Slow down + Prepare for Fall

Dear friends, The fall season officially began. We’re in the midst of the fertile time of transition to the full blown autumn. Colors are changing, the plants are ripening and drying, we’re shifting gears in our lives from the creative holiday season to the more scheduled life mainly indoors. As of the fall equinox on September 22 we’re moving toward the darkness and the longest night of the year. Not a coincidence that this is the time of Navaratri - nine nights dedicated to the aspects of the Mother Goddess or the feminine principle - that begins tomorrow October 1 and ends on October 9. This is an excellent time for meditation, for turning to clean, pure diet or fasting, meditation practice and unclutering and beautifiying your home to prepare for the fall/winter season. Here a few tips from me: 1. Slow down! The summer has kept us busy with countless outdoor activities, meetings with friends, traveling, late nights out. Now is the time to slow down both in life and in your yoga practice. Add restorative asanas to your practice (ideally after the oil bath) and (re)establish a regular meditation practice. This will increase your feeling of groundedness and connection. Focus on one thing at the time, speak and move mindfully. Check out my restorative detox sequence + tips in Yoga Journal. 2. Oil oil oil! Take a bath oil with warm sesame oil or an ayurvedic abhyanga oil from your head to your toes. This keeps the skin from dying, keeps your joints lubricated and calms the nervous system. You will love its soothing effect. 3. Eat nourishing, simple foods! Take time to prepare and cook your own food. Try a week long of eating kitchari (a simple dish of rice and mung beans) for example. Generally, eat warm foods. Nourishing thick soups are the best. Drink lots of hot water (boil it first, then let it cool a bit), ginger- and spicy herbal teas. Avoid cold and raw foods. (Check out the new cookbook "Simple Recipes for Joy" by Sharon Gannon) 4. Keep warm! Fall is the vata season. Wear scarves, hats, shawls and keep especially your lower back/abdomen area warm. This prevents the building of excess vata in your body-mind system that causes irritability, nervousness and digestive tract problems. Happy transitioning! With Love, Gabriela

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