Can you feel that?
The qualities of the world around you as we settle into autumn?
You might notice a certain crispness in the air, you might feel the wind blowing through, the dryness of the leaves as they become more brittle and fall to earth. You might also sense a change in the pace of life — as kids go back to school, as we rededicate to work. Things seem to speed up, responsibilities swirl around, and all of a sudden it feels we have a lot of balls in the air.
And you might be wondering: What does all of this have to do with Me?
Well, according to Ayurveda, it has a LOT to do with you.
* Check out our Intro To Ayurveda Article for some context*
Autumn is the Vata time of year, and just as these qualities of dryness, cold, increased movement, and wind affect our environment, they can affect our physical and mental wellbeing.
~ Just as the leaves get dry, you may notice your skin thirsting for moisture.
~ Just as the leaves blow in the breeze, you may notice your thoughts whirlwind.
~ Just as the days start to shorten, you may notice your energy reserves waning and you might become more fatigued.
As you tune in to the natural rhythms around you, you can begin to see how they are mirrored in your own health. And from there you can begin to create balance.
Ayurveda is a lifelong study and practice, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few easy ways you can incorporate this wisdom into your daily routine.
Here are Three Easy Ways to Boost Your Moisture This Season:
1. Heighten your Hydration with Aloe
Of course we need to be drinking water, and yes, perhaps even more now that it’s so dry out. But why not benefit from one of nature’s incredible super-plants as well? Known as the “plant of immortality” by the ancient Egyptians, aloe is perhaps best known in the west as a soothing topical ointment for burns. It’s aloe’s soothing, moisturizing and nourishing actions that help regenerate skin, and taken internally the same principals apply. Aloe juice and gel is now widely available for purchase, and goes great in smoothies at home – here are a few delicious recipes. If you’re buying a store-bought aloe juice drink, be sure to check the sugar content – many of the bottled beverages add refined sugars, which are dehydrating… kind of defeats the purpose! Aloe is with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and around 200 active plant compounds, so while it is incredibly hydrating, it also supports good digestion, healthy blood sugar levels, skin health, reduces inflammation, and boosts immunity.
2. Supplement Your Suppleness with Coconut Oil Capsules
Coconut has been having a moment. And we couldn’t be happier. It’s been lauded for countless health effects, and the oil has a plethora of uses from cooking, to “oil pulling,” to topical moisturizing of skin and hair. And of course coconut water is a delicious and hydrating beverage. Well there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s already a favorite: Coconut Oil Capsules. In New York where time is precious we appreciate when something beneficial can be made convenient, or even down right easy! Coconut oil capsules can be carried with you so you can take them a couple times day, and they’re great for travel. Best of all they moisturize from the inside out.
3. Show Yourself a Little Love with Abhyanga
Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of massaging the body with warm oil. It nourishes the body and lubricates the joints, benefits circulation and of course, softens skin, along with a host of other effects. There are specific techniques for abhyanga, and different oils can be used for different conditions and constitutions. But even the simplest version will have a great impact. Sesame oil is particularly beneficial in the fall, but coconut, almond, even jojoba will do just fine. My favorite way to include Abhyanga in my routine is to warm the oil (the same way you’d warm maple syrup, in a glass in a pot of water on the stove), apply the oil (using long strokes on the limbs and sweet, round circles on the joints), let it sit for about 20 minutes and then take a nice hot shower. The hot water will drive the oil into your system, and then you can go on about your day without being all greasy! If you don’t have time to do your whole body pick the joints that are asking for it. The word for oil in Sanskrit is sneha, which also translates as “love.” And indeed this practice is nothing less!