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Practices for A Healthy & Balanced Autumn
With fall comes Vata Season, as it is know in Ayurveda, or the ancient healing system of India.
Vata is one of the three doshas, or constitutions of being. When Vata is out of balance our skin will be out of whack, we will be anxious, unable to focus or complete tasks and are, in general, all over the place and unable to concentrate.
Because autumn is Vata season, these characteristics begin to show themselves in everyone, especially impacting those who also have a Vata dosha.
So, how do we stay calm, on point and looking good as the weather changes and we find ourselves having to adjust? Diet plays a very big and vital role here, but so too does our physical movement and our beauty routine.
I have crafted some warming yoga & beauty practices to help balance the Vata energy of this season. These poses do not require an entire sequence, nor do they require any experience with yoga at all! They can be done separately, for as long as feels good, or you can weave them together with a flow.
Tadasana or mountain pose: Standing sturdy and strong on our own two feet this pose is both grounding and empowering. Feeling the soles of our feet not just on the earth, but rooted in the earth, rolling our shoulders back opening our hearts and standing in a way that makes it very easy to take big, deep inhales and exhales, Tadasana is an excellent choice for those feeling a bit more up in the ethers than they‘d like. You can even let your eyes close since balance is not an issue. Breath red light deeply from the souls of your feet and watch it land at the small of your back. Be still and solid.
Uttanasana or standing forward fold: Again here the feet must be planted firmly, with the weight distributed evenly. Allowing gravity to take over as we drip forward over our legs not only opens our hamstrings, grounding and strengthening our root chakra even further, but allowing the head to fall forward encourages us to let go and release. And, any time we bring our head beneath our heart the nervous system re-aligns and mellows out (and also helps you to fall asleep!)
Paschimottanasana or seated forward fold: Again we allow the head to come beneath the heart, but now we have the shift of not just stretching the spine but lengthening both it and the neck. Plus, seated we are all the more rooted and grounded, able to slow down and feel the support of the mat, the floor and the earth beneath us. If our hamstrings are tight we may begin with the knees very bent—that’s ok, this should feel like you’re giving yourself a hug, and creating space all at the same time.
Viparita Karani or legs up the wall: Ahhhh! Deep Siiiign!! One of the most relaxing and restorative poses available to us. With our legs up the wall we are able to reverse blood flow, allow the back and shoulders to fully relax and find support, fill the belly with great and vibrant breath, and just simply release into the ground beneath us. Added bonus! Lifting the legs up this way reduces and prevents spider veins.
Meditate: To just sit, quietly, in stillness with our eyes closed and our breath full and focused in the greatest gift we can give ourselves both during Vata season, and throughout our lives, regardless of the time of year. There is nothing more grounding, calming and centering than even 3 minutes of meditation, especially if done daily. “Now I inhale, Now I exhale” or even better, “Sat Nam” which translates to “I am truth”. Just sit down, and let yourself be.
*Meditation Tip!* Many people get frustrated with meditation because they think they are supposed to have an empty mind. This is almost impossible!!! Instead, just watch your thoughts! Don’t engage them, just watch them, like a movie. After you have mastered this you can begin to focus on a lotus flower, the ocean or anything that calls to you (just remember, what you focus on, you become!)
Grounding Bath Ritual
We are extra lucky this Vata season because DollyMoo has crafted an incredible Fall Equinox Collection! When we practice yoga we are using the poses and the breath to break up old energies, to ensure we reap the full benefits we need our savasana. Enhance this with a gorgeous ritual bath to complete your intention of grounding, peace and focus during this time.
Using the soul cleansing Equinox Moon Bath Bomb you can melt into a bath that will shake your old leaves just like the trees are doing outside, all while nourishing your beauty skin with wild-harvested witch hazel, mango & coco butter. Show your beauty body (and soul!) even more love with the Amber Moon Aura Anointing Oil, focusing on the small of the back or your root chakra; imagine a red lotus as you do this resting here. The Aura Oil is extra great because it can be used anywhere and anytime! Finally, rub down with Mabon Moon Body Butter Blessing and moisturize your gorgeous skin with kokum butter & sandalwood.
Voila`! A beautiful and complete home practice to balance Vata and restore clarity and ease while preparing for the snow ahead!
Using these practices promises you will find yourself calmer, more focused and properly harnessing your energy as the leaves change color and float to earth.
PS! DollyMoo & Diana are going late night! Join us for After Hours with DollyMoo & Diana for magical, healing workshops & moon ceremonies. Details To Come!
Diana Scime-Sayegh is the owner of Happy Heart Yoga Shala where she leads bespoke yoga for vibrant living, creating custom private practices to help release people of the blocks that keep them from living their most effervescent, joyful lives. She received her 500-Hr from Sri Dharma Mittra and regularly practices with him and teaches at his studio. She is humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to teach yoga and is committed to serving, sharing her spiritual knowledge and transforming lives through yoga the same way she transformed her own.