Tips for Grounding and Balancing During Autumn/Wildfire Season

fall leaves

This blog was a recent newsletter to my email list. Due to the great response I got from my list, I thought I’d post here as well so that more of you might benefit. Feel free to share this post and if you’d like to be included on my email list for more tips on wellness, self-care, Ayurveda and habit-change, sign up at the pop up window or feel free to email me and let me know. 

Wildfires have shrouded the entire bay area in smoke for days [update: over a week now!]. We’re advised to stay inside and continue to receive “Red Flag” warnings that weather conditions may ignite even more wildfires. It’s dry, windy, depressing and scary. Whether you’re here in the bay area or any of the several other places experiencing wildfires, or just experiencing the dryness of the fall season, I wanted to share a few self-care tips to help you feel more grounded and balanced.

This is the time of year when the weather tends to cause Vata dosha to go out of whackThis imbalance may cause some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Dry skin, eyes, everything!
  • Having a hard time focusing
  • Feeling scattered and ungrounded
  • Fearful, anxious and expecting the worst
  • Excessive thinking
  • Slow or weak digestion; constipation
  • Feeling colder than usual
  • Interrupted sleep (waking between 2am and 4am)
  • Sensitivity especially to lighting and loud noises

Here are some ways to bring Vata back into balance:

  • Stick to routines as much as possible. Eat and sleep at the same times every day. This gives vata the structure it needs to be “contained.”
  • Eat warm foods; avoid raw and cold foods. Soups, stews and one-pot meals are great for calming vata
  • Eat root vegetables and winter squashes for grounding
  • Stay hydrated with warm water and herbal teas (avoid cold or iced beverages)
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Stay warm and protected from the wind
  • Do some grounding yoga poses (like Child’s Pose & all sitting poses and long stretches)
  • Meditate to bring more focus and calm the mind
  • Lubricate the skin with warm oil (avoid lotions with chemicals and instead use some organic unrefined oil like sesame or almond oil)

Nature speaks to us in many ways. And my personal interpretation of these wildfires is that Nature is asking us to go inside. Stop running around, be still and go inside yourself. Is there something in you that needs attention? Acknowledgement? Is there something in your life you’ve been ignoring? That needs healing?

When we heal the imbalances inside us, it is a an act of love towards Nature. And Nature needs as much as love as we can give right now. So I invite you is to take this time to slow down, be silent and listen.

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