Ayurveda for Detox & Self-Care
Fall (or Autumn) is a season of change, perfect for either a gentle detox or just some self-care.
Detoxing can prepare your system for better health throughout winter. Good self-care habits set the foundation for a peaceful state of mind.
According the Ayurveda, the ancient science of mind/body wellness originating in India, seasonal cleansing is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. It can greatly improve energy levels, strength, and immunity.
Taking time for either a detox or seasonal self-care can rebalance your digestive system, alleviate stress levels and may increase longevity.
At the very least – you will certainly look and feel better!
Why Do We Detox in Fall?
Autumn begins when the winds rise. At first warm and moist, they herald the end of summer and hint at change. Then, as the season matures heat recedes and dryness increases.
As the winds gain strength they bring cold nights and cool days. As Autumn gets closer to Winter, cold increases and in some parts so too does dryness.
According to Ayurveda, these times of year are said to be “Vata dominant”. This is an optimal time for movement and internal processing if harnessed wisely, or a time for increased anxiety, sensitivity and possibly fear should subtle biological changes go unrecognised.
As the seasons change, so too does what our bodies require.
Initially, Autumn brings the need for extra moisture to balance the dry. Then as the season deepens, grounding and warming activities help keep the body centred and strong.
Late September brings the Autumn Equinox in the north and Spring Equinox in the South.
This signals a change in season, as well as a turning point in the astrological year.
As the Sun arrives in the signs of Libra and Scorpio, we reach a point in the yearly cycle that is best for finding balance and taking stock.
Autumn is the season we transition from warmth to cold.
It is the time of year to find balance within change.
The Best Foods for Fall
Your choice of food should reflect the season.
Food should be warming, strengthening, heavy & moistening. Anything cold, dry, light or raw is to be avoided.
Fast food, instant food & junk food always create imbalance. Think soups and cooked salads – made fresh where possible
Sweet, sour & salty tastes are good. Too many bitter, spicy & astringent flavours are to be avoided. Cold foods and drinks can disturb the body’s natural rhythms. Warm foods are grounding
Meals should not be eaten when anxious, distracted or preoccupied. Take the time to pay attention to what you are eating and avoid stimulants like television, reading or scrolling your phone during meal times.
The best choices are fresh and lightly cooked meals with high quality oils added. Most spices are good at this time of year, but peppers and chilli can increase dryness so should be minimized.
To reduce anxiety include apricots, figs, dried fruits, avocados, bananas, broccoli, asparagus, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, fish (especially salmon), garlic, green leafy vegetables, legumes, roasted nuts and seeds, soy products, whole grains, rice, millet and yogurt.
These foods are good sources of B vitamins, which have an overall calming effect and keep the nervous system healthy.
Self-Care During Fall
In addition, Ayurveda suggests bathing in tepid water, experiencing invigorating forms of massage and the wearing of pearls and flowers.
Most of all, avoid exposure to wind and too many late nights.
Gentle forms of yoga, such as Yin Yoga, really help to balance the mind. Mindful breathing practices like Pranayama are ideal for transforming the emotions, harnessing the power of the mind to balance fluctuations in mood.
If you decide to embark on a fast or detox programme make sure it is gentle, and prepare your body with adequate rest in the days before, as well as after.
Ayurveda teaches that the junction of the seasons – spring and fall— are the ideal time to cleanse the body and prepare it for the coming summer or winter months.
To protect your health year round, but particularly during the fall, Ayurveda suggests you slow down, and strengthen your liver and nervous system with a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
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I’m a professional astrologer, coach, and wellness consultant, originally from Australia but now travelling the world. Here, the focus is on happiness. I publish great astrology articles, as well as well-researched pieces on nutrition, wellness and Ayurveda drawn from years of clinical experience.