Fall Practices + Recipes

In this blog we will share with you simple recipes and practices that can help assist you during the season of fall.  Ayurveda is all about cultivating balance in your life so you can maintain optimal health.  When we are healthy we are living according to the seasons and in harmony with mother nature.  I have personally tried all of these practices and highly recommend them to all.  Enjoy!

Vata Spice Mixture

Since fall is associated with Vata dosha, it is good to balance out those qualities with warm teas, soups and spices.  Add this mixture to your cooking or you can also take 1/2 tsp. of this mixture with warm water in between meals any time you’re experiencing gas and bloating.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs whole fennel seeds.
  • 1 tbs whole cumin seeds.
  • 1 tbs ground turmeric.
  • 1 tbs. dried basil.
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger.
  • 2 tsp mineral salt.
  • 1 tsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp asafetida (hing)
  • Mix all the ingredients together and place in a jar.

Chai Tea

Chai tea also known as Yogi Tea is great for circulation and boosting energy.  It is a wonderful substitute for coffee and with the addition of milk and black or green tea you have a great chai.

The Herbs: Black pepper is a blood purifier.  Cardamon treats the colon and gas.  Cloves for the nervous system.  Cinnamon for the bones.  Ginger has a great taste and is a panacea. Useful for tummy upsets, pain, it enhances circulation and warms the body as well  when recovering from the flu or general weakness.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs Cardamon
  • 1 Tbs Clove
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Mix spices together and store in jar. 

For tea, place 1-2 tsp in 2 cups boiled water, let simmer, add 1-2 black tea bags, combine with milk and sweeten to taste.  Delicious!

Triphala 

The best general product to maintain the colon, rejuvenate it and and keep the natural elimination of waste moving properly is Triphala.  Its made from three fruits: Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki, each of which balances one of the doshas.  Triphala can be used as an overall tonic to support good health.

Triphala Water (cold water infusion) 

This is a method for long term reduction of toxins  and waste in the deeper tissues. This method is mild, subtle and easily tolerated by most. Over time it penetrates into the deeper tissues. This method is also said to improve eyesight. 

How to prepare cold water infusion 

  1. In the evening before bed take 1 tsp triphala powder and mix with 4-6 oz water
  2. Stir the triphala and let it sit overnight
  3. In the morning drink the infusion, without stirring and leave the dregs.
  4. Refill the glass, stir, and let sit all day.
  5. Drink the water in the evening, without stirring, discard the dregs and start again.
  6. Repeat they process daily for 1 month.

Oil Massage or Abhyanga

Fundamental to self care in Ayurveda is the regular practice of self massage called abhyanga (abb-yun-gah). Specific oils are selected according to your skin type and the season. 

The benefits of Abhyanga

  • Oil is considered unctuous, heavy, soothing, soft and warming
  • Lubricates the skin, improves circulation and the complexion
  • Makes the skin glow and prevents dry rough skin
  • Promotes better skin texture and pacifies skin conditions
  • Calms the mind and the nervous system
  • Induces deep relaxation and an easing of tensions through the sense of touch. 
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Improves muscle strength and bulk and helps make muscles supple
  • Softens, lubricates and tones the skin
  • Reduces signs of aging
  • Relieve aches and pains
  • Prevents injuries to muscles, tendons & joints

Sesame Oil

If you frequently feel cold and have thin dry skin, then daily massage, morning and night is recommended with sesame oil. This warming oil has anti inflammatory properties as well as antibacterial and anticancer effects on the skin. Massaging the body with sesame oil quickly improves circulation and promotes healing of tissues. Daily massage keeps muscles and tendons lubricated and pliable so they are less likely to injure.

Directions:

The best time is in the morning before bathing or in the evening before bed. Massage is best done on an empty stomach. Store your oil in a plastic flip-top bottle  and warm it by placing it in a cup of warm water for 5-10 minutes. Sit on an old towel. Squeeze some oil onto your fingertips  and apply it lightly to the entire body. Wait for 4-5 minutes to let some of the oil be absorbed by your skin. Then massage the entire body, applying even pressure with the whole hand, palm and fingers. 

Apply light pressure on sensitive areas such as the abdomen or the heart. Use more oil and spend more time where nerve endings are concentrated, such as the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and along the base of the fingernails. Circular motions over rounded areas such as your head or joints, and straight strokes on straight areas such as your arms and legs, work best.

After you’re done, relax for 10-15 minutes, letting the oil and the massage do their magic. The longer the oil is on, the deeper it penetrates. During this time you can read something relaxing or uplifting, rest, or shave, cut nails, and get ready for the day. Then follow with a relaxing warm bath or shower. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a long  daily massage, then do a shorter one rather than skip it entirely. You’ll find it’s worth it!

The Mini Massage

If you do not have time for a full massage, every day the best alternative is to oil the scalp and feet. Massaging the head and scalp revitalizes the mind and body and helps improve eyesight and memory. Oil rubbed onto the feet pacifies the nervous system and has a grounding effect.

Use these recipes and practice these rituals everyday to maintain optimal health during the season of fall.  Have any questions?  Write a comment below or share with a friend.

 

Guest blog written by Eleni Tskrikas

ELENI TSIKRIKAS

Eleni’s mission is to inspire, empower and educate individuals to live extraordinary lives in harmony with nature and each other.

She is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner with over 10 years of clinical experience, along with certifications in Yoga and Western Herbalism.  A perpetual student, her passion is teaching Ayurveda. She creates home healers with her popular “Skills for Living” classes and professional Health Counselor studies. She is a faculty member at the California College of Ayurveda, where she teaches and mentor students since 2009 and Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Studies and YogaTherapy courses.  Eleni’s extensive knowledge of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Herbalism supports her fierce passion for teaching and healing. She is currently working on creating online education courses for those wanting to learn and super charge their lives and health using Ayurveda.  For more information please visit www.bellymindinstitute.com


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