How to use Ayurveda to adapt to seasonal changes By Rakhee Dodhia
The science of Ayurveda acknowledges the synergy between the individual being and the environment and seasons. The change in the seasons impacts us and we can help to maintain balance by responding to these seasonal shifts.
Autumn is the season where we begin to calm the system after the energy of summer -the leaves start to change colour, we begin to notice a chill in the air and the ground starts to feel damper underfoot. This season is dominated by the dosha ‘Vata’, which is associated with air and ether. As this is a seasonal dominance, it is important to introduce grounding practices to counteract the movement and mobility associated with Vata. Having routines as a daily practice can help to ground you as we move into Autumn.
Ayurveda believes that as Autumn approaches, we should begin to eat foods that are a little heavier and more warming, to nourish our systems from the inside out. You will probably notice that you naturally tend to start eating less salads and move towards more heavy foods. Start to eat more warming foods with grains such as amaranth, brown rice and quinoa. Eat grounding and nourishing root vegetables. Think of lightly stewed fruits, mild curries, soups and breads. Other foods to reach for include rice, sweet/sour or salty flavours, couscous, pasta, honey, ghee, carrots, asparagus and lots of nuts like almonds, pistachios and cashews.
Try not to drink cold drinks, room temperature water is best, and herbal teas, such as chamomile and valerian root are best for this time of the year. Turmeric in tea can also help to boost your immunity, and reduce inflammation in the body, as the cold and flu season approaches. A bedtime Vata favourite is warm milk with a pinch of ginger and a drizzle of honey.
Nourishing and warming the body from the outside is equally as important. Hot stone massage is a healing therapy that has been practiced by various ancient cultures and is extensively used in Ayurvedic bodywork.
During a hot stone massage, you will often feel an immediate release from tension in the muscles as the heated basalt stones are smoothed gently over the body. These hand-picked, naturally tumbled, stones are heated for over an hour before use in order to maintain a balanced warmth. The heat is then evenly transferred into the body and penetrates deep into the muscle layers to achieve a soothing and therapeutic experience.
Used with specific remedial techniques, the stones will allow the deep release of tight muscular restrictions, more effectively, and with less pressure-related discomfort, for the client. Hot stone massage can help to alleviate pain, improve circulation and help rid the body of toxins. The treatment will reduce stress, promote calmness and increase relaxation and helps to ground during the Vata season.
Incorporating an Ayurvedic oil blend into the treatment will leave you feeling nourished and more balanced from the inside out. The Ayurvedic Vata oil is a blend of black sesame oil, turmeric, nut grass, mimosa and vetiver, to help nourish the skin maintaining vitality and softness. This oil is lightly scented with Rosewood, Lavender and Ylang Ylang.
About the Author
Born in Kenya, of Indian origin, Rakhee grew up surrounded by the ancient healing techniques of the East. From her daily practice of yoga and meditation she moved naturally into the world of complementary therapies, specifically massage and energetic healing.
Rakhee qualified with a Diploma in Remedial Massage in Sydney, ReikiI & II in Kenya and spent over a year India absorbing the life, culture, rituals and wisdoms that this ancient tradition has to offer. https://www.sacredspacehealing.com.au/