Ayurveda and the Magic of Autumn


“The sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep, and Autumn was awakened.” — Raquel Franco

Autumn is a truly magical time of the year.  It is when we begin to transform, allowing what no longer serves us to fall away, preparing us for the long winter hibernation ahead.

According to Ayurvedic knowledge, Pitta Dosha is the manifestation of Fire and Water in the human body. During Autumn, this energy is dominant within our environment, and within ourselves (our-cells).

In nature, Pitta season is the time when the air becomes cool and crisp, nature turns golden and fiery, all the trees burst into a golden sunset, before letting go of their leaves, allowing them to fall where they may.

Autumn is the time of Creativity, High energy, Enthusiasm. There is magic in the air, and everything takes on a cosy feel.

During Autumn, our digestive fire (Agni) is beginning to grow and become stronger, after being at its weakest during summer. This is why it is so important to make changes within your diet and lifestyle to help balance this.

Pitta is balanced by sweet, astringent and bitter. We also need to help balance Vata during the later part of the season, so also include in your diet sweet, sour, and salty tasting foods which are all moistening.

Lifestyle tips for this Season

Sleep: Calming our mind is really important during this time, especially before sleep. This can be the time of strange dreams/nightmares or an overactive mind. Take time to wind down at the end of the day, give your mind time to turn off. Journaling is a fantastic way to get out of your head what may be floating around your brain and get in onto paper – leaving your mind still, ready for a calm, deeper sleep.  

Yoga: Good poses include: Sun Salutations, Cat and Cow, Cobra, Spinal Twists, Lotus Pose, Forward Bend, Back Bend. End with Savasana (relaxation pose) to help your body to regroup and calm down.

Exercise: Do exercise that is grounding, such as weights and walking (but rug up!). Avoid over-active exercise (cardio) as this can aggravate Vata.  

Body: Daily Self-Abhyanga is going to be your best friend during this season. Use warm Black Sesame oil, and gently massage your whole body. Can be either done before a shower/bath – in which you can use extra oil, or after a bath/shower – in which use less oil.

Keep warm. Vata is unsettled by cold and windy – as it is a mirror of itself. On cooler/windy days, keep your head covered – with a scarf, hat or beanie. If your feet or hands are cold, heat up the torso, as this will encourage your body to allow blood flow into the extremities.

Tongue scrap:  Tongue scraping is an incredible way to help cleanse your body and mouth each day. During spring, we can help improve our digestion and overall health by using a tongue scraper each morning and night. In the morning, use when you first wake you – before eating or drinking anything. This will help to eliminate Ama (toxins) on your tongue – which has come up from your digestive system overnight. 

Tune in:  Autumn is the season of coming back into ourselves after the lightness and fun of summer. Take this time to take stock of what is serving you in your life and what isn’t. What are some things that may be more of a burden to you than help? This is the time to really sit down and let go of what we don’t need anymore. To see what may be holding us back – in Mind, Body and Spirit. To see what needs to be internally and externally cleaned out (emotions, beliefs, patterns, diet habits, relationships, material possessions etc), so we can go into the cooler months with only things that will support us through this time.

Transformation: Autumn is the time of Change and Transformation. Questions to ask yourself: “Where would I like to transform in my life?”  and  “What do I need bring change into my life, and how will I transform if I do change?”

Align with your Wild Self: Connect with the natural world around you. We as humans are part of the planets natural ecosystem. Find time to go outside and experience the beauty and renewal that Spring brings. Remember that this beauty that is happening outside of you, is also happening within.

Autumn Seasonal Produce

Fruits

Fiji/Pink Lady ApplesGuavaNashi Pears
Black BerriesKiwi FruitPassionfruit
BananaLemonStrawberries
Custard AppleLimePears
CumquatImperial MandarinPlums
FigMangoRaspberries
GrapesMangosteenNavel Oranges

Vegetables

CapsicumBok ChoyBrussel Sprouts
AvocadoFennelArtichokes
Butter/Green BeansBeetrootCabbage
BroccoliCarrotsCauliflower
CeleryLeeksSpring Onion
OnionsPumpkinSpinach
Silver beetShallotSwede
Sweet PotatoTurnipsTomato
LettuceCornEggplant
WatercressPotatoParsnip
WombokZucchiniOrka

Herbs/Spices

BasilChivesGarlic
LemongrassParsleyTarragon
CorianderGingerMint
RosemaryThymeChilli
DillOreganoSage

Grains – Oats, Wheat + Rice

Legumes – Red lentils, Split Mung Dal, Mung beans

Nuts/Seeds – Most soaked nuts – including nut butters. Chia seeds, Flax, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Tahini, Halva, Pumpkin seeds.

Sweeteners – Raw Honey (do not cook), Jaggery, Molasses, Rice Syrup.

Dairy – Most dairy is fine. (avoid cold dairy e.g. ice-cream)  

Oils – Ghee, Sunflower, Olive, Sesame (most oils are fine) – Avoid Coconut.


For your personal diet plan – come see me for an Ayurvedic Health consultation, so we can plan a flexible spring diet, based on your Dosha constitution and lifestyle. Bookings are available online and in-person at the Wholesome Living Ayurveda Clinic – Hawthorn.

Why it is so important to eat local in-season food.

How often do you hear the saying “Eat local in-season food”? It is one of those sayings that we hear about a lot, but without a clear indication of the ‘Why’ behind it. In Ayurveda, it is high up on the list of ways to help keep you at optimal health and wellbeing, so let me explain why.

When we eat seasonal local produce, we are helping our Body and Mind to align with the Earth and our natural environment. This food has the current energy of the season it is produced in, which then helps our own energy to customise to the current season. We as humans are part of the natural eco-system and the natural laws of the earth. Which means that we get affected by the seasons just like how the plants and animals do. In our modern-day world, we have lost this connection, especially when it comes to our diet. We can eat produce all year round, regardless of the time of year or season. While some might think that is great – I mean who wouldn’t want mangoes all year round right? They are delicious! This way of consuming food is having negative effects on our body and mind.

Let me explain why…


By eating local, fresh, seasonal food, we are fueling our body with food high in nutrients, rather than the depleted food that has been sitting in storage for months before hitting your supermarket shelves. This food, is low in Prana, aka Life Force, and it is often loaded with chemicals and waxes to keep them looking fresh.

With our modern-day food system, it means we can eat foods like for example tomatoes all year long, but that doesn’t mean we should. Nature has everything figured out for us and provides us with the food needed within that season.

For example, Oranges are best between June – October in Melbourne, with its high Vitamin C and warming energy, this fruit is naturally designed for us to consume during winter to help fight off touches of flu and colds and keep us warm.

Not sure what is in season? The Seasonal Produce website HERE has a great month by month list of seasonal fruit and veggies that they put out. Or just hit up your local farmers market, or try growing a few of your own fruit and veg!! Nothing tastes better than a homegrown carrot or freshly picked apple!!