Ayurveda emphasises on prevention of diseases. Following a regular seasonal routine or rutucharya through food and lifestyles help to increase immunity, strength and stamina.
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Introduction to Rutucharya
The seasons are known as ritu in Ayurveda. Ayurveda acharyas explain the importance of following seasonal routine or ritucharya in order to keep up our health. Following these routines help to boost immunity and keep diseases at bay. Following ritucharya increases life span, strength and Energy
Ayurveda acharyas divide an year into two kalas or Solastice, based on position of sun. They are
- Aadaana kaala or Uttarayana or Northern Solastice
- Visarga Kaala or Dakshinaayana or Southern Solastice
Difference between Aadaana kala( Uttarayana) and Visarga kala (Dakshinayana)
Aadaana kala( Uttarayana):
Aadaana means taking away or capture. During adana kala sun and wind are very powerful . They are fiery in nature and dry the moisture from earth and living beings. Because of this earth loses its cooling properties and people become very weak and debilitated.
Visarga kala (Dakshinayana)
Visarga means sending forth or release. During this period moon is very powerful and sun is not so strong . This along with clouds, rains and cold wind cools the earth. Thus sun starts giving energy to earth. All living beings including humans become healthy and strong in visarga kala.
Ritus or Ayurvedic Seasons :
An year is divided into 6 ritus or seasons. It is explained in Ayurveda as follows
6 Rutus are
- Shishira rutucharya – A healthy lifestyle for cold and dry weather
- Varsha rutu (Rainy Season or monsoon)
- Hemantha Rutucharya – Seasonal Regimen for Hemanta Rutu
These ritus or seasons are distributed between adaana kala and visarga kala. Each kala contains 3 ritus. Shishira, Vasanta, Greeshma are included in adaana kala. Varsha, Sharad and Hemanta are included in visarga kala.
Each ritu is comprised of masa or months.
- Shishira ritu which extends from mid January to mid march is cold and dewy season. It contains months or masa Magh and phalgun.
- Vasanta ritu which extends from mid March to mid May denotes spring. It contains months or masa Chaitra and Vaishakha.
- Greeshma ritu which extends from mid May to mid July is summer. It contains months or masa Jeshta and Ashada.
- Varsha ritu which extends from mid July to mid September is rainy season It contains months or masa Sravana and Bhadrapada.
- Sharad ritu which extends from mid September to mid November is autumn season. It contains months or masa Ashwija and kartika.
- Hemanta ritu which extends from mid November to mid January is winter season. It contains months or masa Margashira and Pushya.
A bird’s-eye view of Diet according to Season
The 6 tastes or Shad rasa or 6 rasa of foods change according to ritus or seasons. It is very important to add these foods in seasonal diet.
Shishira ritu :
In this season bitter taste or tikta rasa is very prominent and this has to be added in diet.
Kashaya rasa or astringent taste is very powerful in this spring season.
In greeshma ritu katu rasa or pungent taste is very prominent.
In rainy season amla rasa or sour taste is very prominent and this has to be added in diet.
During hemanta ritu, sweet taste or madhura rasa is very prominent.
The following table helps to remember these very easily
Prevalence of Doshas according to seasons: (Vata season, pitta season and kapha season)
Vata dosha season or vata season
Vata dosha Accumulates in summer when season is dry and dehydrating. It aggravates during rainy season. This aggravation weakens agni or digestion power and causes acidic environment in body. Even the surrounding environment will be acidic due to fiery weather.
Pitta Dosha season or pitta season
Pitta dosha accumulates during rainy season due to acidic conditions caused by vata and weak agni or digestion. Pitta aggravates in autumn when heat is increased due to humidity after rains.
Kapha Dosha Season or kapha seaon
Kapha dosha accumulates during winter due to dampness of rain and cold wind. It gets aggravated during spring when warm sun liquifies accumulated kapha.
Ritucharya Seasonal Routine Links
- Shishira Ritucharya
- Vasanta Ritucharya
- Greeshma Ritucharya
- Varsha Ritucharya
- Sharad Ritucharya
- Hemanta Ritucharya
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