Seasonal changes are part of a highly intelligent, complex and intricate system for which all beings (humans, animals and plants) live by. Just as the earth transitions from summer to fall, fall to winter, winter to spring and spring to summer, so do our bodies and our minds. What is happening externally in the environments around us is also taking place internally, within our own being.
We have been given tools passed down to us from generations of people who truly lived with the earth and who worked with and relied upon seasonal transitions to stay healthy and vibrant all year round. Today our connection to nature has diminished tremendously and it is apparent that for our own health and healing as well as the good health of our planet, we must bring ourselves back. Joy, prosperity, peace and stability will enhance when there is true and genuine respect to the changes occurring within us and around us.
According to Ayurveda, during times of change the Vata dosha (the air and ether elements) become heightened and may increase as a result. This means that the air + ether elements become active and will most likely be pushed out of balance unless one practices the proper self-care tools specifically given for seasonal transition. Circulation, assimilation and elimination are all governed by the air element (Vata) in both the body and mind.
Signs that Vata is going out of balance or is already in that stage will present as fatigue, dryness within the body and the skin, mood swings, low immune system, digestive disturbances, brain fog, body aches, lethargy and feelings of heightened stress.
It is important to note that if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms on a daily basis and not just in times of seasonal change you may consider seeing a practitioner who can support you one on one.
Below are a few simple and effective tools to help you become aware and fully engaged in transitioning from one season to the next with ease and joy.
- Part of what balances the Vata dosha is connecting with the earth and her rhythm. To start, know when the seasonal changes occur in your area and take note of them on your calendar. This will help you begin to tune in and relate to the outer environments, especially if you spend much of your time in doors.
- Just as you must take time to get used to a new job, relationship or new home, the body needs time to transition from one season to the next. And yes, this takes place every 3 months. For this reason, to prevent “burn out” or feelings of fatigue extra rest and rejuvenation are highly beneficial. Get in another hour of sleep or receive that massage you have been putting off for weeks.
- To keep the digestive system feeling good, change the foods you are eating from one season to the next. Find out what foods are readily available in your area (not shipped in from another country or grown in a green house). One of the best ways to do this is by shopping locally at the farmers markets or your local Co-Op since these places will most likely only sell seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Sip warm water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Rule of thumb: every 15-20 minutes take a few sips.
- Start a 40 day meditation practice that will help you emotionally transition. Each season lasts about 3 months which gives you more than enough time to practice something for 40 days. You can start with 3-5 minutes of long deep slow nostril breathing and commit to doing it for 40 days. Or any meditation practice you are drawn to.
Ease yourself into these seasonal changes instead of launching right in. It is too often that we become victim to the season rather than empowered by it. The “winter cold” or the “spring allergies” become a dread and we miss the beauty of what is really taking place– a beautiful miracle of change and transition. I encourage you to take a look at the 5 tips provided and choose at least one to practice on a daily basis.
Change is what gives us the opportunities to deepen our awareness and help us strive for victory. As you take care of your body with mindfulness and love, the environment around you will support your efforts 100%. My teacher Yogi Bhajan encouraged us to remember the infinite nature of our being and that “There is a way through every block”. Compassion begins from within. Taking good care of your body with awareness and love supports a happy and joyful life experience.
Hari Simran xx