“When a strong emotion arises within us like a storm, we are in great turmoil. We have no peace. Many of us try to pacify the storm by watching television or eating comfort foods. But the storm does not calm down after hours of watching. The storm does not go away after a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream. We hate ourselves afterward for eating the chips and the ice cream. We dread stepping on the scale the next day. We vow to never do it again. But time after time, we do. Why? Because our habit energy pushes us.”
Are you having a hard time being still? Do you feel pulled in a million different directions when all you are trying to do is fix your kids some breakfast? We can relate here at True Nature! Vata season is here! In the sister science of yoga, Ayurveda, also known as the Science of Life, the elements of air and space meld to create Vata. While we are all a unique blend of the 3 Doshas, we are all prone to becoming out of balance as a seasonal whole in the Fall, due to the Fall Vata overall energy tone.
Fall as a natural time of transition or change, usually comes with a lot of personal life change. We are all connected. When the earth shifts, we shift. I can clearly see this demonstrated when I take short drives around town. As the great outdoors is making tremendous efforts tshift and shed to prepare for the winter, people are going through a great letting go process to prepare for a more peaceful state of being IF they are Present to what is happening. An unbalanced or unaware person will not take heed to these shifts. I have witnessed a lot of hasty decisions and hostility on the road. Noticing this Vata imbalance reminds me to slow down, breathe deeply, and practice unwavering compassion.
This season is a time to root. We, as a society, a living and breathing entity, must go within. This could mean taking a few extra moments through out the day to pause and witness your feet on the ground. Or perhaps you take a 20 minute epsom salt and lavender essential oil bath in the evening to unwind. Whatever it is, choose to consciously be in harmony with the Earth. When we keep this inward focus, we can harness the power to experience great joy amidst this seemingly turbulent time.
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -”
A beautiful way to help us balance is through Ayurvedic eating. It is recommended to eat warm, savory, sweet, salty, spicy (Think black pepper, cumin, cinnamon spices while steering clear of cayenne and other hot spices), hot herbal teas, and practicing mindful eating. Set the mood, light some candles, turn off the TV, and take in your meal with all of your senses. First sending your meal a lot of gratitude while hovering your palms over the food to feel it’s heat emanating. Then, take a few deep, slow breaths, taking in the rich aromas! What do you smell? Say it out loud or silently in your mind. What do you notice while gazing at your food. What beautiful array of colors stick out to you within your home cooked meal? Touch your food. I know for some of us this may be weird, but in a lot of cultures, they only use their hands to eat. I am only asking you to take a small amount of your food and gently slide it between your fingers. What does the food feel like? Now, take your time creating the perfect bite. If you were making this perfect spoon sized bite for a loved one, what would it be? Mindful eating practices are a way to commune with the nutrients that so lovingly take care of our body. It is a great way to connect with your mind, body, and spirit! Yes, this too, is a form of yoga.
“The Buddha said that if we know how to look deeply into our suffering and recognize its source of food, we are already on the path of emancipation.”
The butter nut squash meets all the Vata balancing requirements. It’s sweet and buttery. I was surprised at just HOW sweet it was after trying this awesome Winter squash year’s ago. I chose to tame the sweetness of the squash in this recipe by adding hints of cumin and black pepper. If one wanted to make a dessert with this squash, they could add cinnamon and a bit of coconut oil to flavor it while roasting. Either way, this dish is a fun twist on a fall favorite. Adding hints of the Mediterranean for blasts of awesome flavors. This could be a great dish to serve up at a fall potluck party, or have as main dish for lunch or dinner! There are many variations of this dish, so if you have a favorite vegetable, dice it up and toss it in!
Here is a harmonizing Fall Recipe that is sure to help you receive all of the beauty that this season has to offer.
So, set the oven to 400° F and let’s start baking!
Mediterranean Butternut Squash
-1 Butternut Squah
-1/2 cubed Zucchini Squash
-1/2 diced Red Onion
-2/3 cup Quinoa cooked
-handful of pitted green or black olives
-100 g of Feta (optional
-Tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
-1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Rock Salt
-1/2 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
- Preheat Oven to 400° F. Halve the butternut squash and set each half on the baking tray, skin down. Rub the squash with a few dots of olive oil and spring with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, add the rest of the oil to the sauté pan and heat to medium. Add the zucchini and onion and cook with a lid on until it softens.
- Toss in the olives, feta, quinoa, and spices.
- Remove you squash when you can stick a fork in it easily. Carve out the seeds and the majority of the inside of the long portion (Save this squash for a yummy butternut squash dessert; Recipe coming soon!)
- Bake for 10 more minutes.
Now pour yourself some warm apple cider and you are good to go!
I hope you enjoy this awesomely savory fall dish with a twist. Remember to steer clear of dry, cold, or raw foods (Raw veggies and fruits are to be avoided first thing in the day or at night.) Dried fruits should be consumed in moderation or avoided at all, except for raisins and dates IF soaked in water before hand. Except for Mung Dalh, tofu, and green beans, avoid beans completely.
As always, consult with a doctor before trying any drastic changes to your diet.
“Being mindful does not mean that we just sit for hours on our meditation cushion in a retreat or monastery. There are many ways to practice mindfulness that can be fully integrated into our daily living. Besides conscious breathing, we can do walking meditation, sitting meditation, smiling, mindful listening, mindful speaking, and mindful working. We can practice concentration and looking deeply in all the activities of our daily life. Even while walking, we can practice stopping. We can walk in such a way that we arrive with each step – not walking just to get somewhere else. We can walk to enjoy each step. If we practice stopping while attending to e-mails, surfing the web, attending meetings or appointments, folding the laundry, washing the dishes, or taking a shower, we are living deeply. If we do not practice this way, the days and months will fly by without our awareness, and we will lose many precious moments of our life. Stopping helps us live fully in the present.”Thich Nhat Hanh, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
BIO : Alana Roach is a International Yogi currently based out of Annapolis, MD. Formerly adorned by the city lights and the busy streets of America, she was then whisked away by the illustrious path of yoga and took to traveling the world to share it with others. A few years back she started to write about the transformation she undertook by practicing conscious meditation. Her passions became her career and she now holds RYS Teacher Trainings & International Retreats, Health Coaches, and writes every opportunity she gets. In her spare time she loves cuddling with her daughter, surfing, being in nature, and living amongst her ever growing and global loving and conscious community. She is on Facebook , Instagram, Twitter, and can be reached by email explorationsofself@