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Explaining the Ayurvedic Ritucharya or Seasonal Routine in Detail! – Part 1.

In our previous post, we touched upon the Ayurvedic Ritucharya or Seasonal Routine, and explained how Ayurveda divides a year into two Kaals, which are sub-divided into three seasons each. We also spoke about the fact that it is important for us to balance our lives in every season to stay healthy. Now let us take an in-depth look into each season, dietary and lifestyle recommendations for every season, and dos and don’ts.

But before that, let’s quickly try and understand how our Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha get affected in every season.

· Vata Dosha accumulates during the heat of the summer. It further gets aggravated during the rainy season due to hot, humid and wet conditions. An aggravated Vata may result in weakened digestion.

· Pitta Dosha accumulates during the rainy season due to the hot, wet and humid conditions. It gets aggravated during the autumn season or after the cooling spell of the rainy season, as the heat returns.

· Kapha Dosha gets accumulated during the winter season due to the damp and cold conditions. It gets aggravated during spring as the weather turns warm, which in turn liquefies Kapha.

Now let’s try and understand what Ayurveda recommends for every season. In this post, we will talk about the three seasons that fall in the Visarga Kaal.

Let’s begin with early winter or Hemanta Ritu

Early winter is when temperatures begin dropping and the chill in the air increases. The weather starts getting pleasant and we start feeling cold. Early winter is part of the Visarga Kaal when the Sun is giving out energy to the Earth.

Dietary Recommendations

· The digestive capacity of the body is pretty good during the early winter season, so Ayurveda recommends taking heavy food. One should prefer sweet, sour and salty tastes. These tastes and heavy food can help keep Vata in control.

· Wine is recommended to keep the body warm during this season.

· Dairy products, slightly oily foods, sweets, wheat products etc are recommended.

Lifestyle Recommendations

· Try and keep yourself warm by wearing warm clothes.

· Massage your body regularly with warm oils.

· Cover your head and ears when walking out during early winter.

· Get adequate exposure to Sunlight.

Next, let’s talk about late winter or Shishir Ritu

Shishir Ritu is when temperatures drop significantly and the atmosphere is quite cold and windy. The Earth gets filled with snow and the weather outside becomes extremely chilly.

Dietary Recommendations

· Digestive fire or Agni is at its best during the winter season as it travels back to the center of the body or the stomach from the periphery. We feel extremely hungry this season and our appetite generally increases.

· Once again, Ayurveda recommends sweet, sour and salty tastes during this season.

· Since our appetite is heavy during this season, Ayurveda allows us to consume rich foods and even slightly oily foods that can help keep the body warm.

Lifestyle Recommendations

· Protecting ourselves from the winter chill is paramount.

· Indulging in exercises that can help break a sweat is strongly recommended.

· We should try and wear warm clothes, sweaters etc.

· Regular body massages with warm oils are recommended during this season.

· Adequate exposure to Sunlight is also extremely important.

Now, let’s talk about the spring season or Vasanta Ritu:

With passing time, the winter season comes to an end and the Sun begins to rise again. Flowers start blooming as the weather starts getting warmer. This signifies the advent of spring season.

Dietary Recommendations

· An aggravated and frozen Kapha Dosha starts melting in this season. That in turn, results in diminished Agni or digestive fire. So, our digestive capacity drops significantly during the spring season.

· Ayurveda recommends light and easily digestible foods during the spring season.

· It is recommended to stay away from sweet, salty or oily foods as they tend to increase Kapha. Since Kapha is already aggravated during the spring season, eating such foods can worsen the situation.

Lifestyle Recommendations

· We should indulge in physical activity of some sort to burn the excess Kapha that has deposited in the body.

· Ayurveda also recommends dry massages for spring season.

· It is strictly prohibited to sleep in the afternoon during this season.

Now that we have understood the seasonal routine for early winter, winter and spring seasons… stay tuned, as up next, we will talk about summer, monsoon and autumn seasons.

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