Avoiding Autumnal Ills
Alterations in temperature, air pressure, light levels, plus our diet and lifestyle, can lead to all sorts of problems with tiredness, sluggishness, constipation, joint issues, headaches - and often result in a cleanse in the form of a cold or some other illness.
It's a good time to take a little extra care of yourself and help your body with it's self-cleansing, so you don't need an illness to do it for you !
Emotionally too, any change can be difficult, meaning, for some people, higher anxiety levels and trouble sleeping. And lower light levels mean lower mood for some. Taking the lead from nature can help - this is a time to let go of the old, of what's no longer supporting your growth; re-assess, and take some rest before embracing new beginnings.
A week's retreat is of course the ideal way to do all this (ring us on 01822 259001 if you'd like to take one of the last places on our October retreat) - but if that's not possible right now, what can you do at home?
Yes, it's colder and the days are shorter, but don't hole up indoors with the central heating drying you out.
- Make the most of the sunshine, and soak up every drop while it's still here!
- Wrap up and go for a walk or cycle, work in the garden, or even just sit outside for your tea breaks.
The light will help your mood, and any time in nature helps you feel more supported and relaxed.
Aim to sweat each day with some sort of exercise. Yoga in the morning , cycling to work, whatever. Sweating helps you cleanse via the skin. Saunas work well too, but sweating through exercise also brings all the health benefits of movement.
Dao's been digging the garden and creating a blueberry patch.
While you do want to keep moving, you might feel to make your activity less vigorous - and also get plenty of rest.
Think warm baths, massage with oil, early nights. And personally I'm a big fan of a snooze after lunch whenever possible, if I'm feeling at all tired.
An Ayurvedic tip for restless sleep is to massage sesame oil on the soles of your feet before going to bed.
First thing, before you brush your teeth, shower or have that cup of tea, try this wonderful mouth cleansing technique to rid the mouth of bacteria that cause decay, and leave it feeling fresh.
Simply swish a tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil around your mouth, in and out through your teeth for up to 20 minutes. You can start with a few minutes and build up slowly each day.
Meanwhile save time by starting your body brushing (below). Spit out, then scrape tongue and clean teeth.
After, or instead of, oil pulling you can use a tongue scraper to deeply cleanse your tongue from bacteria, helping reduce mucus and bad breath. Simply scrape the tongue from the back to the front with this metal cleaner - or use the edge of a teaspoon - and rinse, to keep your mouth fresh and stimulated, reducing any build-up of food and enhancing your taste buds.
Dry skin brushing
Done with a hard, natural body brush, this stimulates the biggest organ of elimination, the skin, brushing off dead cells, moving lymph, improving circulation and opening the pores to allow effective sweating.
Work from the soles of the feet up, in nice long strokes up towards the heart.
Warm water with lemon
A large warm glass of water with lemon is a simple and effective way to get your liver and bowels working. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar works well too.
A tiny pinch of cayenne pepper adds a dose of vitamin C.
Don't give up on your raw fresh salads, but you will probably also feel like bringing some nourishing, warm foods into your diet - easily digestible foods such as vegetable soups and stews.
We always have a big mixed salad for lunch, but on a cold day usually add some sautéed mushrooms or onion (fry in coconut oil as it degrades least under heat), and some sort of dense protein - egg, goats cheese, tempeh, or a seed-based pate.
Then in the evening comes the warm soup or roasted veggies with a salad on the side. Make leftover soup more interesting with the addition of some buckwheat noodles (grain and gluten free) or serve over warm millet or quinoa.
Spice it up
Gentle spices add warmth and aid digestion.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and has many healing benefits. Cinnamon and ginger are wonderful healing spices, which we often add to breakfast smoothies, or raw apple sauce.