The Autumn Equinox
By George Rundle, Sep 15 2015 03:29PM
I am sure that by now, many of you have noticed the days becoming cooler, mornings a bit fresher and of course, the light fading a little earlier in the evening, all of which signals that Autumn is well on its way. The long summer days are certainly behind us and it is now time to prepare ourselves for the more reflective, restorative months of autumn and winter.
The Autumn Equinox this year takes place on Wednesday 23rd September 2015 at 08.22am. At this moment, the sun will cross the equator from north to south and it is on this day that we will have equal hours of daylight and night-time. From this point onwards, days seem to shorten as the hours of darkness increase. This obvious change in available light coincides with an energetic shift that affects us right down to cellular level. At the point of the equinox, the energy 'flips' so that instead of moving up the front of our body and down our back, the energy reverses and travels up our back and down the front. Instead of the light, open and expansive feel of the spring and summer months, the autumn and winter energy encourages us to go within and be more reflective. The darker and colder days make us want to hibernate, be wrapped up warm, cocooned, be more restful and take on a more restorative approach to living.
The powerful energetic shift that occurs on and around the equinox also takes place in our cells. This gives us the opportunity to experience cleansing on a very deep level. It allows us to match the changing rhythyms of the universe with our bodies. If we can transition this period, we will feel balanced and in harmony with everything and everyone around us. We will be connected to our true sense of self.
For some, the equinox and few weeks either side can be a challenging time as the energetic affect on our cells creates internal movement with a resulting release of toxicity. This can cause headaches, colds, general feelings of weariness, mood changes and any physical, mental or emotional feelings of discomfort. So what can we do to support the body during this time:
1) Be kind to yourself: rest when you need. With the darker days, our bodies naturally want to sleep more as we tend to feel less energised. Aim to match your energy with that of the Autumn/Winter period.
2) Aim to eat your last meal of the day earlier, ideally when it is light. This isn't always easy in the depths of winter but eating during the darker hours is more challenging for the digestive system. Eating your main meal of the day at lunchtime and a smaller meal later on in the day would also present less challenge to the system.
3) As the days get colder, choose foods that nourish, soothe and warm such as homemade soups, broths and hearty stews.
4) Eat seasonal foods such as apples, pears, plums, figs, raspberries, blackberries, kale, chard, beetroot, watercress, pumpkins, squashes, swede, celeriac, venison, pheasant, partridge, seabass, mackerel etc
5) As your cells start to cleanse, it is important to drink plenty of water, ideally filtered, to help eliminate any toxicity released. Aim for 1.5 - 2 litres a day.
6) Introduce naturopathic techniques to assist with the cleansing. Epsom salts baths are a lovely way to relax as well as assist the cellular cleanse. Epsom salts are essentially magnesium sulphate and magnesium is a relaxant. Putting upto a kilo (start slowly e.g. 1/4 of a kilo and build up) allows the magnesium to enter your body via the skin. Watch yourself drift off as the magnesium does its work. This is a great technique for relieving any aches and pains and after any heavy exercise.
7) Aim to eat omega 3 rich foods regularly e.g. oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or a well sourced antartic krill supplement, walnuts, chia seeds or chia seed oil, flax seeds or flax seed oil. Please note that chia and flax seed oil should only be used as a dressing or as an addition to a smoothie as heating these oils will damage the fats. The omega 3 oils have a great potential for holding light and so this is important for us as our daylight hours shorten. Of course we need to be able to absorb, hold and utilise the light in our bodies and this can be more challenging in the winter months. This can be characterised by those people who are affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
For other ways of supporting the body through a period of detoxification, please look at some of the suggestions on my previous blog 'The Spring Equinox' as they are just as relevant to apply during this time.
Make sure you apply any changes gradually so that your body can move with the pace of cellular cleansing. This is important to avoid a fast release of cellular toxins which may not be eliminated from the body at the same rate. Take your time and continue to observe and notice how your body feels along the way. It is a good idea to keep a little journal or notepad to jot down your thoughts.
If you would like to explore this area further or you have any specific health issues you would llike to address, then please do contact me for a natural nutrition consultation and a bespoke nutritional and lifestyle programme.
Happy Autumn Equinox everyone!!
Easy breakfast idea: Yoghurt with autumn compote
First make a compote from seasonal berries such as raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants, apples, pears.
Place your fruit of choice in a pan with a touch of water and maybe some raw, local honey to sweeten or spices such as cinnamon, mixed spice, cloves, ginger.
Simmer lightly for around 10 - 20 minutes, depending on which fruit you choose, until the fruit has softened.
Place some coconut yoghurt ( I like Coyo) in a sundae dish with some of the compote. Finish by sprinkling with some crushed nuts such as pistachios, pecans, walnuts, almonds or brazils and enjoy!