ayurveda

Ayurveda and the seasons

Every season is associated with a dosha in ayurveda-spring with Kapha, summer with Pitta and autumn and winter with Vata. Each of these doshas has a tendency to increase within the physiology during its season. Thus, the heat of summer tends to aggravate the Pitta in us, while a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata.

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These seasonal fluctuations of  the doshas within us can be balanced by eating appropriately for the season. Desh (place) and kala (time) are important considerations in choosing what you eat. If you reflect, some of these choices come naturally to most of us-we head for cool beverages on a hot day and yearn to wrap our fingers around a steaming mug of soup on a chilly evening.

 

Vata dosha is composed of the air and space elements, and it governs all movement in the body. Even for those with less Vata in our make-up, it is important to take steps to keep Vata in balance during this time because of its seasonal influence.

Winter is VATA season

SOOTHING WARMTH

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No more coffee, toast and salads, and time to switch to soups, stews, hot tea and stewed fruit! Foods that nourish and balance the body in the cold, dry,

winter season are the sweet, sour and salty tastes. It’s best to eat less of the astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes in winter.  Warm, home-cooked, soothing foods cooked with easy-to-digest oils such as Ghee or olive oil are ideal, avoiding deep-fried and leftover food, and cold or ice-cold foods which douse the digestive fire.

IMMUNITY
According to Ayurveda, immunity is connected with the digestion. When digestion is strong and appetite is good, then immunity is strengthened, and whatever weakens digestion, weakens immunity. Immunity-boosting foods include fresh, organic, easy to digest, pure and wholesome ingredients including fresh, organic milk and yogurt, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and ghee (clarified butter). Digestion-enhancing spices (such as ginger, cinnamon, cumin and coriander) should be added too foods while cooking.

PAMPERING ONESELF
Warm baths with oils, moisturizing skin from head to toe, engaging in calming meditation while gazing at the warm light of a candle, and a gentle yoga routine, all soothe the mind and body. Avoid stress, walk away from arguments, don’t worry about the small problems which are ultimately insignificant. Draw on the love of Kapha with all things moist, and the fire of Pitta with all things hot and spicy, and the Vata in all of us will feel balanced and supported.

Click here for more Vata specific information

Click here for some great Vata recipes

 

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