Transitioning through Fall By Cindy Hurst
This time of year…
we are just beyond the Autumnal Equinox and most of us are already experiencing the “busyness” of the Autumn season. The kids have gone back to school, things are picking up at our jobs in preparation for the year-end, and before you know it, the holidays will be upon us. According to Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, we are transitioning from Pitta season (Summer) to Vata season (Autumn). In nature, Pitta energy is the sun and Vata energy is the wind. We’re moving from hot and fiery to cold and dry. Going from Summer to Autumn is not an easy transition for many people. I’ll share some ideas for making the transition easier:
There is great power in saying “No.” Taking out activities that make you feel overwhelmed.
Transition to Autumn seasonal food – apples, pears, squash… cooked foods with warming spices. More rice and pastas.
Add oils into your diet. Vata is cold and dry. Oils provide a warming quality. Also use oils on your skin, before that winter dry skin sets in.
Get outside. Take a walk in nature. Take the time to enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn. Clear and calm your mind.
Exercise regularly. As the weather gets cooler, we tend to become more sedentary. Do grounding exercises, like yoga.
We are blessed to have so many options for classes at our studio that provide the opportunity for you to let go of all the “stuff” and focus on your own self-care. Make yourself a priority – you can’t take care of everyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.
I’ve referenced information from the book In Your Elements, by Monica Bloom. This is one of my favorite recipes from the book. Kitchari is nourishing and easy to digest – the perfect comfort food for Autumn. You can be creative with the spices and the vegetables. I’ve even adapted the recipe for my Instant Pot; a Slow Cooker will work as well.
1/2 cup mung dahl, split yellow lentils (not the whole green ones)
1 cup basmati rice
3 cups water (for moist/soupy, use 4 cups water)
3 tbsp. of ghee (clarified butter)
1-inch piece of fresh ginger (root), peeled, chopped up well
1 tsp. ajwain seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. hing (asafoetida)
Optional to add two seasonal veggies: 1 cup chopped fresh carrots, cauliflower, kale, squash, etc.
Wash mung dahl and rice until water runs clear. Heat and boil the water. Throw in the mung dal and rice. Cover. Turn heat down to low.
Crush the ajwain, fennel and cumin seeds. In another pan, heat ghee on medium and add the crushed seeds, ginger, turmeric, hing and cinnamon sticks. It should smell really good! If adding veggies, toss those in with the roasted spices.
When the water is no longer covering the mung dal and rice but there is still about a 1/2 cup of water in the pot, add the spices and veggies and stir. Cover and continue to cook until all the water is absorbed.
Serve with ghee and you can add a little Himalayan or black salt.