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 September and how to stay in good health!
The end of summer is near! September is the ‘back to school’ month and parents are preparing their kids to get ready. And you yourself have to get back to work or at least work is going to be in full swing again. September is a month of new beginnings for many of us. A new school, maybe a new job, at least new opportunities. This can bring about some stress and anxiety if we forget to prepare well and take good care of ourselves.
"September is a month of new beginnings. This can bring about anxiety and stress if we forget to prepare well and take good care of ourselves."
The summer is coming to an end, fall is just around the corner and we feel this right away. Temperatures are dropping and this results in cooler mornings and evenings. Making sure you adapt your clothing is key to maintaining health. Layers are the way to go! Wear a sweater in the morning and evening to keep warm.
The wind is also picking up and this takes the humidity out of the air and creates dryness. You might start to feel this on your skin and hydration needs to be on point. Drinking more water and sipping on 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 practice of self-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, it keeps water from evaporating through the skin (so better hydration) and it keeps bacteria from entering through your skin. Pitta types that have lots of residual heat from the summer and enough water can use coconut oil (slightly cooling and drying).
The fall is vata season and has the qualities of cold, dry, and mobile. Anxiety can rise in this time. Make sure you keep yourself organized, warm, and hydrated to reduce anxiety. (more tips on vata below)
Fall allergies can start to bother you in September and this is due to toxicity build-up in the colon. These toxins (from undigested food, environmental toxins, etc) are reabsorbed by the blood and can irritate mucus membranes (in the nose) and cause allergies. The best thing you can do is to keep your colon clean by doing an Ayurvedic cleanse and taking good care of your digestion.
"Drinking more water and sipping on soothing ginger tea can keep your skin from drying out."
The Three Doshas in September
Summer is pitta season and in September pitta is slowly cooling off and making room for vata season (fall). Again, vata season is cold, dry, and mobile, so best to keep yourself warm, don’t over plan your month, and take lots of rest, time to recharge and stay balanced.
Vatas are prone to constipation due to the dryness in their colon. You might experience more bloating and gas in September and harder and darker stool. Making sure you stay hydrated is key. Add a pinch of good quality mineral salt to your water and a drop of maple syrup will make water more absorbable.
Also adding more healthy fats to your diet and eating warm and cooked foods over cold and raw salads and fruits. Vatas need good fats to start the insulating process for the winter and keep their blood from depleting.
This is a great time for a vata to start back up their yoga practice. Get on your mat and practice restorative poses, grounding postures, and meditation. Gentle strolls through a nearing forest or an easy bike ride are great to keep vata grounded.
If you are a pitta vata you might experience some skin breakouts like eczema or a rash all of a sudden. This is a combination of pittas heat and vatas dryness. Making sure to cool and calm yourself is key.
Pittas might feel happy that the summer is coming to an end because they feel burned out and overheated. The summer is a season of lots of activities and this can easily aggravate the fire of pittas.
Take this time to cool and calm down. Make sure you don’t over plan your calendar for September and prepare well for school and work. Organizing and planning are your skills pitta! So put it to good use. Take the long weekend to rejuvenate, have fun in a chill way (nature is your best friend!), and rest up before the bustle begins again.
This is a great time to reset your routine, check your schedule, and take out whatever you can. Keep putting fun activities in there and work on balancing work and life as best as you can.
"The summer is a season of lots of activities and this can easily aggravate the fire of pittas. Take the time to cool and calm down."
Kaphas are having a breeze. They loved the warm summer and the light feeling of the summer and can put the inspiration of new beginnings to good use. They might have overindulged a bit too much this summer though and feel they need to get back on the horse! September is a great time to start a new exercise routine, get your diet on track, and get that motivation going. It’s best for kaphas to do this with an accountability buddy or in a group setting to keep them motivated and on track.
The fall is the time for kapha to get things done, and feel good doing it.
Kaphas can up their exercise, yoga practice, and movement this month. A bit more intense exercise like a good sweaty hike or bike ride can kickstart kaphas metabolism and possibly weight loss.
Routine and lifestyle
It is recommended to keep your sleep time around 10 pm year-round. This ensures you won’t get a second wind (pitta time) and you will have ample hours of sleep. But waking times change with the season. Sticking to the sunrise is your best bet! Kaphas can get up with the sun and get moving right away to shake off the heavy and stable feeling of the morning (they already have enough of this!) Vatas can sleep a bit longer and pittas somewhere in the middle. This is a great time to set a new morning routine for yourself. Do a self-oil massage in the morning and go for a gentle stroll before hopping on your phone or work. Prioritize self-care!
September can feel depleted and is a great month to recharge even though it can feel like a hectic and chaotic month. Plan time for self-care and recharging. Keep your social calendar a bit more empty and take care of yourself first.
Ayurvedic Diet for September
The availability of fruits and vegetables 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.
Summer has given us abundance when it comes to fruits and vegetables. We have been able to enjoy a variety of colorful fruits, like berries, peaches, and watermelon. Lots of green vegetables, juicy tomatoes, and luscious sweet corn. September is slowly bringing this harvest to an end but still has an abundance.
Tomatoes are still available and their sourness and juiciness are great for softening vatas constipation. Make a roasted tomato and basil soup! Not so much for pittas though who are overheated and the sour taste can aggravate them and create more heat. Instead have cucumbers to cool off. (gazpacho anyone?)
Apples are coming into season and they are great for all doshas. A bit of a laxative effect for vatas, cooling for pittas, and light and airy for kaphas.
Root vegetables are great for grounding vatas anxiety, sweet potatoes are nourishing for both vata and pitta and are readily available in September. Regular potatoes as well, carrots are in abundance, kohlrabi, beets, anything you can find at your farmers market.
Start moving away from raw and uncooked foods like salads and replace them with cooked foods. Oven-roasted root vegetables with thyme or rosemary, soups, and one-pot curries. These meals are grounding, nourishing, and soothing mainly for vata and pitta dosha. Adding yellow or red onion to your roasted vegetables gives great flavor and onions soften stool as well.
Greens are still available as well. Go for your different varieties of kale, fresh broccoli, napa cabbage, and Japanese cucumbers. Green herbs like cilantro, basil, and parsley are a great flavor addition to your meals and bring in more nutrients. Green vegetables are particularly good for hot pittas. They have a bitter taste that is cooling and detoxifying. Go crazy on the cilantro!
Vatas can take a bit more meat in September. Pittas and kaphas are still good with a more vegetarian diet (obviously this is a personal choice). I would suggest limiting beans, chickpeas, lentils for vatas in September or at least cook them thoroughly in enough liquids and fats to make them easier to digest. For pitta and kapha beans are a great protein source this time of year.
Ayurvedic Fall Cleanse
In September we want to start thinking about a cleanse, a reset for body and mind. Ayurveda recommends doing a cleanse in the transition period of summer to fall. From mid-August on temperatures are dropping and we are moving towards winter in the coming months. We need to prepare for this to make sure we survive! Now of course we are going to survive, but we want to get through all seasons feeling good and balanced. An Ayurvedic cleanse is gentle and still nourishing. Read more here about my cleanse coming up in October.
Curious to learn more about how Ayurveda can help you get through the fall? Book a FREE 20-min consult with me now. Click here!
Click the image below to learn more about my upcoming Ayurveda Fall Cleanse.
*Always consult your physician before making adaptations to your lifestyle and diet.