According to Ayurvedic principles, we must look to create and maintain balance within our bodies. This is especially important as the seasons change and the climate fluctuates. We should eat with the season we’re in, in mind. As we move into autumn and out of summer when the climate has more Agni (fire) present, we should focus on eating foods that warm us.
Autumn is referred to as a Vata (air) season, a season of change, where air and space are more noticeable in and around us. Ayurveda believes that ‘like increases like,’ so if the weather is more arid and windier, then we should be consuming foods that balance the dryness and the wind around us. During this season, the body instinctively gravitates toward cooked meals, warmer foods and colors.
As the temperature starts to go down, the body seeks to protect itself from heat loss. Nourishing foods, i.e., soups, are more enticing, while also providing the added benefit of insulating your body from the cold. In Ayurveda, nourishing foods are called ojas building foods. Ojas building foods for this season include root vegetables, such as carrots and beets, along with pumpkins and butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beets, radishes, cabbage, cauliflower as well as ghee, (clarified butter) which serves as an anchoring addition to dishes, along with nuts, like almonds. To keep the circulation going strong, add a pinch of turmeric to your cooked root vegetables.
To ensure you skin doesn’t get dry, consider oiling your skin a half an hour before a bath or shower. Sesame and almond oils, both of which balance the wind and dryness of this season, are wonderful.
Wind, sudden temperature shifts, and the start of a new school season often provoke higher stress levels this time of year. According to Ayurveda, keeping the nervous system stable through the autumn months is our number one tool for maintaining strong immunity and staying healthy.
Interested in taking ayurvedic herbs to help maintain your good health? Consider taking Ashwagandha, which is Ayurveda’s most important herb for Vata-type anxiety and Chywanprash to build your immunity.
In terms of scents, favor basil, cinnamon, citrus, cloves frankincense, lavender, pine, sage and vanilla. These all keep the Vata from rising within the body. You can use them as incense, aromatherapy, or with diffuser to keep you in balance.
Stay happy, stay healthy!