Our bodies are more influenced by the seasons then we may like to believe. The core of Ayurveda the ancient Indian science believes that man and nature are deeply integrated and dependent on each other for health and wellbeing.
Do you love the change of season or dread it? Some people eagerly wait for a new season to dawn because there is change waiting to happen. We eat different, dress differently and our activities also change according to the season and the weather it presents. But do you ever notice a difference in the way your body feels from one season to the next, your energy levels, moods, sleep patterns? Well, its common for us to miss but it’s there and it happens, people suffering with arthritis or joint pains will most often experience an increase in pain throughout the body during this time.
Our bodies are more influenced by the seasons then we may like to believe. The core of Ayurveda the ancient Indian science believes that man and nature are deeply integrated and dependent on each other for health and wellbeing. As we have evolved into the present modern age there’s a disconnect, we no longer eat seasonally available foods as they are made available year-round. We are indoors more and outdoors less thanks to our gadgets, it gets easy to forget and lose touch with our instinctual ways with nature.
Why is this a problem?
Acting or going against our natural tendencies and inclinations creates an imbalance of sorts which ultimately impacts our health. Imagine eating a cold ice cream and wearing light clothing in the chill of winter or relishing a hot bowl of soup sunbathing on the beach. Would you see yourself doing this? This doesn’t seem right, and we feel this way because how we react helps the body maintain balance through the seasons. Therefore, keeping in tune with nature and eating to support our body will boost immunity and maintain overall health.
So, what does it mean ‘keeping in tune with nature’?
Ayurveda focuses primarily on prevention and preservation of health and through Ritucharya lays down guidelines for every season. The seasonal regimen describes how one should eat and live through the year as a means to stay in complete health of body and mind, have clarity, feel energized and vibrant. This is a very important aspect of preventive medicine as mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. Lifestyle disorders are very common in the present era, basically originating from lack of following seasonal regimens due to lack of concentration in seasonal characteristics. A firm scientific analysis is the base, which holds true even on date.1
Listed below are a few general guidelines to help you adjust to the onset of spring – a season of Kapha dominance:
Mainly consume warm food and drink. Avoid all cold and oily foods.
Include pungent spices and foods like ginger, garlic, onion; astringent foods like broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, sprouts; bitter tastes like those from the dark leafy greens. Avoid or reduce intake of cold, sweet, sour and salty tasting foods.
Get an early start to the day, try and be up before 7am. Do not nap during the day as it slows down metabolism and increases kapha.
Exercise daily as it keeps digestion boosted, promotes lymphatic circulation and overall health. Preferably exercise outdoors as it helps you stay connected to nature and is very relaxing for the mind.
Practise daily self-massage with warm sesame oil which is both nourishing and healing. It soothes and relaxes the mind too.
Ayurveda prescribes ‘Panchakarma’ a cleansing and rejuvenating treatment to remove toxins from the body and to support the natural rhythms of the body. You can look at going away to detoxify and cleanse.
Ayurveda Panchakarma for Detoxification and Rejuvenation
Ayurveda is more than a mere curative and healing system; it is a science that places emphases on the art of living to achieve longevity and overall health & wellbeing. Panchakarma focuses on Ayurveda’s preventive and healing therapies using various methods of purification to promote overall wellbeing and body rejuvenation: guiding individuals in the prevention of disease and long-term maintenance of health.
Panchakarma means five treatments administered to remove toxins from the body and to nourish and support the natural rhythms of the body. Panchakarma treatment is a preventive and or curative treatment to detoxify and cleanse the body and mind. It gives you the opportunity to get away from normal, mundane, hectic life and use the quality time to reconnect with yourself; body mind and soul. It provides a unique opportunity to cleanse and rejuvenate physically, physiologically and psychologically.
Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means five actions, or five treatments applied to the body under guided supervision to clean the body of toxic wastes left by stress, disease and poor nutrition. Ayurveda believes that an unbalanced dosha/vital energy in the body creates waste matter; this waste matter is called Ama in Ayurveda.
Panchakarma works specifically on removing the excess dosha (imbalanced doshas) along with the sticky Ama out of your system by means of the body waste evacuation channels such as sweat glands, urinary tract, intestines etc. Panchakarma is thus, a balancing operation. The treatment usually involves daily massages and oil baths and is an extremely pleasant experience. Ayurveda recommends Panchakarma as a seasonal treatment for rejuvenating your mind-body system.
Panchakarma is a five-fold highly personalised therapy based on the needs of the individual depending on the body type, dosha imbalance etc. Usually, only parts of the five therapies are needed. Today’s quality of food and dietary habits, lifestyle, and changes in seasons are often the cause of saturation of toxins in the body, which according to Ayurved are Malas and Aam, and these are also the cause for vitiation of the Doshas. Unless and until the body becomes free from this Mala, Aam (toxic materials), and vitiated Doshas, the health state cannot be achieved.
Ayurveda has the best therapies in the form of Panchakarma to make the body free from these disease-causing factors. Even in lesser time, excellent results can be achieved, and after Panchakarma, the patient can be treated well with less consumption of medicines and that is within a short period, so it saves time as well as expenses of medicines.2
Panchakarma in Ayurvedic science provides the ultimate mind body healing experience that helps extend the goodness of Ayurveda into a holistic way of living.