Ayurveda - The Science of Life - and Seasonal Changes
Waking up in the morning in the months of April and May is a weather surprise time! As Spring arrives, it takes its time for the frosts and flurries to leave and the warmth and greenery to blossom. Days can be sunny or cloudy, warm or cool, windy or calm, rain or dry. With these unpredictable changes, I still wear extra layers and even long underwear when I think I will be outside for a while.
Weather affects us in subtle and gross ways and has short-term and long-term impacts. The short-term more physical impacts are pretty clear. Looking out the window, or at the weather report, each day we decide how to dress to keep dry and warm or be cool, as needed. The long-term effects can be quite subtle and need further exploration.
In my studies of Ayurveda, I learned how important it is to include the right actions with regard to seasons. What we do in one season prepares the body and mind for nature's impacts in the next. For example, moving from winter to spring the body has to be primed so we effectively deal with the increase in Spring energy. This then sets the stage for the best transition from Spring to Summer. There are simple and effective ways for seasonal changes to be used to build the body and the mind. Ayurveda, the Science of Life, teaches this ancient wisdom that is so very relevant today.
Ayurveda explains the long-term and subtle effects that are very important to take into consideration to maintain good health. First, let me give you some background.
Good health, from the classic Ayurveda text, Sushruta Sutrasthanam 15,41 notes:
“(S)He whose doshas are in balance, whose appetite is good, whose bodily tissues are functioning normally, whose excretory functions are in balance, and whose self, mind and senses remain full of bliss, is called a healthy person.”
Dosha is a Sanskrit word that translates as" that which can cause problems", and refers to strengths and weaknesses we all have that are part of our physical and mental state from birth. When we ignore our dosha we ignore important clues to maintaining good energy. When we respect and use these qualities we have more of a chance to be in harmony with our nature.
To be a healthy person includes awareness of lifestyle, diet, mind tendencies, stage of life, and cycles of nature. To stay in balance means adjusting what we do, and eat, according to seasons, weather, time of day, and age. Being out of balance creates stress and can negatively impact our senses and wellbeing. Being in balance brings contentment.
In her excellent article, Dr. Shivani Agrawal provides do's and don't so your body need not struggle from this seasonal change. In Ayurveda, there are 6 seasons or Ritu and we are moving from Vasanta Ritu - March, April, May to Greeshma Ritu - May, June, July
What we eat and how we eat are important considerations for health. As Daren Black, M.A., Ayurvedic Healer, Holistic Health Educator, and Yoga Exponent notes, in his websitepracticalayurveda.com
"Lifestyle, including the timing and patterns of eating, choice of food, balance of rest and activity, bedtime, etc. has a huge impact on health and the balance of mind and body. "
Lifestyle also includes what we put into our minds and how we deal with emotions. In my ebook, The Blame Game, you can effectively remove the nasty habit of blaming. Whether we are blaming ourselves or others we are hurting ourselves.
I'm curious and happy to know how Ayurveda has worked and is working for you. Please do add your comments and questions below.
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