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In the Midwest, the trees are changing color, the leaves are falling, and the air is getting colder. The winds of change are upon us and I am noticing the effects of these changes within my own body, mind and sense of stability.

Meditation lets us move into the center of our being and rest there while everything happens around us.

I am also seeing and hearing about these changes in my students. People are feeling more scattered, unfocused and ungrounded. In other words “windblown.” Finding a sense of grounding and stability is important stress management to keep ourselves strong and healthy during the changing seasons. Making some subtle adjustments to our daily routines can help to calm the wind and make the transition through the season more graceful. Here are some practices to consider:

Stay on a Schedule

Eat and sleep at the same time each day. Staying on a regular schedule is a good way to stay grounded and healthy. When our sleep and food patterns become irregular, it creates a sense of instability that can leave us more vulnerable and shaky.

Walk on the Earth

Walking outside is a great way to get grounded. Practicing a walking meditation helps me find the connection of my feet to earth with each step. I find that if I start with a slow walking meditation I can then carry that sense of focus and peace into my daily exercise routine. As I pick up the pace, I don’t lose my feeling of connection to nature as much.

Eat More Root Vegetables

Root vegetables grow underground. For that reason, they absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil. They are packed with a high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins and iron. They are also filled with slow burning carbohydrates that make you feel full and well nourished so you can stay grounded. Yams, beets, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, kohlrabi, onions, garlic, celery root (or celeriac), horseradish, daikon, turmeric, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, radishes, and ginger are all roots. They are mostly available in the fall season, which may be why they are best for us during that time.

Ornish Recipes:

Glazed Acorn Squash with Orange and Ginger

Roasted Butternut Squash

Drink Warm Lemon Water

Warm lemon water is the perfect ‘morning drink’ as it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating waste from the body easier. It prevents constipation and diarrhea by ensuring smooth and regular bowel functions. Regular eliminations are key to staying healthy and balanced in times of change.

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Use Grounding Yoga Poses

The tree pose, seated forward bend, and half locust pose are all poses that are part of our Ornish Program daily yoga sequence. These three are particularly grounding and stabilizing. It also helps to practice all your postures slowly with an awareness of your connection to the earth. Finding a sense of deep support is key to your practice at this time of year.

Breathe Slowly

Practicing long slow deep breaths can help to quiet the nervous system. Once you are able to make your breath smooth and even, try the practice of 2 to 1 breathing. Allow the exhale breath to extend twice as long as the inhale. If you are inhaling to a count of 2 or 3, then exhale to the count of 4 or 6. With practice this technique soothes the nervous system and quiets the mind.


Meditation lets us move into the center of our being and rest there while everything happens around us. Much like finding the calm in the eye of the tornado, it lets us focus on our core where we are still and quiet. Meditation delivers us to a place where we can gain perspective and balance. How do you stayed centered in the changing seasons?

Contributed by

Susi Amendola
Stress Management Specialist

What have you done to remind yourself of the things that have meaning for you?

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