The Autumn Equinox

Published : 03/23/2017 13:05:38
Categories : Health , Nutrition

The season of surrender, calm, and grounding movement is upon us!

Two evenings ago (Monday 20th March) marked the Autumn equinox here in the Southern hemisphere. Seasonal changes are celebrated around the world as a time to adapt ones diet and lifestyle practices to reflect the shifts happening in nature around us. As we look around us at the changing landscape, we can get an idea of the changes that are being mirrored within our own bodies, so that we can adjust our routines and maintain harmony with them.


The elements of Space and Air (classified as Vata) are predominant in Autumn. This can be seen through the cooling temperature and the increase of wind, while plant life begins to dry and change. Vata orchestrates all forms of movement and circulation both outside of the body and within. It generates movement from the physical body (action), to mental (thoughts), to respiration and the flow of our nervous system.

Vata energy has the positive effect of increasing creativity, activity, intellect, and inspiration. However when in excess, Vata can manifest as anxiety, fear, insomnia, constipation, dry skin/hair, joint pain, dizziness, low appetite and poor digestion.

To adapt to the increase in these elements around us, it’s important to balance out with the opposing ones. To prevent excessive movement by getting grounded, to stay warm, to prevent dryness by keeping the skin and internal organs well lubricated, and to nourish ourselves.


The sun is rising and setting differently, which affects our circadian (biological) rhythm. The light of the sun and moon directly alter the release of different hormones in our body, making us instinctually tired when the sun goes down, and providing more energy as it brightens the sky. As these times change leading deeper into Autumn, we may sense a struggle to get to sleep or to wake up if we don’t adjust our own daily rhythms.


  • Protect your body (particularly your head and neck) from the cold and wind
  • Avoid multi-tasking, find pleasure in DOING LESS, more mindfully
  • Oil yourself up! Good quality organic sesame oil massaged into the skin prevents dry rough skin, and penetrates through your skin to lubricate cracking joints and sore muscles.
  • Unplug from your devices early, go to bed with the sun, and wake up with enough time to move slowly
  • Begin to listen to your bodies natural rhythm, say ‘no’ to the things that aren’t serving you, and give your mind and nervous system some much needed love.
  • Keep grounded, let your bare feet touch the earth, and enjoy calming activities to reduce the over-active movements of the mind.
  • As the plants around us are doing the same, treat this time as one to ‘let go’.


  • Bring some Ghee into your diet (and lots of it) to help lubricate the digestive tract, and eliminate toxins from your body
  • Favour cooked, warm foods and avoid eating on the go which aggravates Vata
  • Favour sweet, sour and salty tasting foods (which are nourishing and soothing in nature) such as; beetroot, sweet potato, onion, garlic, citrus, dates, apples (cooked), bananas, miso, dairy

Enjoy this beautiful time of tuning in deep, listen to what your heart is telling you, and allow healing to occur wherever it’s needed.

by Annabel Reiter


Annabel Reiter is one half of the team behind Surfcoast Wholefoods. She is also a trained Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle Consultant, Yoga Teacher and mother of two, who loves to explore and share practical approaches to ancient wisdom. To get in touch, email

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