As much as we might try to deny it, we are part of nature. Just like the trees and the flowers, seasonal shifts affect us and we thrive if we live in tandem with these. This year I’m committing to taking living seasonally more seriously and starting to mindfully shape my work and life around the seasons. To help me do this I’m looking to the ancient practice of Ayurveda.
AYURVEDA AND THE SEASONS
Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga, it takes a holistic view of health and offers many teachings for seasonal variations in lifestyle. Ayurveda teaches that our personal natures, and the natural world, are made up of three constitutions; wind (vata), fire (pitta) and water/earth (kapha). Keeping our constitution balanced is key to good health.
Winter is dominated by kapha, in this season we need to be more still, grounded and internal. Sleeping in a bit later and having relaxing evenings is recommended. Spring moves from being dominated by kapha to pitta. It’s a time for growth and shaking off the heaviness of winter. Getting up with the sun is recommended as is a more dynamic and stimulating yoga practice. Summer is all fiery pitta, we naturally wake up earlier and this is encouraged. More calming, cooling practices are also recommended at this time of year. Autumn is dominated by vata, the wind element and this means nervous energy can build up. A slower yoga practice is recommended, along with rising at 7am when the world is calm.
APPLYING THIS TO MY WORK
When we start paying attention to what happens in nature with the change in seasons I think we quite quickly see how we can apply some of this to our lives. Here’s how I’ve started to plan my working year around the seasons.
A time for nourishing myself and others with my work as well as taking time to reflect and nurture seeds sown for the coming spring. Recent experience has taught me not to start any big new project in winter if I can avoid it.
For me any hustling happens in spring, it’s the blossoming season and a good time to push forward with new ventures.
A time for cultivating what I’ve been growing all year. Not a time for starting new ventures, but it can be a time to daydream and let inspiration come.
This time of year brings fresh energy for me, and I see it as a time to develop any big ideas dreamed up in summer for the upcoming year. By the end of autumn I want to be winding down, and tying up loose ends just as nature starts to slow down.
If you’re keen to get more intentionally seasonal with your work or life I suggest spending some time journaling or thinking about how you’ve felt in different seasons over the years. Then start playing around with your routines and schedules. What feels appropriate for certain seasons and not others? Try things out, hone and tweak as necessary and pay attention to what you can learn from nature as the seasons ebb and flow.
Ellen runs Being Change where she helps people connect to their bodies, intuition and joy. She teaches yoga classes in Manchester, UK and writes about yoga, holistic wellbeing, creativity and the big and small ways we can change our lives. Find out more and read her blog at being-change.com. Follow Ellen on Instagram@being_change.