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Ayurveda 101: Experience the Healthiest Winter Yet

December 28, 2015

For those looking to keep healthy, it is of the utmost importance to follow Ritucharya, the Ayurvedic seasonal protocol.

According to Ayurveda, there are six seasons which are broken up into two groups.

The first group can be seen in the northern solstice: 

>>shishir/late winter (Jan 14- March 14)

>>vasant/spring ( March 14- May 14)

>>grishma/summer ( May 14- July 14).

The second group which resides in the southern solstice:

>>varsha/rainy season ( July 14- Sept 14)

>>sharad/autumn ( Sept 14- Nov 14)

>>hemant/early winter ( Nov 14- Jan 14)

Importance is given to this breakdown because in the northern solstice months it is noticed that the sun takes away the strength of the people more and more each day, and in the southern solstice there is the opposite occurring with the sun and moon giving strength and nourishing respectively. This means that by the time hemant/early winter comes around, we are in our strongest period to build health and immunity for the whole year.

Each of the six seasons has a unique natural ebb and flow with respect to the doshas (one of three bodily humors that make up one’s constitution according to Ayurveda). There is no such mention in Ayurveda of there being only three seasons known as “vata season”, “kapha season” or “pitta season”. That is just flat out misinformation most likely stemming from an attempt at simplification for the west.

Throughout the year each dosha will go into an accumulation stage, an excitation stage and a baseline, calmed stage. For example, vata accumulates in early summer, excites in late summer and is brought back to a calmed state in autumn. Pitta dosha accumulates in late summer, excites in autumn and calms down in early winter. Kapha accumulates in late winter, excites in spring and calms down in summer.

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Lisa is an Ayurvedic practitioner, wellness coach and postpartum doula. After the birth of her first child, it became clear to Lisa that the western medical establishment did not think about health the same way she did. She already had a budding interest in yoga (asana), food, herbs, nature and the power these things had over her health. Discovering Ayurveda gave her a construct to understand how these things fit together and a tool set to use them to help her family, friends and now her clients. After four years of course work at the esteemed Vedika Global and two years of advanced clinical internship, Lisa is now helping Bay Area clients leverage the ancient teachings of Ayurveda to naturally lead healthier lives. Lisa lives in Marin county with her husband, daughters, dog, goats and chickens.