I live in Pennsylvania (on Susquehannock and Lenape land) and have for most of my life. The four seasons experienced here have been easy markers of time for me, and each holds special memories. However; season transitions can be difficult. Change, in general, tends to be challenging for humans, whether it is moving, a job shift or even just a personal transition. The changing seasons are no different. Ayurveda offers suggestions for each season so that we can flow with the movement of our seasons and soak up all the goodness they offer.
Often it is when we are too rigid with our diet, routine and lifestyle that we will begin to fall out of balance.
Balance as movement
Balance is a dynamic and constantly changing place! We need to re-learn balance again and again in our lives. If we look at change as an exciting opportunity to learn more it can be a beautiful process. Sometimes I forget that balance is dynamic and changing and so I am surprised when I can’t keep doing the same thing, or feel as if I am doing something wrong because things are still changing. This can make transitions extra challenging because there is guilt or shame surrounding it, rather than understanding that this is natural and good and ultimately is going to help me learn more about myself and my environment. When I see a client one on one I create a diet/routine and exercise plan specific for every season.
Ayurveda has so much to do with our natural world and how we can live in more communion with nature that many of its teachings have to do with the season’s and their elements.
Let’s get into it shall we?
Winter has 2 seasons inside of it according to Ayurveda. There is early winter which is Vata/Kapha (Air, Water & Earth) and late winter which is Kapha (Water & Earth).
During Winter it important to have warming spices (Thyme, Clove, Garlic, Cinnamon) and eat good Kapha foods (good fats) Avacado, banana and sweet potatoes are good examples. Soups & curry are great in winter as well! Because we are already moving a little slower in the season it is important to stay away from oily, meaty and fried foods. Indoor group classes will support this season because it will give us a way to connect with each other and create some internal heat. It is best to continue getting up early and using oils on the body as we tend to sleep too much and our nose, skin, and throat can get a bit dry in this season.
Spring is Kapha/Pitta (Earth, Water & Fire).
Spring is a tricky season to balance. We start to warm up and things around us begin to bloom. It is really good to do a little detox in spring to clear out the winter build-up of Kapha. If we don’t it may manifest as a head cold or stuffiness because our bodies are going to clear it out one way or another. Spring is a great time to add in more fresh fruits and vegetables in smoothies and stir frys. We still have some kapha in this season and it usually isn’t too hot yet, so outdoor activities are very supportive. Consider biking, gardening and walking outside. Morning stretching and meditation will help balance this season.
Summer is Pitta (Fire & Water)
Summer is when we can eat more salads and raw foods because our agni (digestive fire) is very strong with the heat. Cooling tea with cumin, fennel, and coriander or peppermint will be helpful to balance our internal fire. We often schedule too much and have shorter tempers in the summer, so it is important to find moments of stillness. Cooling yoga, or exercising in the evening after it has cooled down can help, also, activities like swimming and midday meditations help keep us balanced.
Autumn is Vata (Air & Space)
This season can be difficult to balance as well. It is important to have warm mushy foods. Oatmeal, cooked collard greens, squash and nut butter are great options. This is a great season to do some reflective journaling. As it gets colder, dryer and some aspects of our routine are changing, it is good to notice the consistency of your inner landscape and ground down. This is another great season for a detox to release the excess heat from the summer. Vata also has a lot to do with movement and creativity. Autumn is a great time to tap into those channels in a healthy and expressive way!
Remember, you are unique
These suggestions are good to keep in mind, but it is more important that you can notice your own personal balance and imbalance. This is where I can come in. Ayurveda is a personal journey of learning. You may go in and out of balance with the seasons, but most of us have our own imbalances on top of seasonal changes.
I can help you identify and understand how the elements are working for you individually.
My hope is, after a year of working with me, you will have the knowledge and understanding to be able to incorporate Ayurveda for yourself. This has been one of the most powerful forms of preventative care I have experienced and there is always more to learn!
Feel free to reach out to learn more about what goes into your consultations
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