September is often seen as the beginning of the fall season and is considered a “joint season” in Ayurveda, because it’s a vulnerable time of year and when it’s easy to catch a cold or get sick if your life is moving too fast or is out of balance. Slowing down from a busy, fun summer full of adventure and travels is not always as easy as it sounds, but is often necessary as we start experiencing less daylight, warmth, and vacation time! Ayurveda is system that believes in preventative health care over treating sick patients, so here a few ideas on how to start a fall routine with prevention in mind.
- Simplify your diet. Enjoy 3 warm, square, well- balanced, easy- to- digest meals each day (the composition of which will be different for everyone based on their Ayurvedic constitution). Consider doing a short cleanse or eating Kitcheri (recipe in Art of Sequencing – Volume Two on – page 180) one day a week for the next four weeks to clean up your diet.
- Abhyanga (oil massage). Offer yourself frequent oil massages before your morning shower or evening bath to help calm and soothe the nervous system from the stress around transitions. If you want to splurge, treat yourself to a few of these this fall with your local Ayurvedic practitioner!
- Meditate. Consider adding a regular meditation practice (standing or sitting) to your morning routine no matter what! The practice could be as short as five to ten minutes or even longer if you are successful with five to ten minutes for two weeks or more. The concentration and focus required to meditate can be extremely healthy to reduce any stress or anxiety around new routines or seasons.
- Asanas & Pranayama. Create a short or long routine that warms up your muscles and joints, enhances circulation, and decreases inflammation in and around your organs. Exercise and pranayama are both proven to decrease stress and improve digestion. Please see pages 102–118, 128–138,160, and -161 in Art of Sequencing – Volume Two for some ideas on how to sequence for the season. Practice five days a week for at least one month to establish your new routine.
- Balance. Practice moderation in life! Moderation is a valuable key to get you through transitions without getting sick. Keep an eye on how you spend your time and energy at work, in your social life, on the computer, and while spending money. Is this sustainable for the fall? If not, practice saying “no” for the next four weeks to establish stronger boundaries and create space to nourish yourself.
- Creativity. Do something creative everyday! Write a short poem or song, take a picture, draw, or paint, cook something new, start knitting or sewing, or anything to wake up your muse. When your muse is alive and in your life, there will be more energy and joy to bring to work, parenting, teaching, continuing education, and connecting other inspiring beings.