Seasons – Varsha Ritu ~ Rainy Season

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According to Ayurveda, there are six seasons in the year; with the added extras being – The Rainy season (Feb-March in the southern hemisphere) and Winter being split into Early Winter and Late Winter. All six seasons have different effects on the earth and our body/mind, and because of this, we need to adjust our diet and lifestyle accordingly to maintain good health and balance throughout the year.

Currently in Melbourne, we are in Varsha Ritu, aka the Rainy Season; this period goes from February to March. In our outer and inner environments, Vata Dosha energy (Ether + Air) is increased, as well as a mild Pitta Dosha energy (Fire + Water) increase. As our Vata Dosha is increased at this time, people often feel aches and pains in the body, a sense of sluggishness and digestive issues. By following this guide for Diet and Lifestyle during the Varsha Ritu (Rainy) Season, we can help maintain balance within our body and mind, helping us to feel healthy and in harmony with the season and environment around us.

You may be thinking, Rainy season in a Melbourne February? Yes it can be very hot, and we often get high days of humidity and storms. However the physical effects of the climate change can be not so in-your-face, but more subtle. You may be feeling tired with the change of the season, or feeling those annoying aches and pains in your body. These are all the effects coming from the changing of season, from summer to Rainy, and are a clear sign that the elements are changing around you. During this season, our digestive and immune system are weaker than the rest of the year, so we need to be extra careful as to what we are consuming and doing in our lives around this time. Using these tips and following a specialised routine each day will help to keep you in balance this season.

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These are the general highlights of the Do’s and Don’ts for this time of year. **

These Guidelines for our Diet and Lifestyle are here to help us:

⦁ Balances the affected Doshas

⦁ Increase immunity and general overall strength of Mind and Body⦁ Cleanses & detoxifies the Body

⦁ Rejuvenates the Body & Mind

 

Do:

⦁ Start each day with a warm-hot glass of water, with a squeeze of lemon, as this helps to kick-start our digestive system for the day.

⦁ Have simple and easily digestible food. – As our digestive system is weaker at this time of the year, we want to keep our diet light and easy; eating wholesome foods that are in season, and freshly cooked , are best!

⦁ Add oils to your food/cooking, such as Ghee or Olive Oil (in moderation). Ghee is especially effective as it deeply penetrates and nourishes all tissues inside and out, helping to bring lubrication to all parts of the body that Vata may dried out over summer and during this season. (Limit or avoid Coconut oil in this season – unless otherwise stated by an Ayurvedic Practitioner – as it is cooling and will aggravate Vata.)

⦁ When planning your daily meals, work them to match the suns daily passage across the sky. Our digestive fire (which is called Agni in Ayurveda), translates to mini sun, so our digestive fire mimics the sun and its strength along the day.

  1. Breakfast: This should be your medium sized meal of the day. For breakfast we are rekindling the digestive fire after a night of being low. We don’t want to just dump something heavy into our digestive fire.
  2. Lunch: This is when the sun is at its highest point and potency during the day, just like our digestive fire. This is the time to have your biggest/heaviest meal of the day.
  3. Dinner: Just like the setting sun, our digestive fire is going down, and will stay low all night until the sun rises again. When we eat heavy/big meals at this time we are putting a huge burden on our digestive systems, which can affect our digestive process, our elimination and our sleep. This should be the lightest and smallest meal of the day.

⦁ Go for cooked, in season foods. When we cook our food, it makes it easier for us to digest (especially as our digestive fire is weaker during this season.)

⦁ Add honey into your diet. Having honey on toast, or licking it off a spoon is great. (Avoid heating your honey, as this causes it to turn into a toxic substance)

⦁ Your diet should focus on meals that include barley, rice and wheat.

⦁ Add to your meals spices such as: Ginger, Cumin-seeds, Black Pepper and Asafoetida. These will help increase your digestive fire and are warming.

⦁ Make sure your foods have a balance of Salty, Sweet and (Slightly) Sour tastes – these help to pacify and balance Vata.

Avoid:

⦁ Raw/cold foods (and liquids such as cold/chilled water). – As our digestive fire is weaker during this season, we do not want to be putting cold or hard to digest foods into our body. (this includes limiting smoothies and cold salads)

⦁ Sleeping during the day. This disrupts our digestive system and slows down metabolism.

⦁ Drinking alcohol, as it is Vata aggravating.

⦁ Eating frozen or canned foods. – These foods are lacking in Prana (life force) and should only be taken in small amounts.

 

**  For a person’s specific Diet Plan for your body type {Vata, Pitta, Kapha}, see Health Coach: Emma Fitts at Wholesome Living Ayurveda, for a personalised Health Consultation. Skype sessions available!  

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