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Top tips for staying tip top this autumn

Viparita Karani pose

Practise inversions in Autumn

Well, we are definitely into Autumn now. The leaves are turning and starting to fall, the nights are drawing in, there’s a cool nip in the air and I’m back in thermals (actually I’ve hardly been out of them this year!).

According to Ayervedic wisdom Autumn is a dry, cool, erratic and windy season. This has an obvious affect on nature but you might have also noticed the “Air” element is stronger in your body too – insomnia, heightened feelings of stress or anxiety, dry itchy skin, changes in your digestive function, cracky joints and an increase in chesty conditions – are all signs of this.

There’s plenty we can do though, to help support our body through Autumn. Here are a few of my favourites:

  1. Massage yourself with a warming oil, to keep the joints lubricated, nourish the skin and ease tight muscles. I love sweet almond oil with a couple of drops of vetivert essential oil, to keep me grounded (please check out any allergies or contra-indications before using oils).

  2. Eat foods that are warming and mildly spicy. I don’t know about you but this is exactly the sort of food my body is instinctively choosing. Out are cold salads, in are warm soups, stews and curries.

  3. Use herbs and spices such as coriander, turmeric, cumin and fresh ginger.

  4. Finish the day with a cup of warm milk, simmered with cardamom.

And one of my not so favourites:

  1. Apparently in Autumn it is most beneficial to rise early when the world is still and calm – I guess that means I have to be up before 8am then!

In my last Autumn blog I talked a little bit about yoga for Autumn. Here are a few other ideas of postures you might want to practise:

  1. Try the Satyananda school of yoga’s wind releasing poses – they do exactly what they say on the tin!

  2. If they’re OK for you to practise, now’s the time to get into the inverted poses…Shoulder stands, Ploughs and Dogs…oh my! (Sorry, couldn’t resist that little nod to “The Wizard of Oz”).

  3. Twists will help your digestive function.

  4. Use heart opening postures eg. chest expansion, chair of the heart, bridge, fish (and basically anything we do in Dru!) to clear the lungs of congestion.

  5. Practise alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana) to calm your mind, help you sleep and keep away colds.

Autumn is a good time to have a cleanse before winter. Why not dedicate a day or two to really nuture yourself. Try cutting down on the amount of meat, processed food, caffeine or alcohol that might be in your diet. Try jala neti (nasal cleasning) and practise the yoga mentioned above or in the previous Autumn blog and don’t forget to make time for some relaxation. This year, as part of my Autumn cleanse I’m trying out, for the first time, the ayurvedic herbal remedy Triphala. It’s a blend of 3 fruits that gently cleanse the body and I’m told will rejuvenate me, well I could do with a bit of that! I’ll let you know my verdict in due course!

Hope you all have a healthy autumn and see you soon. Ix

PS. If you’re struggling with what to practise, don’t forget we stock a good range of books, DVDs and CD’s to inspire and guide you.

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