The Seasons and the DoshasMay 4, 2018 9:35 am
Yoga offers a map. A map to navigate life. Within the vast map of yoga itself and all its various forms and sister disciplines there a many paths and different routes to take. From a traditional perspective they all ultimately should lead us to the same goal, that of enlightenment.
Now that may seem like a far off and lofty ideal for most of us but the beginning steps on any of the various routes all begin with finding balance and cleansing. Balance of the mind and body, cleansing and purification of the mind and body. Weather and seasonal changes affect our balance, benefit can be gained from adapting our routines to be in tune with each season.
So what are the Doshas and how can they help us better navigate through the seasons? The Doshas are an ayurvedic perspective, an ayurvedic map. Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga and literally means ‘science of life’ or ‘knowledge of life‘.
The Doshas are the corner stones on the ayurvedic map. They are Vata, Kapha and Pitta.
Understanding this map helps us stay in balance and be attuned to the signs when we might be going out of balance. Understanding them helps us make wise choices for our physical and mental well being.
We all have aspects of all of the Doshas just in varying amounts. So one person may be Vata dominate another Pitta dominant but they would still have elements of the others and it is about recognising which aspects of ourselves are the first to go out of balance.
So as we come into the summer season we are in the season of Pitta. Pitta relates to the fire element, it relates to digestion, its dominant time of day is midday, when the sun is highest and our digestive fire strongest. Pitta is dynamic and creative, people dominant in the Pitta Dosha often have clear vision, are passionate and have lots of energy. To keep Pitta in balance during this time, eat cool foods, such as salads. Drink cool, not ice cold, liquids, and avoid too much sun. In terms of our yoga practise it is important to practise meditation and some restorative poses even if we feel like jumping about and being very dynamic to keep balance and not over heat our systems.
During autumn and winter, when it is cold and dry, it is Vata season. To counterbalance the dominance of Vata during this season it is a good idea to adopt a more Vata diet and routine to keep Vata in balance. This means staying warm, eating warm foods, and taking care not to overdo it running around from here to there.
Spring is Kapha season and relates to the cold and wet. As Kapha relates to sluggishness and dampness (this can show up as excess mucus in the body or sluggish lymphatic system). It is important to get enough exercise during this time and eat light meals to keep Kapha in balance. Stay warm, eat light meals, and get enough regular exercise to help keep Kapha in balance.
The Doshas also relate to the elements, air and space relating to Vata, fire and water to Pitta and earth and water to Kapha. They relate to time of the day. They relate to times /stages of life. They relate to types of food .
Enjoy finding balance over the summer months!