We’re just about in the middle of ritusandhi! What-the-huh-what? :) Ritusandhi (RIH-doo-SAHN-dee)! It means the “joining” of seasons. An archive of my radio show, explains it – you might want to check it out. Or if you are the reader-type and like to learn with your wise eyes, read on!
In Ayurveda, we know that specific doshas govern specific seasons. You’ll want to check out Seasonal Bloom for Pitta, Seasonal Bloom for Vata, and Seasonal Bloom for Kapha. These are little seasonal guidelines I put together that include all kinds of seasonal information. If you haven’t read them yet, I highly suggest!
Knowledge of what dosha rules which season is super valuable information because we can (and must) adjust our diet and lifestyles accordingly to stay healthy. For example, in summer we crave light and cooling foods, which balance pitta’s heating nature. In the winter, we need heavier, oilier comfort foods which balance vata’s cold and light qualities. When it’s cold out, we need warmth. When it’s hot out, we need cool. When it’s wet out, we need dry. Sounds pretty simple and intuitive, doesn’t it? Great. And that’s what Ayurvedic principals are all about…using opposites to balance the doshas.
Therefore, it’s important to not only know how to manage ourselves during the seasons, but also during ritusandi, which is the “joint” between seasons. It’s basically 15 days (8 days before solstice and 8 days after. I know that adds up to 16. I didn’t write the ancient texts…). Transitioning from one season to the other is when we tend to get sick. Our bodies have been used to the routine, food, and lifestyle of the last season and without some prep work, switching to a new season immediately is a shock to the system which affects our immunity. Ah hah! Kiss that summer cold goodbye and learn how to prevent it!
Below is a chart that shows how the energies mellow and increase during a year’s time.
Notice that when the curve dips, the previous dosha is low while the next dosha is just ramping up? This is ritusandhi and when you want to start getting ready for the upcoming season. How do you do that? I’ll tell you.
• Definitely consider doing a kitchari cleanse for 5 solid days to rid old toxins and rebuild the body-mind with renewed cells and tissues. And yes, I do recommend doing this 3x a year! It’s the cheapest and most effective way to give our body a well needed “oil change” at home.
• If you have the means, the time, and a good Ayurvedic resource near you, consider doing panchakarma (5 cleasnses) once a year. This also in my radio show archives, but you need to work with a reputable Ayurvedic Practitioner.
• Incorporate foods that are appropriate for the upcoming season while weaning off foods from the last season. Nature is pretty good at setting us up for this…you can shop farmer’s markets which are almost always harmonious with nature and seasons.
• Change your exercise routine to match the season, if necessary. Cooling exercises like biking, swimming outdoors, and surfing should be done in warmer months. Whereas in the winter, cross country skiing keeps us toasty warm/sweaty on the inside and keeps both feet on the ground. Yoga is good for all seasons :)
• Stick to the daily routine…it’s nature’s law! The only thing that shifts is sunrise and sunset. The rest is to be followed, always.
• Keep in mind your dosha! If you are vata, you are almost never going to be drinking ice water! If you are a pitta, you’ll always want to be mindful of anything too spicy or fermented. If you are kapha, you will always want to be mindful of too many sweets.
• The Seasonal Blooms (beginning of post) will give you more details about each dosha and each season. Check them out, they will help you!!