What is Ayurvedic practice, and why do we need it this Autumn?

Just like nature, we too should change and adapt with the seasons.  Autumn is a time of transition, cooler air, and crisp colour.  Through Ayurvedic practices we can learn to give our body what it needs whilst we change with the seasons.  Ayurveda has been practiced for thousands of years as an alternative to modern medicine, offering a more natural approach focusing on diet, yoga, meditation and massage.  So how can Ayurveda help us keep our body in balance this Autumn?

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a natural system of medicine that originated in India over 3,000 years ago.  Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words Ayur meaning ‘life’ and Veda meaning ‘knowledge.’  This practice uses natural therapies to bring back balance to the mind, body and spirit.  Purifying the body with diet, herbal remedies, yoga, meditation and massage.  There are three Doshas related to Ayurveda – Vata, Kapha and Pitta.  These Dosha’s are the basis of everything in life, making up an individual's body and mind constitution.  

Vata Season

Autumn is Vata season.  Some qualities that embody Vata attributes are – dry, cold, light and rough.  Ayurveda encourages us to create balance through the seasons by bringing balance to these qualities.  As the weather turns colder, we should focus more on things that bring warmth to the body, for example through our diet and activity.  So instead of feeling depleted, run down and exhausted this month, let's look at the ways we can nourish, ground and inspire ourselves this season.

Ayurvedic practices for Autumn

Nourish the body

  • Soft fruits like banana and avocado
  • Cooked apples or pears – think pies or sauces
  • Avoid eating raw vegetables – steam them instead
  • Eat what's in season such as sweet potato, squash and pumpkin
  • Favour sweet, sour and salty flavours
  • Nuts, wheat, rice and oats for warming slow-release energy
  • Focus on warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon and ginger
  • Drink herbal teas to promote warmth and wellness in the body

  • Lifestyle tips for Autumn

  • Choose exercises that build strength and focus on grounding.
  • Walking, hiking, tai chi and yoga are perfect for this season
  • Practice a daily routine – try to do things at a similar time each day 
  • Introduce self-massage into your routine to help stimulate blood flow, using natural oils to help moisturise and nourish the skin through this dry season
  • Bring more browns, oranges and dark greens into your colour pallet whether this be through the clothes you wear or how you decorate your house
  • The best time to exercise is early morning and late evening from 6-10, regulate your routine by keeping it scheduled at the same time daily.

  • Whether you follow all the above guidelines or just take away a tip or two.  Following nature's guidance and flowing with the seasons is good for us all to create an overall sense of wellness this Autumn. 

    Written by Donna Edwards

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