I was once told that certain spiritual masters in Tibet used to set their teacups upside down before they went to bed each night as a reminder that all life was impermanent. And then, when they awoke each morning, they turned their teacups right side up again with the happy thought, ‘I'm still here!’
This simple gesture is a wonderful reminder to let go a little more now autumn has arrived, to celebrate every moment, and to have a sense of gratitude for the simple things in life … like the sunshine, an abundance of food, and a soft pillow.
Just as the season changes so do we. So it’s important to recognise the signals your body is sending, and adapt your daily habits, yoga practice and food choices. Ironically it’s only through change that we can stay grounded during this shifting season.
Cold is on its way: finding warmth and regularity
In the mornings my cold feet are telling me it’s a sign to get the layers of clothing ready. I remember my dear Nan handing out the Bonds singlets at the first sign of crispness in the air. Maintaining a sense of warmth and regularity during this transitional season helps our systems to stay in balance at a time of change, especially if summer festivities have left you exhausted.
Vata: an Ayuvedic approach to autumn
According to Ayurveda, autumn is a season where our internal energies or dosha are influenced by governing force of vata. Vata governs movement in the body, as well as activating the nervous system and the processes of elimination. With the abundance of vata energy circulating during the fall season, our bodies and minds can become overwhelmed and out of balance, especially when modern lifestyles promote being busy as a virtue.
During this time of year, you may feel unsettled, ungrounded and unstable. You may been experiencing feeling of anxiety or increased depression. Signs of vata aggravation also include constipation, bloating, feelings of anxiety and insomnia. But while we cannot change the seasonal weather shifts, we can maintain internal balance by adjusting our lifestyles to counter the predominant vata energy in nature. We do this by incorporating yoga poses, food and lifestyle choices that naturally hold the opposite qualities of the vata dosha.
Slow rituals to help you feel a sense of warmth:
- warm baths
- gentle walks
- listening to soothing music.
yoga for relaxation
Balancing food choices:
- Start introducing warm soups.
- Avoid too many raw veggies and salads, as these are vata provoking.
- Eat two apples a day to aid with elimination.
- Sweet, salty and sour tastes are calming to vata.
- Indulge in pots of tea made of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon.
- Roast up plenty of root vegetables to enhance your connection to the earth.
Perfect time to retreat into Ayuvedic Reflexology
As a reflexologist, it’s the busiest time of year for me – feet just seem to love all the attention in autumn. So plan ahead and book online. Relax and gain insights into your health while enjoying the simplicity of warm towels, the nourishing aroma of organic sesame oil and the wonderful feeling of relaxation. Your body’s natural healing ability kicks in and resilience grows for winter months ahead.
As I watch the piles of leaves mounting in the backyard, I am reminded it is a time for consciously letting go and releasing things that have been a burden to me. It is the right time to practice getting out of the way and let the spiritual aspects take charge of my life.
Get your teacup ready for tonight. It’s amazing how this small but powerful ritual can remind us of the impermanent nature of things in a complex world.