Autumn is the time to look after our digestive fire (agni) as it is weak during this transitional phase into Winter. During the Winter months Agni will naturally become stronger and stronger allowing us to eat bigger, more nutrient dense foods to keep our body strong and warm during the short, dark, cold days. Especially after some Autumn care and support.
One of the very first points of call for Autumn is to remedy any constipation. If you don't have constipation you can move to the next step but if you do have constipation you can do this step for the whole of Autumn if needed (or longer) until it is remedied. If you go to an Ayurvedic practitioner this is the first thing they will treat on your journey to health and nothing else will get attended to until this is re-balanced. It is worth saying here that constipation has a different definition in Ayurveda. If you don't empty your bowels within 1 hour of waking without remedies/coffee/a cigarette/etc and you don't fully evacuate (your bowel movement feels incomplete) you are constipated. It is normal to go more than once a day (as long as the stools are formed well and there is no urgency) but it is NOT normal to not go at least once a day or to go for the first time late in the day. For some, especially if this symptom is chronic, this means a visit to their local Ayurvedic practitioner as they haven't been able to navigate their way through this step alone.
Giving Agni a Helping Hand
No cold foods and drinks in the morning (our digestive fire is also asleep at night - give it some care upon awakening).
Lemon and ginger tea each morning (ginger improves digestive fire and lemon cleanses and flushes the body of waste)
Largest meal between 12pm - 2pm (when the digestive fire is strongest)
Make more soups and stews which are easy to digest
Sleep after dusk and before dawn (day sleep can dampen the digestive fire)
Cut out difficult food combinations
No fruit with dairy (they need different enzymes to digest and fruit is faster to digest causing it to ferment whilst waiting)
No meat and dairy (Milk will 'sour' waiting in the stomach as it is faster to digest than meat)
No fish and dairy (Ayurvedic advice is that fish and dairy causes toxicity within the reproductive system)
Use spices as a natural digestive enzyme
Home-made garam masala - 30% triphala, cinnamon, cardomom, clove, cumin and pippali (long pepper) and add a pinch or lots more to foods to taste (when the recipe supports the taste of a bit of spice)
Treat your particular pattern of digestive distress
Bloating, dryness, gas/wind - cinnamon, rock salt, fennel, pippali, triphala
Looser stools, feeling of heat in small intestine, acidity - coriander, cumin, fennel, triphala
Slow digestion, heavy feeling in gut, weight gain, tired - dry ginger, black pepper, triphala
In our Seasonal Autumn class we will work on twists and light core work - Finding our centre
Check out the schedule for classes