Seasonal Wellness - Fall Edition

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Another seasonal change is upon us. And as the Fall winds begin to creep in and the summer glow begins to fade, it seems Mother Nature is once again inviting us to slow down, consolidate our energy, gather our harvest, and determine what is needed now to maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

At this seasonal junction, the wisdom of Ayurveda encourages us to seek balance in our lives. One way we can do this is by developing healthy boundaries that create space for self-care routines, fostering a sense of calm and stability as we shift from one season to the next.

Here are some tips on how to stay healthy with yoga and Ayurveda as we make the transition to Autumn.

Sleep

For starters, commit to an early bedtime. If you were living without electricity, you would probably be heading to bed by 8pm or 9pm because it’s dark outside and not easy to be productive when you can’t see anything! I recommend going to bed by 10pm and getting 7–8 hours of consistent sleep. Sleep is such an essential part of any healthy immune system and is why this is one of the top priorities for fall.

Diet

From an Ayurvedic perspective, seasonal transitions are a great time to consider doing a mono diet of the Ayurvedic dish kitchari for a few days. It helps to create space to cleanse your mind, simplify your diet, and eliminate any excess inflammation from the summer diet. See my recipe below to try this delicious and balancing dish.

Setting Boundaries

At this time of year, consider saying “No” more often when invited to stay out late, eat cold foods, have a second alcoholic drink, take on more responsibilities, or any other time when your intuitive reaction (felt in the belly brain) feels tight or uncertain. With the possibility now of more space in your life by saying “No”, more energy and creativity can be focused towards self-care.

Self-Care Daily Routines

The following nurturing lifestyle choices may help keep you grounded:

  • Stick to a daily routine with bedtime, meditation, yoga, meals, and downtime.
  • Eat soup often as it’s hydrating, warm, and easy to digest.
  • A few times a week, perform abhyanga, a full-body self-massage with warm oil, to nourish and protect the skin.
  • Moderate, consistent exercise regulates Vata's mobile nature. If you're feeling overstimulated or fatigued, do restorative poses to encourage deep relaxation.
  • When outdoors, wear a scarf, hat, and/or earplugs for additional protection from the wind.
  • And lastly, curb the tendency to talk unnecessarily, settling into rejuvenating silence whenever you can.

  • Click here to join my 5-day Fall Ayurveda Yoga Challenge.


KITCHARI RECIPE

Kitchari (pronounced kich-uh-ree) is a traditional one-pot ayurvedic dish full of protein which is great for all doshas. It is easy to digest, revitalizing, and detoxifying.

Yield: 6 Bowls

Ingredients
  • 1 cup yellow or green mung bean (green beans must be soaked overnight*)
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice or quinoa
  • 2 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fennel
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon each of sea salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander powder
  • Half of a lime
  • *I love to soak the beans in broth for extra tastiness!

Directions
  • Rinse the beans and rice (or quinoa) in a strainer until the water is clear.
  • In a large cooking pot, heat ghee or coconut oil at a medium temperature.
  • Once ghee or oil begins to melt, add the bay leaf, fennel, mustard seeds, ginger, cumin, and coriander powder. Stir together for about one minute.
  • Add the rinsed beans and grain and mix well.
  • Add broth to the pot, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve with one or two cooked seasonal vegetables.
  • Squeeze lime over kitchari just before serving.

Adjust seasoning to your preference by adding more salt, pepper, lime, ghee, or condiments such as chutney, kimchi, or sauerkraut. Enjoy!

About the Author

Melina Meza

Melina has been exploring the art and science of yoga and nutrition for over 20 years. She is the author of Seasonal Health and Wellness - Change Your Life One Week At A Time, as well as the Art of Sequencing books series.


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