Renew & Restore Detox Kit
- Clear away brain fog
- Ignite your digestive fire
- Rev up your energy
Your personal body is inextricably connected to the environment around you. When you explore the ancient holistic lifestyle medicine of Ayurveda, you remember and rediscover this core teaching and deep truth.
We can think of the environment as your extended body. The air outside becomes your breath as the temperature and moisture outside affects the internal body. The prominent qualities that we see outside in nature are also expressed through you.
In Ayurveda, the qualities of nature are described by the Five Elements—Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. These elements are a way of describing patterns that we see in nature including the seasons of the year, and gives us insight into why we may feel differently or find that adjustments to our nutrition, movement, and self-care practices depending on the season allow us to stay balanced throughout the year. When you are aware of the qualities that are dominant during different seasons, you can make choices that support and nourish you.
When these qualities of nature form certain combinations, they are described as doshas and represent the activation of these natural qualities within our physiology. These doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each of these doshas represent different combinations of the five elements so have their own unique qualities.
These doshas and their qualities cycle with the seasons and can be used to describe what is happening in the environment:
During any seasonal transitions certain doshas, and their qualities, accumulate and it’s common to experience imbalances.
For example, when a cold, dry wind blows, the Vata inside of you accumulates; hot weather increases Pitta, more so when it’s humid; and cold, wet weather or snow causes Kapha to accumulate.
During the fall season, our body cools down as the weather gets cooler. The days are becoming shorter and the air is drier. As the weather transitions, it can be a bit irregular and unpredictable so we can feel a little irregular as well. Our digestion and sleep cycles can get disrupted. Our skin can get dry and we can have cold hands and feet. We can also feel a little anxious or restless.
Ayurveda recognizes these tendencies and offers practices to stay grounded and balanced. The key to balance is to recognize these changes and bring in opposite qualities to stay balanced.
One of the main principles in Ayurveda is that “like increases like” and therefore opposites are healing. So we want to balance excess Vata energy that accumulates in this season by inviting in qualities such as heavy, warm, moist, and oily.
Ayurveda recognizes the tendency for the digestion to become irregular during this transition to fall. In order to stay balanced, there are things we can do to keep our agni, or digestive fire, burning brightly:
During Vata season, it is best to eat warm, cooked foods that are comforting, nourishing, and easy to digest. Also, look to nature and eat seasonal fruits and vegetables that are grown locally. Here are some tips for using food to balance during the fall season:
One of the best things to stay balanced during Vata season is to establish a regular daily routine. In Ayurveda, this is known as Dinacharya and is best when aligned with your natural biological rhythms. Here is an excellent daily routine for fall:
By tuning into the qualities of the natural environment around us, we gain a deeper understanding of the qualities that reside within us as well. When we use Ayurveda to understand the seasonal cycles and the qualities that are dominant with each season, we can bring in simple yet powerful practices that keep us balanced and thriving all year.
Stay grounded this autumn with Ayurvedic practices that support a healthy mind, body, and spirit in Fall Remedy, a four-part program with Dr. Sheila Patel, available now in the Chopra App under For You.