best to use long strokes on the limbs and circles or half moons on the joints and belly. avoid rubbing over the heart. Use gentle pressure on your face and neck).
- Engage in exercise for at leaste 30 minutes
- Perform Nasya - Oil inside nasal passages - to help lubricate the sinuses and calm the mind. To find nausea oil click here. Or you can pour organic sesame oil into a sterilized dropper bottle and place 3-5 drops in each nostril, daily.
- Eat three meals a day around the same time each day
- Start incorporating cooked foods and broths into your diet
- Before bed massage body (or just feet and head if you don't have a lot of energy or time) with Sesame based oil to help calm the nervous system and address deep seated dryness due to excess vata. Some oils I love are: Daily massage oil, Sleep easy oil, Ashwagandha oil.
- Drink Turmeric and Ashwagandha milk before bedtime (milk of choice with a dab of coconut oil or ghee, dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper, 1/2 tsp Turmeric and 1/2 tsp ashwaganda. Bring to a simmer, stir. Pour into cup. Add maple syrup or honey to sweeten if needed)
- Take 2 capsules of Organic Digest Tone before bed. This helps nourish the digestive tract for better absorption of nutrients as well as removes toxic buildup from the intestines and colon.
- Go to bed early (10am)
- Apples help to cleanse your digestive system and pull heat form your body. Dr. Douillard recommends 2-4 apples a day. Stewed apples are also very ojas building which means they contribute to our immunity, vitality and overall health.
- Pears are good for energy and balancing the hormones and it is balancing for all three doshas. Pears are great stewed or baked, or sliced and sautéed in ghee and sweet spices.
- Pomegranates are great fall fruit sebaceous they act as anti-heating agent for the blood. The are great for flushing the lymph as well as a wonderful food that is high in antioxidants.
- Watermelon is mostly made up of water, so this is a cooling fruit in the fall that can help with hydration and removing heat.
- Fresh Figs - Are high in iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and K2. They are also a great source of fiber and are alkaline producing.
- Turmeric - helps with inflammation and is a great way to keep cold and flu at bay
- Ashwaganda - as soon as it starts to get cool, add this lovely herb to your nightly milk. This herb is great for your immunity, overall strength and correcting excess dryness. Kids can take it safely as well to help with back to school colds.
- For afternoon snack, flavor a cup of warm milk with 2 teaspoons of Organic Rose Petal Spread.
- Use Organic Cooling (Pitta) Spice Mix to season your food at lunch
- Use Organic Calming (Vata) Spice Mix to season your food at dinner
- Eat lighter meals, specifically at dinner time and avoid red meats and animal protein during this transition (August - October).
Vasant D. Lad - The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies
Maharishi Ayurveda, mapi.com - Focus on Fall Health
Dr. John Douillard, lifespa.com - Summer/Fall Superfoods
Dr. John Douillard, lifespan.com - Fall Tips: How to Stay Healthy This Autumn