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Transition into the Fall season with Gracefulness

Please note: Below are my suggestions and may not be suitable for everybody. Please use this information with discretion based on your health and the advice of your healthcare provider.

Fall is here, and with the change of the seasons, we also experience changes happening in our bodies. Look at the weather the past few weeks…, dry, cold, windy…. totally unstable and all over the place. Have you noticed “unstable” and “all over the place” in your own life? Here are some tips to help you stay balanced during these unpredictable days moving through the Fall and 1st half of the Winter season.
There is an important, foundational concept in Ayurveda that says, Like increases Like, and Opposites Balance

Fall into the first half of Winter is considered Vata (Elements = Air, Ether) season, which governs movement and change. We see this in nature. The intense heat of Summer (Pitta) has dried up the leaves of the trees and then wind moves in (Vata) to blow the leaves away, leaving the trees bare, to prepare for the stillness of Winter (Kapha). We understand that what we see and experience in nature can also be seen and experienced inside our bodies and minds. Vata season is a transitional period that can sometimes leave us with feelings of emptiness, scattered thoughts, shaky ground. However, we can use Fall/1st half of Winter as a time of stabilizing and grounding…… preparation for the upcoming months of quiet and stillness, a time of deep inner reflection. Some of us have more of Vata qualities naturally. It’s just how we are. (see below) However, we are easily thrown out of balance at this time of the year especially and feel a sense of our lives being out of control. What can we do to keep ourselves functioning at our optimum?

DOES THIS Normally SOUND LIKE YOU? (Vata qualities)
● Creative
● Curious
● Enthusiastic
● Inspired
● Light & Cheery
● Mobile – like to be on the go, freedom
● Agile & Energetic

Are these common complaints you have?
Anxiety, Worry
Easily Depleted
Busy Mind
Easily Distracted
Poor discipline
Little or no Routine
Cracking Joints
Constipation – Digestion Problems
Pain in body, in particular: lower back, joint pain

If the above qualities describe you well, then it will be even more important to follow “Opposites Balance” during the Fall months (Mid September through the 1st half of December) and the 1st half of Winter (2nd half of December into March)

● Avoid overstimulation, planning too much, travelling too much
● Slow Down
● Meditation/Yoga Nidra, Breathing practices such as Alternate
Nostril daily
● Practice Slower Yoga Styles with longer holds (avoid fast paced Yoga, avoid joint instability)
● Daily Self Massage with warm Sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil)
● Avoid cold and windy environments
● Dress warm
● Avoid excess change/movement
● Choose soothing and slow music
● Eat warm, moist, cooked foods
● Spend time in the sun every day
● Create a daily routine and stick to it:eating, sleeping, exercising at
the same time every day
● Wear warm “earth tone” colors: pastel yellow, orange, green, brown
● Get relaxing massages regularly

~Eat Warming Foods: It’s not so much the temperature of the foods but the qualities of the food that make them warm.

Sweet Fruits: Cooked apples, apricots, dates, figs, melons, peaches, plums, cooked prunes

*For this time of year, it’s best to cook your fruits instead of having them cold or dried*
● Veggies: Cooked Asparagus, Beets, Carrots, Cilantro, Green
Beans, Mustard Greens, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Spinach, Squash
*Avoid dried, frozen or raw veggies*
● Legumes: Red Lentils, Mung Beans *beans are drying but especially try to avoid: black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pinto beans*
● Grains: Cooked Oats, Quinoa, Rice, Sprouted Wheat *Avoid things that are dry*
● Nuts: Eat nuts in moderation during these Vata (Fall) months and if you have them, soak them in water or cook them into your food
● Oils: Sesame, Ghee, Olive Oil
● Drinks: Warm Almond milk, Room temperature Grape juice, Warm/Hot Apple Cider, Warm/Hot Chai, Chamomile tea, Ginger tea, Cinnamon tea, Clove tea, Lemon grass tea, Lavender tea, *Avoid, caffeinated drinks, carbonated drinks, cold/iced drinks
● Spices: Go for it on the spices. Cook/bake with them, add them to your warm tea
● Meat: (If you are a meat eater) Eggs, Salmon, Tuna, Dark chicken/turkey, Beef, Buffalo, Duck, Fresh water fist *Avoid white chicken/turkey meat, lamb, pork

Aromatherapy & Sound Therapy
● Essential Oils: Patchouli, Citrus, Ginger, Rosemary, Cardamom,
Saffron, Palo Santo, Lavender
● Sounds: Harmonium, Slow, Soothing, Relaxing, Mantra Repetition in Low Notes

Well, there you have it…… A crash-course in staying balanced during the Fall using Ayurveda recommendations! Just remember that this is a “changeable, move-able, unstable” time of year, so consider how you can create the opposite qualities in all of your life. Want to practice some Yoga sequences that are balancing for Vata?
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Ayurveda means wisdom/knowledge of life. It is an ancient practice that can be traced back to India. Considered a 6,000-year-old healthcare system, Ayurveda is a way of life to experience wholeness & wellness on all levels. With ancient teachings such as Ayurveda, there is much to be learned. I am not an expert in Ayurveda, but have been studying and practicing Ayurveda since 2013. I am a new student and humbled to say I have so much more to learn, perhaps a lifetime of studying. My daily practice of Ayurveda has brought about a profound understanding of unhealthy patterns and how I can take better care of myself & my family PLUS I use some of the basic Ayurvedic principles to help support my Yoga Therapy clients and my group classes. I’m excited to share this with you too!

Yvette is a mom of 3 children and the founder of The Center for Vital Living in Cotati, CA.
She is the creator of Vital Living Wellness, organic & seasonal self-care product line. With a powerful love & thirst for ancient wisdom, Yvette has been studying Ayurveda for 8 years and continues. Yvette understands that being well means taking care of the whole person, inside and out.

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