It is important that we change with the seasons just as nature does by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice and food choices. During the winter season, the energy of the Earth and its creatures is drawn inward. We can use this time for restoration and introspection, just as many plants and animals use it for hibernation. In preparation for the spring, it is important to slow down and rejuvenate.
An Ayurvedic approach to winter
There is a rule in Ayurveda that “like attracts like.” That is why the kapha and vata doshas can become provoked and aggravated during the dry, dark, cold months of winter. This is because the climate is alike the qualities of these two doshas. If kapha or vata are triggered, digestive fire plummets, leaving you more susceptible to colds, poor circulation, joint pains and negative emotions. Here are some yoga and lifestyle tips that can help you to balance your doshas this season.
I’m sure you can feel it — the change that’s in the air all around us.
It’s been a spectacular autumn so far, and I’ve been spending as much time as possible going on long hikes. Perhaps I should feel guilty about the chores I’m neglecting, but I cannot resist the spectacular display beckoning outside my window. The smell of cool, crisp air and sound of rustling leaves instantly put me in a good mood.
I have always felt the healing energy of nature, and lately I have connected even more deeply with the cycles of each beautiful and fleeting season. I used to dread the end of summer, but with age (and lots of yoga), I am now grateful to live in a place that has four distinct seasons. I embrace change — after all, it is inevitable.
Being in balance with our outer world brings more harmony to our inner world, both psychically and physically. As the colder weather sets in, we transform our habits as well as wardrobes and, hopefully, our home environment.
Here are a few easy ways to welcome the fall season in your home:
There is no better time to amp up your fruit intake than during the summer months. June, July and August offer us the best-tasting and widest variety of fruits, so go find a farmers’ market, or a conventional market with good produce, and start shopping. And remember, the wider variety of colors that you can include in your diet, the better. I’ve color-coded the fruits for you to make it easier to eat a rainbow each day!
This weekend we made our annual pilgrimage to the country to visit an apple house and a pumpkin patch. Our car was a good 40 pounds heavier on the way home, loaded down with an enormous bag of apples and a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins and squash. Ordinarily, I’d feel overwhelmed with having such a bounty in my kitchen (it’s always a challenge just to use up all of my Community Supported Agriculture share for the week before it goes bad), but the beauty of many fall vegetables is that they last for awhile — Mother Nature’s way of helping us stretch that last harvest through the cold winter months, I suppose.