Autumn and the Internal Fire
Autumn is the season of transformation and change. Nature is changing all around us. The days are shorter and light gets dimmer, inviting us to turn inward, reflect on the past and gather energy in preparation of winter.
We are children of the sun who love long days and playing outside in the warmth of the sun, and often November can fill us with dread.
But it is also a time to look on the bright side!
It is important to change with the seasons, just as nature does, by adopting our daily habits, our foods and our yoga practice.
In Ayurveda, autumn is associated with Vata which is governed by movement and change but also with an energetic and creative mind.
Its qualities are:
Vata is composed of the elements of Air and Space and it is closely associated with the nervous system and its state is connected to our mental health.
With the abundance of Data energy in Autumn, our bodies and mind can be overwhelmed and out of sync leading to feeling unsettled, ungrounded and unstable.
The good news is that you can counterbalance the excess of Vata by adapting your lifestyle and food as well as your yoga practice.
Autumn is a time to slow down and consolidate your breath by focusing on Pranayama and meditation. A shift from highly dynamic flow to meditation can be beneficial during Autumn. Do poses that focus on the lungs and intestines as these two organs are heavily associated with Autumn.
Eat heat and create your own light. Turn to warmer and more comfy foods and spices and try incorporating warm curries, spicy chais, root vegetables and lots of ginger to your diet. They both literally warm you up from the inside and boost the immune system.
Try to keep to a schedule and practice yoga at the same time and go to bed at regular times to build a routine ad calm the chaotic Vata energy. Curb your tendency to talk unnecessarily and try to settle into the rejuvenation of silence whenever possible.
Ultimately it is important to embrace these natural rhythms and connect with the flow of nature. There are many ways to create your own fire and making your own light (literally use candles and fireplaces if you can). But above all, embrace the comforting darkness and use this time to stoke the inner flame throughout Winter as you will emerge refreshed, rested and restored in time for Spring.