01 Mar Honouring the Seasons with Ayurveda
When it comes to finding balance and harmony, the yogis are pretty good at it. And they look to Ayurveda to help them find this balance. And we can use it too. The ayurvedic practice teaches us that there are three major energies or ‘doshas’. Different characteristics make up each type. Each and every one of us has a dominant dosha. But what is influencing us can change depending on things like weather, environment, food, and exercise.
The three doshas are pitta, vata, and kapha. Pitta is the energy of summer – heat, fire, anger, warm skin. Vata is the energy of autumn and spring – windy, changing, unstable, anxious, fast. And kapha is the energy of winter – slow, thick, warm, grounded, wet.
Ayurveda says that as the seasons change our habits, diet, routines, and movement style should change to help us find balance.
Balancing Vata in Autumn
When vata is dominant and we are out of balance we can feel agitated and anxious, easily fatigued but have trouble sleeping at night. Perhaps you’re joints are hurting or you’re gassy and constipated. Or even have feelings of fear, loneliness, or that your mind is in a constant whirl.
How can we find balance?
Routine is the best thing for vata dominant people or those who feel they’re experiencing symptoms that are linked to an increase in vata. Try to get a routine happening in your life. Especially getting up and going to bed at the same times everyday. On top of this keep yourself warm and nourished. Eating warm oats and cereals, baked sweet potato, nourishing stews. Also stay hydrated and don’t skip meals.
In terms of lifestyle habits, it’s beneficial to increase quiet time, sesame oil body massage, rest, and spending time with loved ones is very helpful too. A slow grounding yoga practice is your best friend during this time.
Balancing Kapha in Winter
If we think about kapha as the cold wet energy, our digestion can often slow down, we can feel sluggish, slow, lazy. We can get a build up of mucus and illness. Depending on our natural dosha, winter can make some of us feel better, it’s grounding for those who are flighty and cooling for those of us who run very hot, but we can all fall victim to having too much kapha during the late winter.
How can we find balance?
Switch to lighter foods that are a little drier. Think lots of vegetables and fruits. Also kapha energy is all about over indulging so do your best to stick with three meals a day. When it comes to movement, the earlier the better. If you can get it in before 10am you’re going to be helping two-fold. Light cardio is best. And of course yoga does a lot of good. A strong vinyasa practice is even better.
If you want to take it a step further, use daily health routines like tongue scraping, neti pot, and nasya oil, this will help to keep the illness and allergy issues away.
Balancing Pitta in Summer
Summer is hot. And again, while this can pacify kapha or vata dominant people, it can aggravate us all. Often if pitta is out of balance we’ll feel dehydrated, sweaty, irritable or even angry. It can also manifest as skin inflammation, acidity, and red eyes.
How can be find balance?
Staying hydrated is very important. As is limiting heating foods. You will just contribute to your body’s internal temperature. Think about eating sweet and bitter foods. Think dairy, fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
Direct sunlight in the hottest parts of the day will contribute to the building of heat. Try to enjoy shade or take a breaks from the direct sun if you can. Also avoid working out in the heat. Water sports are great during this time. And yin is very cooling and calming. So is the moonlight. Get outside at night and bask in the moon’s glow.
Take care yogis! x