Balancing your Doshas with Ayurveda
It’s that time of year again. The heat of summer has ebbed off, making way for the fall season, the time of transformation and reflection. We can feel the air chilling, see the trees change color and drop their leaves. The whole world is pulling back to breathe, pause, and reflect, to anchor the journey thus far and gear up for the next turn of the cycle.
This makes the fall season a perfect time to reflect upon the year thus far, what we’ve been building, how we’ve grown, and where our journey has taken us. We enjoy the most vibrant health and wellbeing when we bring mind and body into harmony with the cycles of the natural world. One of the best ways to do this is with well rounded daily habits: our eating habits, sleeping habits, and yoga routine.
Cycles and Seasons
Practicing Yoga to the Cycles of the Earth
Each year is a breath in the energetic life force of the earth, one pulse of heating and cooling in the cycles of the planet. The equinox is right in the middle, right at the balancing point between the forces of summer and the forces of winter. The fall season is marked by the autumnal equinox, one of two days of the year where the day and night are of equal length. The natural world is cycling now from the light half of the year to the dark half, from the times of heating and expansion to those of cooling and crystallization.
When we get on our yoga mats, we go beyond stress-reduction, stretching and asana. Our yoga sessions give us an opportunity to listen to the body, to tune in to the subtle feelings flowing through us. And, because our bodies are tuned to the natural world, our daily routine helps us to align our minds with what’s happening in our bodies. Advanced yoga and meditation help us to nourish the mind and body by cultivating stillness.
During the spring, the entire world is opening up, expanding, stretching and preparing to move. So, when we do yoga during the spring, we can choose poses and bring to our practice the mindset of opening, stretching, waking up and noticing our bodies, the world around us. During the spring, we can work gently on our stamina, invigorating and energizing our bodies and preparing them for the year of activity ahead.
As spring moves into summer and the world heats up, our bodies fill with life and energy. The time comes to bring more energy into our yoga practice, to emphasize vinyasa and bring more heat into our bodies. Summer gives us a chance to use the fires of the year to build and create, so this time of the year is excellent for pushing forward in our practice, for mastering that challenging posture or sequence. Summer is the season to inhale prana, the fire of life, and channel it into our foundational yoga training.
As the year cools into autumn, we are given a chance to meditate, to look back upon the spring of new exploration and the summer of active development. We can view the cooling of the year just as we would a sunset over the water, watching, feeling, and reflecting upon where we’ve been, what we’ve done. And getting clear about how we got here and what we would really like moving forward.
For beginners, autumn is ideal for relaxation. It’s a time to relieve stress and get present to your body, to the moment of your practice. After the initial stage, most of yoga is an internal art, a practice of mentally aligning with your body, emotions, and present moment. Gentle poses are ideal for turning inward to come to terms with what we find within.
Autumn, the season of vata, is the ideal time for deepening into pranayama. With pranayama, we get still and centered in our bodies and bring consciousness into our breath. Autumn is also a great time for yin yoga, for gentle yoga asanas that help us go deep. Alongside breathing exercises, it’s helpful to use this time to study yoga philosophy, to delve deeper into the mental side of the journey.
As the season shifts into winter, the planet moves into a period of rest, crystallizing the last year’s journey, and preparing for a new journey in the year ahead. During the winter, we could either opt for a warming daily practice to counter the cold outside, or we could work with the cooling energy of this season to deepen into meditation. With internal practices like raja yoga or yoga nidra, we join the earth in getting still and preparing our being for the next turn round the spiral.
De Uria Yoga Mats and the Ayurvedic Lifestyle
Ayurvedic principles offer a holistic approach to self care. In Ayurvedic terms, autumn is a time when the vata energy of the world is very strong. Vata is cold, light, quick, airy and irregular. We are healthiest when all three doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha, are in balance. In simple terms, Ayurveda teaches us to complement the natural world, providing stability to irregularity, heating when the world around is cool.
We can balance vata by getting really grounded, by having regular, healthy habits for eating, sleeping, and being active. When we have a strong practice routine, this cultivates both fire and earth, providing stability and energy to keep us going through the cold months ahead. And, since vata is the energy of thought, we have plenty of mental energy during this season. By channeling it into reflection upon our journey, we can still our swirling thoughts and cultivate awareness, strengthening our ability to remain conscious.
One of the biggest benefits of our yoga practice is that it helps us to remain grounded throughout the twists and turns of life. With De Uria’s environmentally friendly, sustainably sourced, grounding yoga mats, you can engage deeply with your practice, connecting with the energy of the earth.
There’s nothing like practicing on a mat of natural materials. De Uria yoga mats are made of natural rubber and eco-friendly cotton, dyed with Ayurvedic herbs and designed for the ultimate balance between grip and portability. Whether you’re on the go or rocking the home studio, De Uria yoga mats are ideal for transforming a place to practice into a sacred space.