Updated: Nov 1, 2021
Nature is our guide in Ayurveda. We look at the changes in the season, the weather patterns, and the qualities of our environment and rhythms of our lives to see how we can best support ourselves physically and mentally/ emotionally to stay in good health.
Ayurveda believes that growing out of sync with nature causes diseases and imbalances in ourselves.
Our lives and environments are ever-changing and to keep yourself in balance it helps to look at the seasonal changes to know how to adapt.
Read all about the month of October and how to stay in good health!
The summer has ended...Fall is here with its colder temperatures, fiercer winds, and the beautiful coloring of the trees has begun here in Ontario, Canada. October can still give us warm temperatures in the daytime though to ease us into the harsh winter.
The chaos of September is slowly dying down, so we can get more settled and slow down the pace of living. Thanksgiving is just around the corner (October 11th in Canada), which means pumpkin pies! Some might feel sad that summer is over, others might start to feel that coziness that fall brings.
"October can still give us warm temperatures in the daytime to ease us into the harsh winter."
Temperatures have been dropping significantly over the last few weeks and this is only going to increase as we move towards the end of the year. Colder mornings and evenings call for warm sweaters and warm meals. We are moving from living more outdoors to cuddling up on the couch inside.
The wind has been roaring through the street and trees and this makes everything dry and leaves are starting to change to their fall colours. This is a beautiful time in Ontario, Canada to enjoy how nature changes its colours and ways.
Vata is fully here! Drinking more water and a soothing and warming ginger tea can keep your skin from drying out. But it is not just your skin that gets dry. Your joints might start cracking and popping and it gets harder to go to the bathroom (constipation). Yes, dryness shows up inside your body as well. This is a great time of year to start up the daily practice of self oil massage (abhyanga) again. If you are a cold and dry vata type, use sesame oil that is slightly warmed up and massage your whole body first thing in the morning. The oil on your skin keeps you insulated and therefore warm. Pitta types are starting to cool down more and more and find their balance in the colder months.
Early October is the ideal time to cleanse the body to prevent toxic build-up to increase throughout the winter months. Cold weather is coming and this means we need strong immunity, strong digestive fire, and good energy!
Cleanse with an easy-to-digest diet and reduce sugar intake, coffee, and alcohol for just a week to balance your body and mind.
"Cold weather is coming, we need strong immunity, strong digestive fire, and good energy!"
The Three Doshas in October
Vata has arrived and the qualities of cold, dry, mobile, and rough are palpable. Keeping yourself warm with layered clothing and warm meals is key! Adding good oils to your foods (ghee) and daily abhyanga keep you lubricated and warm.
Vatas are prone to burn their energy quickly, so taking more time to rest and do grounding practices such as yoga, yoga Nidra, and meditation is great to balance vata.
Constipation is another typical vata ailment and can be countered by ample fluid intake and adding oils like ghee to your meals.
Vatas really need to avoid raw and cold foods at this time of year and make sure that they cook their food and eat it warm.
The next coming months are going to be much more pleasant for pittas. The cooler temperatures will calm down their fire, this is a great time for pittas to recharge their batteries.
The slower pace of these months will benefit pitta and their drive and passions. Reducing stress is key for them to stay in balance. They can still enjoy the outdoors to keep active and enjoy the cooler temperatures while doing so.
For most pittas, it is challenging to adapt to a slower pace of living. Check your routine and schedule and see if you need to make changes. Add in some more yoga and meditation and reading on the couch every to slow down your pace.
Pittas will notice their skin is clearing up and their acidic stomachs might start to settle.
"The slower pace of these months will benefit pitta and their drive and passion."
October is still a good month for kaphas. They feel refreshed by the cooler temperatures and the dryness in the air helps with losing excess moisture in their bodies and they feel lighter and more upbeat.
The darkness of the longer nights might start to affect kaphas in their mood and their ability to wake up feeling refreshed as the month progresses. Making sure they do not sleep too long is key. No nap time for kapha!
Routine and lifestyle
Routine is very important at this time of year for vata. In the summer they have been more able to let their spontaneous nature take over, but now it is time to hone this back in. Routine in sleep, meal times, and rest are key to stay balanced for vata.
The dryness of October can cause vata to struggle with insomnia at night time. Reducing intake of coffee and adding good quality oils is important to counter the dryness. Self-oil massage should be a daily practice for vatas.
Even though the days are getting shorter and the nights longer, stay on track with sleep times. Going to bed at 10 pm and rising with the sun remains key. This means we do get some extra sleep every night and this is good to recharge our batteries after an active summer.
If you struggle with going to bed around 10 pm, set a calming routine for yourself. Turn off screens at least an hour before bed, don’t eat too late, and do some yoga or yoga Nidra before bed will ensure falling asleep more easily.
Slowing down your pace might come naturally to some people, but it is not uncommon to go at the same pace all year round for some people. Learning to adapt your pace to the pace of the seasons can be a wonderful guide to slow down.
Ayurvedic Diet for October
What is available is always depending on where you are in the world. Your best bet is to check your weekly farmers' market or subscribe to a newsletter of your local farm to stay updated.
October is still a month of abundance, especially the first few weeks. Fruits are becoming less, but there's still a great variety of vegetables available.
Squashes are the vegetable of fall. Butternut, spaghetti, acorn, delicata, kabocha, red Kuri, (Hokkaido), buttercup, and of course the pumpkin! Trying a different variety for a roast or a soup is healing for any dosha! Squashes are sweet, nourishing, and grounding.
Leafy greens are still available but are lessening as the season progresses. Spinach, chard, different varieties of kale, and broccoli are still available and great to eat at this time of year. Especially for pittas to reduce their fire with the bitter taste of greens.
Cauliflower is in abundance and you see them in beautiful purple, yellow or white colours. Great for kaphas and pittas, vatas want to make sure to add a bit of oil and salt to their cauliflower to prevent gas build-up in their colon.
The season of raw salads and fruits is over. Stew your apples and add them to your oatmeal for great elimination!
Don’t be afraid of the potato! Regular potatoes and sweet potatoes are great foods to eat at this time of year and in the months coming. They are grounding, nourishing, and give a lot of energy. October is the starting month for heavier foods to ground us and build insulation for the cold winter months.
Also, October calls to bring out your spice rack! In summer we enjoy fresh herbs, but fall calls for culinary spices to warm us up from the inside out. Cinnamon in your oats, cumin seeds in your soup, cloves, and star anise in your stewed apples. Adding a bit of black pepper to your meal increases circulation and warms up your belly.
If you need support with improving your digestion, finding joy in eating and food again, or maintaining a healthy weight without dieting, click below to book a 20-min Free Discovery Call.
*Always consult your physician before making adaptations to your lifestyle and diet.