Three ways to nurture yourself through change

In the yogic tradition, the fall months are known as "vata season," vata having the qualities of air and movement. It's a time of great transformation and introspection, but also a time when it's easy to feel overwhelmed and chaotic. This makes it all the more important to take the time to nurture and care for yourself.

How? Three things to consider:

1. Rest.  If your body and mind feel overwhelmed and exhausted, this is a great time to allot more time for rest. As it gets dark earlier, take a cue from nature: Turn off the electronics, take a nurturing yoga pose (my students know viparita karani is my all-time fave for this but there are many great restorative poses),  enjoy a hot bath with salts, and turn in earlier than usual.  I know, I know, you have so much to do. But taking the time to consciously relax can make you more efficient, boost your immunity, and even alter your genes (!?). Ask yourself what you need in order to restore and keep balanced each day. Give your body a voice and take the time to listen.

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2. Practice aromatherapy. I love my oil diffuser. It's amazing how potent the sense of smell can be. Some research suggests that smells directly influence the amygdala, or the emotional center of the brain. So aromatherapy can have powerful effects on how you feel mentally and emotionally. My favorites for fall? When I rise in the morning, it is still dark. So I like to wake up with a peppermint scrub, and I often burn grapefruit or tangerine oils. To simmer it down in the evening, I love burning cedarwood or palo santo incense as I listen to some soothing tunes. Both are grounding and both smell like your own personal campfire!

3. Practice oil massage. In traditional Ayurveda, the practice of oil massage is touted as a way to ground the body and mind. As with all things in this tradition, I encourage you to experiment for yourself and see what works for you. Personally, I find oil massage with sesame oil incredibly nurturing and grounding, especially during this time of the year. Here are some instructions on how to perform the massage.

Though it may be tempting to hit the snooze and miss your practice, consistent practice is really crucial during times of change and transformation. Make the time to show up on your mat and take care of yourself. See you at class, to twist out the old, open to the new, and restore and refresh.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions, requests for class, and other comments.