Feeling like your brain is more scattered than usual? Hearing more cracks and pops in your joints when you get on the mat? Perhaps your daily routine could use a few tweaks to align your mind and body with the the changes of the fall season.
According to Ayurveda, a.k.a yoga’s “sister science,” a daily routine that incorporates calming and warming practices throughout the fall can help us prevent getting swept away in the whirlwind of a season. By balancing out excess movement, dryness, and cold that may be caused by the predominant vata dosha this season, we can ward off unwanted mental and physical conditions like anxiety, depression, insomnia, dry skin, and digestive discomfort.
Consider going over the following Ayurveda tips for a healthy fall routine. If your habits are currently way off, try slowly working toward changing them by gently shifting them little by little so that your mind and body have time to catch up.
Sleep and Wake Early
Aim to go to sleep no later than 10:00 p.m. so that you can wake around 6:00 a.m. This will help to balance out restlessness and erratic thinking that can lead to irregular sleep schedules and insomnia. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour before bed to do something that helps you relax and prime you for a good night’s sleep, like a body scan meditation.
Slow Down Your Practice
The best time to get your yoga practice in during the fall season is in the late evening (between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) and in the early morning (between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.). Rather than sweating it out with an intense/fast-paced vinyasa flow, try shifting your practice to include more hatha and restorative sequences that focus on slow movement to help you restore and conserve energy.
Regulate Your Meals
Whether you prefer sticking to three main meals a day or just one main meal plus a few small snacks, try to regulate your mealtimes and snacks so that you eat them around the same time each day. Practice mindful eating by eating in peaceful environments while incorporating seasonal fruits and veggies that have been cooked rather than eating then raw.
Balance Activities With Downtime
Our professional lives and personal lives can get hectic in the fall, which is why it’s so important to schedule at least a bit of time every day for self care — especially anything that involves solitude and silence to promote inward focus. Ayurveda encourages giving ourselves daily massages with a moisturizing oil to help combat dry skin this time of year. This is a great habit to use after a nice warn shower in the morning or a bath in the evening.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurveda and how it can help with balancing your mind and body, you may want to look into getting a personal plan designed specifically for you to help restore your imbalances with the help of a qualified and insured Ayurveda practitioner. The National Ayurvedic Medical Association can help you find one.
Please keep in mind that while anyone can typically incorporate the simple Ayurveda-based lifestyle tips explained above into their lifestyles to promote balance and overall wellness, they’re not a replacement for medical diagnoses and treatments for certain health conditions. Speak to your doctor if you have health concerns!