As the seasons change, so should our yoga practice. As we move from the hot days of summer to the cooler days of fall, our yoga movements should also change to better reflect the fall. As Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga reminds us, a seasonal-based balanced approach to living life in accordance with the seasons is very important to maintaining health and wellness.
As we move into the fall, the Ayurvedic dosha known as Vata begins to increase. This can create an imbalance in the body and make us more prone to coming down with the flu or a cold.
Below are a few Ayurvedic and Yogic tips to manage Vata during the fall season:
- Optimize your diet – Use local and seasonal foods for appropriate warming, foods such as winter squash, root vegetables, nuts, and soups.
- Drink fluids – Stay hydrated to counteract the dryness of Vata. (Think herbal teas)
- Neti pot – Using a neti pot will help keep your sinuses clear during the cooler days. Although it takes a minute to get accustomed to the process of using one, it has been proven to be beneficial in the prevention of respiratory-related illnesses.
Work on right-nostril breathing exercises to increase Sun energy.
- This is also a great time of year to incorporate Abhyanga (or self-massage) into our daily lives. The cooler weather and heated environments create dryness in the skin. A daily massage with oil will help reduce the Vata emotions of anxiety, depression, fear, and nervousness. For a real treat, schedule an Ayurvedic massage using oils just for your specific body type, (Vata, Pitta, Kapha)
- Enhance your yoga practice – it’s a good time to bring those warming postures back into your practice such as twists, backbends, sun salutations, warrior poses, and arm balances. Incorporate yoga poses that focus on the lungs and large intestines, as these are the two organs associated with this time of year.
- During the fall, try to schedule your yoga practice for the same time every day and for the same duration of time, as this will help to build a routine and calm the chaotic vata energy.
After your practice, be sure to end in a long savasana to stabilize the moving energy of vata.