We are products of nature and are therefore a part of nature, not separate or above it. The same energies or doshas that give us our distinctive traits and features also flow through nature. These doshas ebb and flow according to the changing seasons, which is why our diets and lifestyles need to be in harmony with the changing seasons.
Failing to follow an appropriate diet and lifestyle according to the seasons can result in Dosha imbalances that give rise to a variety of health problems. Fortunately, Ayurveda provides us with a detailed guide called Ritucharya that derives from the Sanskrit terms for season and to follow – Ritu and Charya.
Traditionally, the year is divided into two periods with three seasons in each – six seasons in a year. While this would be the ideal practice to follow, most of us today are only familiar with the three distinct seasons of summer, monsoons and winter, so that’s where we shall focus.
The heat of summer is associated with the months of April to June with the Doshas of Pitta and Vata dominating the season. The season, therefore, bears their characteristic qualities of heat and dryness, increasing the risk of Pitta and Vata aggravation in the body. At the same time, Agni or digestive fire is in a mild state during the season.
The monsoons typically begin in June and last until September, dominated by the earth and fire energies associated with both Kapha and Pitta. There is a risk of Vata aggravation as the Dosha accumulates during summer, while pitta now starts to accumulate. At the same time, the wet conditions dampen the strength of your agni.
The cold and dry features of winter typically last from November to early March, peaking with a wet and cold atmosphere during January and February. This season is primarily dominated by the Dosha of Kapha and Vata to an extent, making us vulnerable to Kapha and Vata disorders, while Agni requires greater strength to maintain one’s health.
Keep in mind that this is just a simplified overview of the Ayurvedic seasonal guide or Ritucharya. For more detailed and personalized recommendations, you should consult an Ayurvedic practitioner.