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Seasons and Ayurveda

The seasons have attributes much like the three doshas and can cause aggravation and imbalance. Cold, dry weather for instance enhances vata, hot humid climate increases pitta, while cold, wet weather aggravates kapha.

To avoid such continued aggravation leading to imbalance of the doshas, Ayurveda prescribes a seasonal routine to preserve the doshic balance as the seasons change. For each season therefore, there is a unique diet (ahar), a distinct mode of living (vihara) and routine living (karya). These keep your doshas in a state of equilibrium and help you cope with the stresses and strains of changing seasons.

The summer is hot, sharp and bright which provokes pitta. So pitta diseases like sunburn, hot flashes, exhaustion, acne and diarrhea may occur. Psychologically, people may respond to trifles with anger and hate. It is advised to take in plenty of fluids and avoid dehydration, avoid too oily, chilly and refrigerated foods. Avoid sunlight and harmful UV rays.

Autumn is dry, light, cold, clear and windy, all aggravating qualities to vata dosha. Aches and pains in the joints and muscles may materialize, and the mind may become fearful, anxious and lonely. Have lots of rice, barley, wheat, along with curd, cabbage, cheese and milk. Avoid meat, yoghurt. Do not expose yourself to easterly winds.
The heavy, cold, dampness of winter can provoke kapha, leading to cough, cold and sinus congestion. Attachment and greed may develop in the mind when kapha is aggravated. It is advised to drink warm water, plenty of cow's milk & sugarcane juice to improve your life span. Don't expose yourself to cold, indulge in intense sexual pleasure.

The watery quality of spring also provokes kapha and some people will tend to have spring colds, allergies and respiratory ailments at this time. Kapha that has already accumulated is liquidified by the heat and disturbs your digestive system. Avoid heavy, oily, sour & sweet food & drinks that may aggravate kapha. Take in barley, wheat, rice, scrup, & bitter vegetables. Cut down your smoking habit. Avoid day-time naps.

During monsoons (rainy season) digestive power weakens and bodily vata is aggravated. It is advisable therefore to be moderate in your diet. Never forget to boil & cool your water. And if possible, add a little honey. Do not indulge in daytime sleeping. Avoid moving in the sun, and excessive physical exercise