Our modern lifestyle doesn’t always lend itself to connection to the seasons, but we are creatures of nature and the turn of the weather inevitably affects us. Traditional practices can help us.
1.) Turn to grounding, warming, whole foods
Fall harvest vegetables are wonderfully nourishing. As the weather turns colder, many of us find soups and stews to be fall comfort foods, especially those with warming spices such as ginger, cardamon, or turmeric.
Cooked breakfast foods make a great start to the day. If grain based porridges don’t agree with you, or you just want a change, the legumes in traditional Indian Kitchari might help fortify for your morning. Find more ideas here.
Ayurvedics believe the heat of exercise burns off excess Vata (wind) energy prevalent in the fall. Modern scientists have found that elevating our core temperatures helps burn off cold viruses.
If either of those reasons isn’t compelling, the benefits of exercise have been documented quite thoroughly for everything from heart health to weight maintenance to helping our moods, important as sunlight fades.
Yoga combine strength and endurance building exercises with relaxation, focus, and breathwork.
Breathing Space offers prenatal yoga for all trimesters and we recommend several of our partner venues and colleague programs for developing an adult practice. Check out:
And of course, there’s nothing like hiking in the fall (photo above is from just a few years ago).
3) Slow down
The hustle of back-to-school, new schedules, and the fall social calendar can leave you feeling dried out and drained. Restorative or gentle yoga might be exactly what you need, especially if your exercise routine is heavy in aerobic or resistance training.
Realignment Studio and St. Marks offer gentle classes and a monthly restorative workshop for grown ups, but kids benefit from slower practices too and engaging in self care with your child can be very rewarding. Simple things like foot massages with lotion can be ways to give and receive kindness and nurturing touch.
Check out my ChildLight Yoga blog post for instructions on setting up the restorative pictured left. Once in a restorative posture, a guided meditation may be help your child relax. One of my favorites is the Bye Bye boat by Cosmic Kids Yoga, the basic narrative of which can be adjusted to match the age of the child.
4) Fortify against cold season
Jen’s go-to to ward-off-colds tea recipe is simple, warming, and a great way to incorporate turmeric in your diet.
Combine the following in a mug:
- 2 tablespoons of honey,
- a heaping tablespoonful of of turmeric,
- a half teaspoon of ginger,
- a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and cardamon,
- a dash of black pepper.
Fill the mug halfway with boiling water and mix the spices and honey.
Fill to the top with your preferred milk or milk substitute.
- Snot-Free Kids – YogaHealer
- 5 Simple Ayurvedic Tips to Keep Healthy This Fall – Mindbody Green
- Yoga and Ayurveda for the Fall – Kirpalu Center for Yoga and Health
About the Author
Jennifer Mueller has been teaching yoga for children and families in Washington DC since 2008. Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY) as well as a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM), a Certified Baby Signing Time Instructor, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Jen teaches Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play classes, Tot, Toddler and Little Families Yoga, afterschool yoga, Baby & Toddler Signing Time, and directs day-off and summer camps . . . in addition to offering lactation support and doing bunch of behind the scenes stuff to keep it all running.