Staying Well in Autumn


As the days become shorter, darker and cooler it’s a great time to turn inwards, slow down and take more rest.

According to Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga), Autumn is the season which aggravates Vata Dosha. Dosha means energy and there are three types based on the natural elements of fire, water, earth, air and ether (space).

Vata – Air + Ether (Autumn)

Pitta – Fire + Water (Summer)

Kapha – Earth + Water (Winter + Spring)

We are all made up in our mind-bodies of these five elements and most of us have a predominant one. Vata types are prone to insomnia, anxiety, constipation, feeling cold, fatigued and restlessness when unbalanced. Vata is made up of air and ether energies and is dry, cold, light and mobile. If we are a Vata type then we are even more prone to becoming unbalanced in the Autumn that any other time of year as this is when our Earth is most dry and windy really whipping up the Vata element.

So what can we do to balance ourselves as the weather turns cooler and drier?

Thinking of the Air + Ether element with it’s dry, light qualities, we want to counteract this coolness with warming, nourishing and grounding practices. Ways in which we can balance ourselves in Autumn are listed below:

Avoid light, dry foods like potato chips and crackers.

Keep warm, particularly your head where Vata accumulates by wearing a scarve around your neck and a beanie on your head.

Eat moist, cooked root vegetables that have been grown in the earth such as sweet potato, carrot, ginger, turmeric, fennel and beets.

Stay moisturised by massaging warm organic (uncooked) sesame oil onto your body before your shower.

Eat healthy fats such as avocado, seeds and nuts.

Practice gentle and calming yoga poses such as Balasana (childs pose) or Uttanasana (standing forward fold). If your lower back is aggravated here (a common complaint of excess Vata due to dry joints) then practice the seated version of Uttanasana which is Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold).

Autumn is a wonderful time of the year to really slow down, sip warm herbal tea and return to a slower pace after the vibrancy and busyness of summer. Enjoy this opportunity to take more rest now that the days are becoming darker and shorter. Following natures cycles, we can remain balanced, nourished and healthy all year round.

Join us on Monday and Wednesday’s for gentle yoga here at the practice.