Autumn from the perspective of TCM
Autumn is the season of the Metal element. The lungs, nose, colon and skin are all closely linked to the Metal element. In Autumn, it’s important that we strengthen these organs and protect ourselves against dryness.
As the mornings start to become cooler, preparations for the cold winter season can begin – so it’s important to wake up early to promote good health. Heading to bed before it gets cold at night is also recommended. Sweet, sour and hot cooked meals support your Qi flow, and cold and spicy meals prevent the Lung Qi from flowing.
Tips from Ayurveda for a balanced start to autumn
Look after yourself with a warming, nourishing diet rich in oils and ghee, and with spices such as ginger and cumin. A hot cooked breakfast (porridge, stewed apples or buckwheat pancakes) followed by soups, stews, chapatis, kitchari (a one-pot meal of rice and dhal) and plenty of warm herbal teas all help with this.
End the day with warm (plant-based) milk with ginger, nutmeg and a little honey to help you unwind.
Vata is increased by astringent, bitter and spicy aromas, so it’s best to avoid raw fruit and vegetables, dry muesli, chickpeas, peas, popcorn, caffeine and sandwiches. Minimise your intake of dry, raw and cold meals. It’s important to avoid cold food and drink during the colder months in particular.
The drying nature of Vata dries out the skin – so ground yourself with a daily self-massage using warm sesame oil.
Always massage your stomach in a clockwise direction – up the right side and down the left. Leave the oil for 10 minutes, then take a shower or bath. A daily massage with a body brush also helps to expand the surface of the skin, remove clear toxins and support lymphatic action.
Make sure that you eat regular meals, with the main meal at lunchtime and a lighter meal in the evening. Try to wake up early and establish a regular sleeping pattern. This is also a good time to introduce regularity to your workplace by taking breaks at regular intervals.
Increase the peace in your day and take more time to develop your inner connections. Vata is also aggravated by feelings of fear and uncertainty, so take some time for yourself.
For example, you could go for a walk, practise calming yoga, meditate, cook, write, paint …