Life is a series of seasons and cycles. Just as nature changes with the seasons, we need to do the same to stay in tune with the flow of life, adapting our daily habits, surroundings and even our fitness routine to help support us through the transitions.
By Anya Ladra
According to Ayurveda, autumn and winter is governed by Vata. This is the season of wind, which breeds anxiety as well as irritation and digestion problems. Our bodies can become ungrounded, overwhelmed and out of balance.
There are a lot of things we can do and should do to prepare our body and mind, to be in a better mood and get more energy. Here are my top tips to support your immunity and don’t let you get sick and moody…
1. ESSENTIAL OILS
Inhaling essential oils may just be one of the most effective ways to relive depression, increase energy, improve your health and just feel good overall. Essentials oil fragrances are absorbed through blood circulation and nerve pathways from sinuses into the central glands of the brain, which control emotional, neurological and immunological function. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, if you are sick, or you just want to lift your spirits, you would choose the appropriate oils that would treat those symptoms:
- The best essential oils to inhale for depression are rose, lemon balm, lavender, lemon, tangerine, jasmine and orange blossom. These essential oils can be used neat without mixing it with carrier oil.
- The best essential oils to inhale for the cold or flu are oregano, thyme, eucalyptus, lime, peppermint, frankincense and hyssop. Make sure to dilute these essential oils with carrier oil such as organic sweet almond oil, jojoba or coconut oil (unscented). A good rule of thumb when seeking to make a 2% dilution is to add 12 drops of essential oil to each fl. ounce (30 ml) of carrier oil.
There are a few ways you can use essential oils through inhalation:
- Palm inhalation: Apply 2-3 drops inside your palms. Rub your hands together and inhale gently and deeply. Do this for 2 to 3 minutes whenever you feel the need. I carry rose oil in my bag (diluted in jojoba oil) to use it whenever I need to achieve that sense of wellbeing – I rub in to my pulse points and between my hands and inhale
- Diffusers: Just a good overall thing to have in the house for anti-microbial properties. My favourite mixture for the season is frankincense, lavender, thyme and uplifting bergamot.
2. CANDLES AND SMUDGING
You can treat your senses by burning beautiful natural candles. I love Eucalyptus Leaf from Honest Skincare. I also practice regular white sage and palo santo smudging to clear the energy in my house and in the office. Both palo santo and white sage act antiseptic and antimicrobial.
Self-massage by applying oils to the skin not only helps keep the skin nourished and moisturised during this cool season, but also dramatically reduces anxiety or fear –the Vata emotions. I use Ayurveda-inspired Serenity Pitta Body Oil by Mauli Rituals, a sensual blend of bergamot, lemongrass, lavender, lime, spearmint, ylang ylang, cedarwood, sandalwood, spearmint, balsam fir and rose absolute. I am using it first thing in the morning, just after dry brushing, leaving it on my skin for 30 minutes to penetrate deeply ( I am doing my yoga in the meantime) before finishing it with cold shower. And I am ready for my morning meditation!
4. HERBAL OIL BATHS
As the temperatures drop, and nights grow longer, it is my deepest hope that you will take time for yourself and indulge in the simple pleasure of a steamy warm oil bath that enlivens and heals your beautiful skin. What better time to start this new ritual than in the chilly months ahead where warmth and relaxation is so very welcome? Fortifying Green Bath Potion by MOA contains the most fantastic blend of oils to help rid you of aching muscles and de-stress your mind. The ingredients include peppermint, fennel, fir needle and sweet birch. Add 2-3 capfuls to a hot bath and soak for around 20 minutes. Breathe in and let the natural essential oils clear the mind and lift your mood.
5. REFLEXOLOGY SLIPPERS BY HOLISTIC SILK
The magnets embedded into the insoles gently stimulate specific reflexology points and the Chinese medicine meridians. The magnets are located on the neck, solar plexus, kidney, intestine and sciatic nerve reflexes stimulating these points and the relating parts of the body. Benefits from the reflexology slippers span boosting immune system, stress relief (also great if you suffer from anxiety during travel), improved circulation, pain relief and reduced anxiety, all from supporting the feet!