Fall Guide: Seasonal Transition Cleansing
Why the change of seasons is the ideal time for cleansing
A fall guide for routines and foods to help ease your mind, body, and spirit from the summer to the fall and winter months.
“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”
— Henry David Thoreau
Autumn is upon us and the fall equinox will happen on September 22nd. The autumnal equinox is one of two days in a year where the day and the night are the exact same length as the sun is directly over the equator of the Earth. This alignment also marks the beginning of the fall and Vata season. Nature is starting to prepare itself as well. The leaves on trees are starting to shift to their scarlet, gold, and rust color profile. Flowers, shrubs, and other flora are beginning to dry and prepare for the hibernation that happens during the colder weather.
The leaves are starting to change but haven’t fallen to the ground yet. This transition in nature is a signal to start the same transitions for yourself. Take your time to let the changes happen. Your mind, body, and spirit also need to prepare for colder months and adjust to seasonal eating, activity, and routines. Ayurveda uses this transitionary period to help stoke your digestive fire and build your immune system to help prevent sickness during the time of year when it becomes more prevalent.
The fall and winter months are Vata time of year and are characterized by the elements of Air and Ether. Some of the qualities that are apparent during this time are light, dry, cold, and mobile. We witness these elements in the dry, windy, and cooler air. The person who has a strong Vata mind/body type also witnesses these qualities within their own constitution. They have a light, slim, long body frame, fine hair, and thin skin. Their tendencies towards excitability, and creativity, and movement can become imbalanced in excess and lead to dryness, restlessness, and constipation. To learn more about the Vata constitution, read our Vata dosha blog post.
Two guiding principles of Ayurveda are ‘like increases like’, and ‘opposites create balance’. Fall and Winter are inviting us to slow down, relax, pause, and rest, but what can happen is a build-up of stress through travel, social events, and being cold. When the qualities of the season are mobile, cold, rough, and dry, we want to hone in on more heavy, oily, and soft qualities in our foods and activities.
What are some common signs of a Vata imbalance?
If you’re primarily Vata constitution or have a Vata imbalance, you may experience….
- Scattered and/or racing thoughts and inconsistency
- Sensitivity to noises
- Dryness in your eyes, hair, lips, joints as well as internally in your systems appearing as dehydration
- Gas, constipation, or bloating
- Irregular appetite
- Cold hands and feet
Fall Rituals and Routines
These practices can help you transition into autumn and balance and ground Vata.
Tongue Scraping to help rid your body of toxins
Oral health is of the utmost importance as it reflects the health of your body’s systems. By scraping your tongue each morning, you’re helping to boost your immune system by ridding your body of toxins and bacteria that have built up overnight (ama). This simple step in an Ayurvedic morning routine will scrape away the ama that collects on your tongue as a buildup which can lead to bad breath.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique for healing cells, tissues, and organs by supporting the body’s elimination of toxic waste without disturbing the healthy microflora. It involves swishing sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes, first thing in the morning. Learn more about oil pulling here and why we use organic grass-fed ghee in our formula.
Ensuring your nasal passages are clear and well moisturized will help the new air of the season move through your body, alleviate congestion and relieve allergies that can arise during the autumnal transition. We use ghee in our nasal oil as it’s the most effective oil for hydrating all of the tissues and systems in our bodies. Learn more about our Clarity Nasya Oil and the benefits of using Nasya.
Abhyanga – Self-massage with warm, herb-infused oils
There are so many benefits of abhyanga; some may not be so obvious though. It can help to calm your nervous system by giving you an overall sense of relaxation and peace amongst the hectic day-to-day. It can also move lymph for healthy detoxification and help to increase your energy and stamina throughout the day, therefore, giving you much deeper sleep at night. Spending time practicing self-love or self-care is also a great way to ground yourself, unwind, and reset for the next phase of your day.
Not sure where to start? We really like this “how to” video from our friends at Maharishi. They also have shared a great article with expanded details on the benefits of abhyanga if you’re looking for more information.
Spending some time each day during a seasonal transition or cleanse period to practice Ayurvedic breathing techniques can help to calm anxiety, focus the mind, and balance Vata. Our friends at LifeSpa have shared a helpful guide to 10 breathing exercises that would be a great place to start or provide guidance to try something new.
Sleep – Get to bed earlier!
The more sleep you can get, the more rested not only will your body feel, but your mind as well. Getting a good night’s rest will improve your mood and overall demeanor as well as help you focus during the day and make better choices. Lack of sleep can strike an imbalance in Vata very quickly, so it’s important to make sleep a priority and a habit. If having trouble quieting the mind, be sure to get off screens at least 2 hours before bedtime and practice a little trataka (ghee candle gazing) for 5 minutes prior to going to bed.
Slow down your activities
Summer can be a busy time. Lots of activities can leave little time for relaxing. During the seasonal transitions, breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga can be a great way to still move your body, but at a slower pace. These slower movements can continue to help your body rid of excess heat from the warmer months. Focus on activities that build endurance by increasing your flexibility, balance, and coordination instead of speed or long distances. Exercises and movements that Vata tends to respond well with are walks in nature, pilates, yoga, or swimming.
Observe the sun and appreciate nature’s changes
It’s important to still spend time in nature and absorb sunlight as it provides your body with invaluable Vitamin D. The scenes outside will also start changing which can reinvigorate your mind and spirit as well as feeling the crisp air on your skin.
Fall Foods Guide – Eat Seasonally
Eat and nourish your body with what nature is giving us at this time by enjoying foods that are still coming off the vine. These types of foods will help to dispel the heat and prepare our digestion for colder months. Foods that are pacifying to Vata include ghee, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, beets, legumes and nuts, rice, oatmeal, quinoa, split mung beans, dates, figs, grapes, grapefruit, and other fruits and vegetables that flourish during this seasonal transition period. Try to avoid drying foods like salads (raw foods), crackers, coffee, or processed items. View our full fall ayurvedic food list.
Fall Cleansing Spices
Adding spices, healthy fats, and oils (ghee) to your diet as well as other Kapha foods will be pacifying and help prepare your digestive and immune systems for the upcoming colder weather. Spices that are extremely beneficial during this time include cumin, turmeric, fennel, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, saffron, and cinnamon. Learn more about Farmtrue’s cleansing spice blend.
Hydrate with more than water!
Along with eating warming, moisture-rich foods, be sure to keep yourself well hydrated during the Vata season. Also known as the ‘dry season’, the change from warm weather to colder temperatures will find you experiencing dryness, and keeping your inside and outside well hydrated and lubricated will help ward off sickness and keep you feeling good. Ghee is a supercharged oil that will help to increase the hydration benefits of your foods as well as your skin. Drink plenty of warm water (warm water is the most pacifying to Vata imbalances) and herbal teas with a ½ teaspoon of ghee for the ultimate way to hydrate.
How to manage a Vata imbalance
The change of season can highlight the imbalances in your body and mind and you can begin to feel a build-up of excess heat leftover from the summer months. Cleansing can be the easiest and most ideal way to reset your body and prepare your systems for the new time of year. Cleansing can also aid in preventing seasonal allergies, colds, and flu.
Cleanse Kit – Farmtrue’s Ayurvedic 7 Day Cleanse Kit
Farmtrue has created a 7 day cleanse kit to help you ease into the fall season and regulate any Vata imbalances you may be experiencing. Our Ayurvedic cleanse kit includes…
- 1 16 oz jar of organic grass fed Ghee, traditional
- 1 full-size jar of Cooling Digestive Tea (while supplies last!)
- 5 bags of Farmtrue’s Kitchari, traditional blend
- 1 sample sized vial of Clarity Nasya Oil
- 1 4 oz bottle of Ayurvedic Body Oil in our signature Ground scent
- 1 4 oz bottle of Pulling Oil, peppermint mouthwash
- 1 Copper Tongue Scraper
- 1 Ghee Meditation Candle
Do you have any questions on cleansing or seasonal transitions? Send them to us at [email protected] and we’ll answer them on social media! Be sure to be on the lookout for a special Fall 2021 Cleansing promotion in your inbox as well. Not on our email list yet? Sign-up to receive our newsletters and promotions below!