Seasonal rituals have been around for thousands of years. We have been aware of the seasonal changes since birth. We learn from our land, environment, and climate.
Ayurveda recognizes the seasons as: the Ritu Sandhi (3 Seasonal Junctures)
- Rainy Season
- Autumn Season
The seasons depend on your location. During this change, we are more prone to illness. We may have bodily reactions such as aches, pains, allergies, dry skin, and so on. This is caused by the aggravated dosha that has been accumulated over the prior season. It is necessary to aid the body during this process, so it can rid of excess toxins causing discomfort.
There are simple lifestyle changes we can make to shift any imbalances that the seasons may have caused. This practice is called Ritucharya. They are guidelines to help manage seasonal changes.
It is optimal to practice seasonal cleanses to help your body adjust. It is recommended to practice these rituals 1-2 weeks before the end/beginning of a new season.
- Take time to focus on yourself (2-3 days)
- Eat warm cooked seasonal Vegetarian Foods
- Do Abhyanga (warm oil massage) daily
- Do gentle Yoga (no vigorous exercise)
- Observe Silence
- Daily Pranayama & Meditation
- Clean out excess from home & Work
- Evaluate what is best supporting your life & what is not
- Drink warm/hot water
Ayurveda is about eating with whole, organic, seasonal foods. It is about working with nature and seeing ourselves apart of the world. Not something separate.
With that being said the seasons are the best time to
- Slowly stop eating processed foods
- Reduce salt intake
- Avoid Sugar
- Avoid Caffeine
You can practice this for 3 days or indefinite. These types of foods should be consumed moderately/rarely as they do not serve our bodies in excess.
Drinking Warm/Hot Water
Drinking warm water improves digestion, melts undigested food/toxins, improves elimInation by cleansing the digestive tract, improves circulation/prana (life force energy), and pacifies vata/kapha. There are many health benefits to help in daily life. It is recommended to start your day with warm water, adding lemon & ginger is optional.
Abhyanga is a warm oil massage. The oil provides nourishment to the skin and overall body, it is a form of self love. The oil administered is based off your dosha or healing properties needed. It has many benefits such as:
- Cleansing the tissues and opening channels
- Allowing the transportation and elimination of toxins
A hot shower is recommended afterwards.
Cleaning our Mind & Environment
Seasonal cleaning is a tradition that gets carried from generation to generation. While it is nice to learn how to deep clean and de clutter your home, it is important to know how to clear your internal space. Pranayama and meditation are great ways to clear your subtle bodies. I find chakra cleansing meditations and sound healing great tools!
Once your mind is clear it is easier for you to discern the people, places and things that serve or cause harm to you. Observing silence and going within are important to establish your foundation, the ability to feel grounded during this universal change.
All of these practices prepare us for the upcoming seasonal changes. It is a part of our nature to embrace these changes. Ayurveda teaches us that
“The imbalances in our mind-body system can be managed & pacified by diet, lifestyle, and herbs from time to time, but if you reset the system through periodical cleanses, it will not just help stabilize your health at the time, it can prevent future problems.”Ancient Ayurvedic Text, Charaka Samhita