Seasonal changes happen several times a year, summer, winter, spring and fall. In Ayurveda, seasonal changes coincide with the doshas. Kapha season is winter through early spring. As we say goodbye to Pitta, (late spring through early fall) we welcome in Vata season (late fall to early winter).
Vata season greets us with crisp mornings, temperature changes, and the harvest of root plants. Detoxing at this time of year reboots your digestive system in preparation for the winter months. Why not reboot for your environment too?
Start with your home
You spend a lot of time in your home. Home is a reflection of who you are, from the furniture you chose, to art on the walls, and to the items in your pantry. Home is a container for your identity in regards to beliefs, energy and emotions. As you cleanse and rejuvenate your physical body why not update the energy of your home? An easy way to shift energy is by smudging. The Deepak Chopra Institute recommends smudging with an Ayurveda Inspiration.
How do I incorporate an Ayurveda inspiration into the smudging ceremony?
- Create a vision. What is your endgame? What actions do you need to take to get there?
- How do you want to feel in your body in your bedroom or office (ie content, peaceful, productive, less stress, anxiety)?
- What do you need to let go of to accomplish this?
- What do you need more of?
- Do you need to communicate with others for support to achieve this?
What is smudging? Smudging is a ceremony used by Native Americans to clear away negative, stagnant energy from the body, as well as, their personal living space. Smudging involves the burning of sage, cedar, sweetgrass, etc… Sage can be placed in a bowl or you can purchase or make your own smudge stick.
- Open the windows to the room that you are smudging (bedroom/office) to ensure proper ventilation so that the energy in the room is free to leave.
- This ceremony begins with smudging yourself. Light the smudge stick until the bundle produces a fragrant smoke that you can pass around yourself from head to toe. Beginning at your feet carefully lift one foot then the other, allowing the smoke to circle your feet. Proceed up your legs, torso, around your arms and head. Breathe in and visualize the smoke lifting away all negative emotions, thoughts and energies. See and feel your inspiration and the visualization you created.
- After you have smudged yourself, the Native American ceremony continues by directing the smoke in the 4 directions. Starting from the east, move the bundle from the floor upwards toward the ceiling, allowing the smoke to permeate the corners. As you move towards the south, west and north maintain your visualization of creation as the smoke clears away all negativity from your space.
- When you are finished stub out the embers of your sage stick. Please in a ceramic bowl or conch shell.
Change Your Clothes with the Seasons
As you store your summer wardrobe and weed through last fall’s clothes you’ll probably be making a decision as to what to keep and what goes. Instead of relying only on a visual inspection, take a page out of Kon Mari’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and incorporate Ayurveda’s uses of the senses.
Try It On, Does it Still Fit?
- Use the words of inspiration from your vision statement and put on each garment.
- Stop, take a breath and ask yourself how does this feel and fit; will I wear this all day?
- Do these colors and textures give me joy and spark or are they old, tired and tattered?
As your identity shifts, your clothing will too. Listen to your intuition and don’t second guess. Into the donation bag old clothes will go.
Switch up Your Smoothies For Tea.
In Autumn, we need warmth and nourishment from root vegetables and teas to balance the dry, cold and windy characteristic of Vata. If making daily smoothies is already in your habit repertoire, preparing CCF tea will be an easy transition.
What is CCF Tea?
Cumin, coriander and fennel- these powerful spices contribute to the absorption of nutrients which stimulate digestion and the lymphatic system. It doesn’t matter which dosha you are, CCF Tea pacifies all three. Laren Gernady, an Ayurveda Health Counselor from the Kripalu Center calls CCF Tea the “Ayurveda Miracle Tea”.
The Benefits of the Seeds of Good Digestion:
Cumin – Stimulates agni (digestive fire)
-Contains antioxidants and iron
-Soothes inflamed mucous membranes in the digestive tract
-Improves bowel elimination
*Lauren Gernady explains that cumin pacifies both vata and kapha doshas. She notes that pittas may notice an increase in fire due to this spice’s heating nature. The coriander and fennel work to balance the heat.
Coriander – Relieves gas and indigestion
-Decreases skin ailments like eczema, rashes and inflammation
-Calms muscles spasms
-Reduces inflammation and joint swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis
Fennel – Strengthens agni without aggravating pitta
-Increases mental alertness
-Helps with IBS
-Contains phytoestrogens to assist with hormonal imbalance
-Helps flush your lymphatic system
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
4 cups of filtered water
Directions: Bring water to a boil and add seeds. Reduce to simmer for 5-8 minutes. Strain and pour into a thermos and sip throughout your day. Drink CCF Tea hot. CCF tea is a diuretic so do not drink after 6pm.
Save time by blending in bulk: Add ½ cup of cumin, coriander and fennel seeds to a glass jar. Shake well to mix. Each morning add 1 ½ teaspoons of this blend to the boiling water.
Bask in Your Fall Reboot
Put on your favorite autumn clothing, a soft sweater and yoga pants, or a long sweater and leggings. Get cozy in your favorite chair or spot in your room. While drinking your warm tea breathe in the aromas of the sage as it burns out the past. Envision your new self. Notice the colors, textures, aromas and sounds that accompany your inspiration. You got this! Now enjoy the best fall ever.