Autumn is Here! A cool, crispness has begun to descend upon us. At this time of year, we are usually busy planning weekend getaways and yoga retreats to picturesque spots in Nagano and Niigata. But of course, with the world preparing for what could be a difficult winter season, we have had to put our plans on hold.
Nevertheless, this is an important time to keep mentally and physically active, continue to practice yoga and stay positive. We can’t let the colder and shorter days bring us down! This is also a good time to prepare your body (and mind) for the colder, drier months ahead.
Ayurveda & Autumn As we move from the pitta (fire) of the summer into vata (wind) of fall & winter, the skin, eyes and hair become dry and itchy while the body becomes cold and more susceptible to illness and pains.
But don’t worry! Ayurveda, the ancient medicine of India, and Yoga are here to help! Ayurveda provides us with a host of tools including diet and massage, while Yoga helps us create physical and mental fortitude through asana, pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation techniques.
Ayurveda Tips for a Healthy Autumn
Regular meal times – although we can skip meals in the summer time and still feel good, in autumn skipping meals aggravates vata (wind). So stick to regular meal times, make lunch the main meal and eat dinner earlier.
Eat warm, nourishing foods – raw foods such as salads may be healthy in the heat of the summer but come fall, we need to shift to warmer, more grounding foods. Try hearty soups made with plenty of vegetables and stay hydrated with warm water and teas.
Simple oil massages – a great way to reduce vata is a simple massage you can do at home on your own before bed. Take 1-2 small spoons of warm sesame oil and massage to the soles of your feet. Wait 20-30min. Wash / clean your feet.
Yoga Tips for a Healthy Autumn
Adjust your practice to the season – to counter fast-moving vata look to slow down your practice. You can still work hard and sweat but don’t overwork!
Warm up well – check-in with your body before you start practicing and consider a hot bath or a warm-up routine to reduce chance of discomfort and injury
Grounding poses – select poses such as virabhadrasana (warrior), vrikshasana (tree), trikonasana (triangle) that help you to ground both physically and mentally.
Twists – standing, sitting or lying down, these poses are great for clearing vata from the nervous system.
Breathing, Mantra & Meditation to Boost Immunity With COVID and the flu season about to collide, we need to be especially careful this year. Three keys to boosting immunity and staying grounded are pranayama (yogic breathing), mantra (chanting) and dhyana (meditation) practices.
Ayurveda, the ancient practice of medicine originating in India over 5000 years ago, lays out very specific guidelines according to the individual – their ‘dosha’ (constitution), age, the season, and other factors. However there are a number of foods that are recommended more generally to support optimal health.
Here are a few of the key items that I have daily:
Turmeric & other antioxidants — every morning I take about 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric with black pepper and honey (honey can be substituted with milk). Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibiotic, immune system booster. Personally, I source turmeric grown in Yakushima due to the incredibly clean air & water along with energy-rich soil. You can buy it on Amazon!
Almonds — a great source of Vitamin E, calcium, iron and other micro-nutrients. Soak 10-12 almonds overnight, remove peel, and eat (the skin of almonds contain tannin which inhibit nutrient absorption). *Kapha dosha should eat in moderation
Warm lemon and ginger water — just boil fresh a few slices of fresh ginger and fresh lemon (or other citrus peel) & drink. This simple concoction will keep you warm and hydrated throughout the day. Ginger is heating so you may need to reduce or remove if you are pitta dosha, hot, or if the weather is warm. Note that teas and coffees are stimulants which may cause an already anxious mind to become more jittery.
These are just a few simple but powerful examples of how what you eat and drink can be more than just pleasure. They can and should be your natural medicine!
Tuesday Beauty class: “Breathing for Beautiful Skin”. When we exhale, we detoxify the body. When we inhale, we nourish it. Join us Tuesday evening as we use deep, conscious breathing techniques to clean and nourish the body and allow our skin to radiate and glow.
Yoga for Beauty & Mindfulness (Maneesh)
Tuesday 18:30-19:15 @ ¥2,000
Thursday: Mindfulness Meditation
Join us Thursday (5/21) evening at 18:30 for Slow Flow as we delve into simple meditation techniques of watching the breath. We will start the class with simple stretches, asana and pranayama to prepare the body and mind for a deep meditative experience.
Evening Slow Flow (Maneesh) Thursday 18:30-19:45 PM @ ¥3,500 **Reservations can be made up to 1hr prior to class