As the leaves begin to change color and the wind takes on a chilly edge, it’s easy to see that the seasons are changing. Just as the seasons change, so too, do our bodies and constitutions. Spring and fall in particular are known for being transitional periods, as we shift from cooler to warmer weather and vice versa. In the spring, many cultures recognize this change with spring cleaning practices to clear out stagnant energy. In Ayurveda, fall is also an important time to practice cleansing and detox rituals to better prepare the mind and body for the coming winter. To help you prepare for the changing season, we’ve rounded up some Ayurvedic fall detox tips to keep you feeling your best.
Why is a Fall Detox Important?
According to ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, fall is the ideal time to detox and reset your habits. This is because over the course of the summer, our bodies build up Pitta heat and energy from summer activities and the warm weather. In the fall, we also begin to accumulate Vata energy from the cooler temperatures. The result of this energetic build-up is that our bodies simply become overwhelmed. It can be difficult for the digestive fires to keep up, and the liver may struggle to continue to filter and purify toxins and waste in the body. In the end, a fall detox will help balance your doshas and make it easier for your body to function in harmony with the seasons.
Fall Detox Foods
As the weather becomes colder, one of the most important aspects of a bodily detox is to cut down on the cooling foods eaten during summer. Instead, you should switch to more hearty, warming foods to keep your digestive fire burning and keep you energized through the chill weather. In particular, it’s important to cut down on servings of tropical fruit, as these are consumed during summer because they are especially cooling.
During your fall detox, consider warm and energizing foods like green tea (fenugreek tea is especially popular) and spices like anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. For a more purifying detox, you can swap out your morning glass of room-temperature water with a glass of warm water with lemon, to which you can add ginger for an extra boost to your metabolism.
Additionally, one of the most popular detoxifying Ayurvedic meals is kitchari — a dish of rice and mung beans. Due to its lightness, balanced form of protein and the astringent beans, kitchari is a tridoshic dish that will ground you in the autumnal season.
Detox is about more than changing up your diet. It’s also important to take stock of your life, reflect on your habits and goals and decide how you want to live your life. Fall is a great time to do this, as our bodies naturally want to slow down during this season. Instead of doubling down on work and commitments, see if you can take a step back to make some space for self reflection.
Try practicing daily meditation if you don’t already, or consider another reflective practice like journaling or taking a slow and peaceful walk. No matter what practice you choose, you should aim to let go of habits and routines that no longer serve you, and give yourself the time and space you need to form new, healthy habits that will improve your state of being.
The final piece for a successful fall detox is to practice detoxifying and relaxing yoga. For this purpose, you should focus on restorative or asana yoga — emphasizing slow stretches over heat-building exercises. Below are some poses you should incorporate into your daily yoga practice:
Make the Most of Your Fall
However you choose to detox this fall, just remember that it’s all about finding what works for you personally, and making the most of everything the season has to offer. To keep yourself healthy and feeling good, consider incorporating YouVeda’s My Essential Oils: Immunity into your routine. This tridoshic and vegan essential oil is made with an organic blend of amla, boswellia, ashwagandha, holy basil and more to support your immune system and healthy drainage.
So what are you planning to let go of this fall?
Author: Alexandria Baker (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)