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When fire turns to air: Autumn season advice

Autumns leaves - red and pink

We measure out each year by its seasonal changes – the cold sleep of nature during winter, it’s re-awakening during spring, its full splendour during summer and the fruits bearing seeds of nature’s renewal during autumn. As summer changes to autumn, the sap of each tree begins to draw inwards. Bright green leaves gradually dry and become yellow, orange, red and brown, then they wither and fall.

The fire element of summer withdraws and the air element starts to predominate. Winds blow a cooler, drier air. The life-force energy that Ayurveda calls Prana becomes more abundant in the atmosphere during autumn and one can enjoy bracing and reviving walks.

The balancing of qualities

Autumn has its own qualities or Gunas and these are very similar to the qualities of Vata dosha*, the element in our body responsible for movement. The qualities of both autumn and Vata are erratic, rough, dry, windy, cool, light, subtle and clear. As it tends to increase these qualities in our body, autumn is considered part of the Vata season, which actually lasts until the beginning of January.

To avoid going out of balance and creating the seeds of disease, those with a predominance of Vata need to pay particular attention to their how Vata dosha is affecting them. Constipation, dry skin, restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety are all tell-tail signs that Vata is high.

Autumnal Dos and Don’ts

Autumn ladyBut whatever Dosha predominates in your body, it is always wise to avoid or reduce activities, behaviours and foods that will increase Vata and favour those that balance the increased Vata in the environment.

  • Eating warm cooked food is the most important principle for everyone, during Vata season. Adding Organic Vata Churna (spice mix) to your meals helps balance Vata.
  • Warm drinks such as hot milk or Organic Vata Tea have an immediate balancing affect.
  • Avoid raw foods as these will increase the rough and cool Gunas, and in the case of raw cereal, the dry Guna. Freshly cooked warm foods are always best.
  • A little ghee, coconut oil or olive oil with your food, will help increase the unctuous and smooth Gunas. This will help balance those rough and dry qualities and immediately calm down restless Vata.
  • It’s good to always have a mixture of leaves/greens and root vegetable with your meals, but during autumn, and early winter, it is best to favour root vegetables. Root vegetables are heavier in quality than leaves and greens and this balances the light quality of Vata. They are also generally sweeter and less bitter, which helps balance Vata.
  • With our fast-paced lifestyle cold salads, dry cereals with cold milk or yoghurt, and cold sandwiches are often the foods of convenience, but they are also the types of foods that create Vata imbalance.
  • Avoid too much travel or change to your routine, as both will increase the erratic Guna inherent within Vata. Adopt a steady routine and get sufficient rest and sleep.
  • Avoid drafts and keep a hat and scarf on when you go out for a walk. Although long walks on windy autumn days can be exhilarating, they also increase the windy, cool, subtle and clear Gunas and will elevate Vata dosha.
  • If the weather is windy, it’s best to keep your window closed while sleeping or sleep will become light, erratic and disturbed.

Try this and see how you feel

For a few days, try the following and see how much better you feel:

  • Start the day with a warm stewed apple, along with porridge oats that is cooked in warm milk or water, with a little cinnamon, a pinch of salt and a few added raisins.
  • For lunch try a vegetable curry or try some warm, cooked vegetables with Organic Vata Churna added, rice with ghee, and mung dhal soup.
  • Holding Cup Of Turmeric MilkIf you really need a snack, try dates or fresh fruit, or warm milk with some cardamom. Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, are can be Vata-promoting and should be avoided.
  • Supper can include a warm vegetable soup with toast.
  • A cup of warm milk with a pinch of ginger and turmeric and some sugar or honey is recommended before bed, for a sound sleep.

Foods to favour during autumn

During autumn, favour foods that are sweet, sour, and salty, but at the same time take care not to put Kapha and Pitta out of balance (see list of suggested foods on sidebar).

Foods to reduce during autumn

Cut down on, or avoid, dry cereals, iced or cold foods, barley, corn, buckwheat, rye, dried fruits (that are not soaked). Avoid sour fruits such as black currents, gooseberries, rhubarb and cranberries. Avoid raw salads.

Autumn detox

Autumn is a transition period between the warmest and coldest seasons of the year and an important time to remove Ama (accumulated impurities) from the system. The classical detoxification and revitalisation therapy know in Ayurveda as Panchakarma is an important part of your yearly routine and autumn is seen as a good time to take this treatment.

To book a Panchakarma treatment phone +44 (0)1695 735351 or email info@maharishiayurveda.co.uk

Nurture your skin

It really pays to nurture your skin during the autumn season. Vata is drying and when it is high its can quickly wrinkles and signs of age on the skin.

Radiant Skin tablets

From the perspective of Ayurveda it is more important to nourish your skin internally rather then externally with moisturising creams. Radiant Skin tablets contain a blend of 14 rare herbs that work together to detoxify the liver and blood. The concentrated, cold-pressed herbal extracts it contains support your body’s ability to absorb food nutrients and this in turn helps improve the entire skin-building process.

Cleansing Milk Anti-Age

This liquid emulsion has a regenerative action and is formulated to remove impurities from the skin without removing the skin’s natural hydrolipid mantle. This refined and delicate formula helps to revive tired skin that is suffering from the effects of time. It contains oils that are friendly to the skin and its Ayurvedic extracts help tone and increase skin elasticity.

Facial Cream Anti Age

Facial Cream Anti-Age is a natural liquid crystal emulsion that gives a complete daily skin care treatment against wrinkles. It can counteract oxidative stress and free radical damage to the skin’s macrostructure and is formulated to combat the signs of ageing. This cream is recommended for mature skin but can also be used on younger skin as a preventative treatment against wrinkles and signs of ageing.

Other herbal supplements for autumn

Triphala

The colon is the main seat of Vata in your body and, due to its drying Guna (quality), the extra influence of Vata during autumn can have a drying effect on the waste matter in your colon, leading to constipation. Triphala Rose, which consists of Amalaki, Bibataki, Harataki and Cabbage Rose, work synergistically to detoxify and regenerate your entire digestive tract.

Cold Season Defense

Cold Season Defence enlivens ones natural resistance to airborne infection by strengthening digestion, clearing the shrotas (the channels through which toxins and infective agents are removed) and keeping moisture levels (kapha dosha) in balance.

Vata Massage Oil

For those with an excess of Vata Dosha, Ayurveda considers massage with sesame oil the best treatment. So massage in the autumn season is especially beneficial. Vata Massage Oil from Maharishi AyurVeda Products consists of sesame oil, ripened for deep penetration and infused with a balance of herbs designed to soothe Vata. This calming, warming herbalised oil grounds, relaxes, and strengthen the whole system.

Inhalation Oil MA 634

Maharishi AyurVeda Inhalation Oil, consists of a blend of seven essential oils that help keep the sinuses, nasal passages and lungs clear. You can either rub the essential oil mix on your chest or inhale it in steam. This blend can also used on joints and muscles. It can have a soothing effect on joints and a relaxing effect on muscles, including those of the forehead and temples.

Throat Soothe Syrup (MA3357)

This syrup has a soothing effect on the throat and helps keep the chest and throat free of congestion. It strengthens the resistance of the respiratory tract to infection and allergic reaction. This syrup has no addictive quality, even when taken over long periods.

Maharishi Amrit Kalash 4 – Nectar Paste

Using an age-old formula, in Maharishi Amrit Kalash Nectar Paste, numerous herbal ingredients are combined synergistically in hundreds of meticulous steps to create an authentic product of unparalleled quality. The result is a herbal masterpiece that protects and brings vitality and strength to mind and body.

Maharishi Amrit Kalash 5 – Ambrosia Tablets

Maharishi Amrit Kalash Ambrosia is one of Ayurveda’s most powerful Rasayanas (revitalisers). 13 whole rare herbs and fruits are combined in precise proportions to creating a synergistic effect that is greater than the sum of its parts. Designed to promote the optimum functioning of mind, brain and nerves, it also promotes vitality and strength in both mind and body.

To buy and othe the products mentioned in this article phone +44 (0)1695 51015 or email map@maharishi.co.uk


*Our body is controlled by three Doshas or underlying principles: Vata (movement and space); Pitta (change and transformation); Kapha (structure and solidity). The food we eat, the daily and seasonal cycles and the whole natural world express these three principles. The interactions between, and subtle differences in the expressions of, each Dosha helps structure the enormous diversity we see around us.

About the Author:

Peter took his first course on Maharishi AyurVeda in Holland in 1984 and became a Maharishi AyurVeda therapist in 1986. He is a director of the Maharishi AyurVeda Health Centre in Skelmersdale, UK and runs courses on Ayurveda, Food and Cooking.

3 Comments

  1. Jay Stiefeld 07/09/2016 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    After TM initiation in 1971 I can say that Maharishi Ayurved system of health and wholeness rules the healthcare system of any nation by addressing and working at the root-causes of health and disease which actually are the same–the field of pure knowledge and intelligence which we become more familiar with each time we close our eyes to meditate. Jai Guru Dev.

  2. Glenda Davies 26/09/2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Wish you had included a price list.

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