First article in our Autumn Series by Joanne Crisp

What does Autumn mean for you?
Is Autumn your favourite season or your nemesis? Some of us enjoy the cooler days and nights as a relief from the humidity and heat of Summer. Whilst for others – myself included – we find the dry, cold weather can play havoc with our system, skin, sleep and minds.

The days are getting shorter and the leaves on the trees are already turning on their autumnal display and dropping leaves, much to my young daughter’s delight. There’s a sense of change in the air – not just Melbourne’s four seasons in one day!

Flowing with the Seasons
“Don’t push the river, it flows by itself’”

We ignore nature at our peril. We are not separate from our environment. The new science of epigenetics is now proving the timeless traditions of yoga and Ayurveda correct. Our lifestyle and environment are key determinants of our wellbeing.  When we come to really understand the seasons, and how best to harmonise our unique constitution with them, we can experience easeful living.

Ayurveda and Living in Your Element
Ayurvedic Medicine – the medical system of Yoga – seeks to harmonise our individual nature or constitution (called prakriti, determined at conception) with Mother Nature.  It understands the elemental nature (earth, water, fire, air and ether) of all energy and matter and this very much includes how to flow with the seasons so that every season can be an enjoyable experience. An opportunity to maximise our unique potential and minimise the possibility for dis-ease.

Autumn’s Elements
The Season of Autumn is predominant in the qualities of Vata (more on this concept another time), including light, cool, dry, mobile, changeable and rough.  One only needs to look to nature – to the trees – and see the truth of this. Dry, brittle, crunchy brown leaves and bare trees – a lightening and letting go process in preparation for the hibernation of winter. If we are not in balance, and particularly if you are predominant in Vata constitution yourself, then Autumn can be really challenging.

Challenges
Autumn presents common challenges, including: dry skin; sleep disturbances; anxiety; scattered thinking; feeling ungrounded; indecision; constipation or IBS; bloating/gas; colds; poor circulation; stiff, cracking or painful joints; generalised pain; variable appetite; restlessness.

Opportunities
Autumn offers us opportunities too. Now is a good time to consciously lighten up and let go. Find activities and company which inject a sense of warmth, joy and play into your life. Declutter. Get clear on your priorities. Focus on the good and let go of what no longer serves your highest potential. Start to build your immunity and inner resources prior to Winter.

How to Manage
Stay tuned as next time I’ll provide some handy practical tips on how best to enjoy a smooth transition into Autumn so it can be a positive season for you and your loved ones!

In the meantime, come enjoy a yoga class with us at Dayā Wellbeing where we weave in Yogic and Ayurvedic wisdom, the seasons and the elements.  You are so welcome with our friendly teachers and community at Dayā Wellbeing.

Wishing you well,
Jo Crisp & the Dayā Wellbeing Team