Having studied Reiki energy and shamanic healing in my 20s and having dipped in and out of yoga for years, I decided to revisit these ancient ways again a few years ago.

Up until now, I had looked upon yoga as another form of exercising and for me exercise had to be high-octane cardiovascular pursuits such as running, body pump weight or HIIT classes at the gym that I had pursued until the birth of my daughter. I just didn’t see value in the seemingly ‘sedate’ practice of yoga.

Growing up in the 80s, I had been programmed that ‘keep fit’ was all about being body perfect, punishing and pushing yourself to achieve unattainable goals that keep you in a state of harsh self-criticism and competition, never quite feeling that your body is good enough, personal goals never quite being reached and experiencing that wave of guilt when you don’t feel like hitting the gym or when you simply want to ‘be’.

This viewpoint slowly started to slip away with a culmination of events, the main catalyst for change being the birth of my daughter and the trauma that surrounded it, one part being the fact she suffered a brain injury and now lives with cerebral palsy.

Going back to the gym to run on a treadmill going nowhere seemed a little bizarre and unimportant due to the fact there was a little girl at home whose life would be like nothing I had imagined for her. This was the turning point in my life that I needed, I just didn’t know it yet!

I had to find ways to help support my frazzled nervous system and fast.

I was spiralling into the abyss with no guide book on how to navigate the world with a child that needed my support in absolutely every aspect of her life, a constant round of hospital appointments, assessments and a focus on what she wouldn’t achieve kept me in a state of negativity, living in the past and scared of the future.

I couldn’t see a way out or a way through.

It was time to take a deep breath and embark on a kinder way….

As we move from one season to the next, it's time to clear out toxins and bring our focus to stability, grounding, warming and a sense of nurturing. It's a time for creating routines that support you not punish you, waking up and going to bed at the same time, regular activity in the form of gentle warming yoga and a nourishing diet can all help balance the characteristics of air, space and movement which are prominent in Autumn.Cooking with warming spices such as cloves, ginger cardamon, nutmeg and cinnamon will also be beneficial to maintain balance and wellbeing throughout the colder months. Avoid cold or raw food. Sip on warm herbal teas throughout the day.

In Ayurveda the world – and within it our bodies, minds, emotions, and interactions; is understood as made up of a combination of five elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.In the autumn the elements of air and space are heightened in our external environment (in the form of wind, dryness, crackling leaves). As a result these elements will manifest in our minds and bodies too.

A balanced Vata mind and body will be creative, agile and capable of great enthusiasm. But an excess of air and space in our minds might cause anxiety, lack of concentration, inability to finish a task… in our bodies it can cause dryness of skin and hair, cracking of joints, nervousness and even constipation.

For a grounding and nourishing start to the day make a Coconut Rice Porridge by soaking 30g of basmati rice in 1/3 block of creamed coconut and 400-500mls water. Add warming spices and let it infuse overnight. Cook in the morning. Alternatively, cook evening in a slow cooker overnight on the lowest setting. Make root vegetables soups ad stews. Roasted or steam veggies are also great. Season them well with curry powders or other warming seasoning, add a bit of oil and you will be sorted!