The change of seasons brings with them the balances, as well as imbalances of the constitutions. The astute shifts in the lifestyle as well as diets can relieve as well as mitigate the changes. For instance, when one moves from the scorching heat to the cool nights, one move from a Pittadominated season to a Vata dominated one.
Different seasons have their own food options, and each season supports the healing of the individuals with distinct cycles of the Earth. Photo from Flickr.
Each of the seasons has either one or more of the elements or a dosha which is in dominance and in the season of autumn, it is Vata which is at high. For the Vata dominant constitution, the doshas are greatly visible during the season of fall and winter than any other season. As the weather turns towards the cooler side, the Vata displays imbalances in the form of nervous disorders, dry skin, aches etc.
The Vata is placed near the pelvis. In terms of the energy centers, this area is highlighted by the first as well as second chakras, which are deeply associated with the basic needs of life such as security and survival. Autumn is the best time to evaluate the needs, both in terms of person and planets. The autumnal equinox is perceived as the best time for the health and a mental and physical crisis is seen in this period of transition.
Kaphas gets relief when the heat is descending and about to get over, the Vatas on the other hand, look depressed about the passing of the warmth and moisture of the summer. For them, it is the time to tab on the nourishment acquired from the seeds grown during the year. This is the right time to assess and determine whether the nourishing habits are going in the correct direction. Irrespective of the constitution, one requires moist, warm and lubricated food during this interval, with greater emphasis on the salty, sweet and sour taste. Cardamom is celebrated as the spice of the season.
During the season of winter, the Kapha constitution is in dominance. Kapha aids in survival during this season, with the requirement of the qualities such as movement and light from the Vata constitution and a sense of initiative from the Pitta. Growth is promoted by the Kapha and also enhances and strengthens the natural resistance and community. The digestive power is greatly enhanced during the chill of winter and hence the heavier foods can be handled effectively. At this point of time, the warmed and cooked grains such as oats, beans and protein foods are at a high. This season is also marked with the profusion of mucus, due to coughs and colds, particularly in children. Echinacea is the herb which is used during the winters to strengthen the function of the white blood cells, ameliorates the chemotaxis and strengthens the capacity of the connective tissue for repair and maintenance. For Kapha, a bitter, astringent and pungent herb is appropriate.
Spring is marked with the release of the energies which are accumulated during the season of winter. During this season, the heat of the shinning sun melts the Kapha present in the system, which can cause a slight disturbance in the digestive power leading to hay fever, colds and spring flu. Light and bitter foods, such as dandelion and nettles are the pick of the season. Ginger tea is celebrated as the brilliant beverage for the season of spring. Aloe Vera juice is best for cooling the system during the heat. Spicy, pungent, hot and sour food can irritate the Pitta.
During the rainy months, all the doshas can be easily thrown off. The Vata and Kapha are aggravated due to rain, while the acids in the rain dis-equilibrate the Kapha and Pitta. Tea with honey is the best choice for this season. Grains such as barley, rice and wheat are the great options.
Different seasons, thus have their own food options, and each season supports the healing of the individuals with distinct cycles of the Earth.