‘Tis the Season

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Mirror mirror on the wall, how the seasons affect us all.

Just as diamonds reflect the light that beams into them, so too our bodies and minds symptomatically reflect the current season we’re enveloped in. For from an Ayurvedic perspective, it’s understood that whatever’s happening around us in nature is being mirrored internally elementally as well. This means if we begin adjusting our lifestyles to suit the seasons, we’re more likely to have happy and balanced Doshas and consequently to be well.

Just as the planets orb the sun on their set paths, so too the seasonal cycle arrives every year in some form without fail. No matter if you live at the North Pole or on the Equator, high in the mountains or on the plains, in an inland desert or by the coast, there will be a particular elemental flavour and rhyme and rhythm to the seasons. And wherever you are, Pitta will always bring more of her characteristic heat to late Spring and Summer, Vata her predictable drying winds to Autumn, and Kapha her moist heaviness to Winter. This means some elements more than others are increasing each season, despite the fact all 5 elements are constantly transforming and changing. And if we pay attention, we soon see how the signs and symptoms our bodies and minds are sending us, can often be directly correlated and attributed to the qualities of the season we’re in. The chafed lips and dry leaves of Autumn, is one example that immediately springs to mind.

To truly appreciate seasonality and its import then, we need to begin understanding the elements in a far deeper way. For example: We all know water in solid form melts once it begins to retain heat. This is such a basic concept we normally don’t give it a second thought. But in the current climate of excess Pitta, as seen in the global warming of the Earth and the overheating of many minds, bodies and spirits, it’s probably a good idea that we do.

According to a recent paper released in the ‘Scientific Advances ‘ journal by scientists from the University of Leeds, 7.5 trillion tonnes of water have been unleashed into the oceans by Antarctica’s melting ice shelves since 1997. This means more than 40 percent of these shelves have shrunk over the last 25 years, with ‘major implications for the “conveyor belt” of ocean currents that circulate heat and nutrients around the globe’ .(1) Seasonal rhinitis, one symptom of which is the runny nose, affects 400 million people worldwide at last count, is increasing in prevalence, and is a growing global health concern. (2) If you’ve ever suffered from hay fever, you’ll know from experience how debilitating this can be. Scientists suggest human induced climate change is a causal factor in both instances. How sublimely in this example, the warming of the water element in our bodies reflects back to us what’s happening within the wider nature around us.

If you start Spring with an over-accumulation of Kapha or Pitta along with a build-up of toxins, chances are that just like the melting ice-caps, any retained water you’re holding onto that then becomes overheated, will liquefy and look for an exit point such as your nose. And if this heat is trapped for years and years and never addressed by lifestyle adjustments, meaning your plasma/ blood “conveyor belt” continues to circulate excess heat throughout your body as a result, you may be experiencing an uncomfortable mid-life or menopause right now.

How can you stop this from happening? Begin to follow the Doshas lead, by adapting your lifestyle to suit the season. For example, stop aggravating Kapha during Winter by drinking cold smoothies, and refrain from upsetting Pitta during Summer by lolling around in hot baths. The daily lifestyle you follow on a typical Winter’s day is not the optimum one for Spring, Summer or Autumn. How you eat, sleep, exercise and work during each season needs to be adjusted to suit these changing elements if you wish to stay well. It’s not only farmers, fishermen and scuba-diving instructors who need to look at the weather forecast each day. We all do – no matter our career path. For some inspiration on seasonal adjustments you can include in your daily life, see the detailed list of Aggravators and Upsetters and Soothers and Balancers for each Dosha on my website.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
Those who live connected to, the seasons, seasons, seasons.

KNOW YOUR DOSHAS

References:

‘(1) Vast Antarctic ice shelves shrinking as ocean warms’ SMH Miki Perkins October 13 2023

(2) Frontiers Medicine 7/4/22 Sec. Pulmonary Medicine Volume 9 https://doi.org/10.3389/fumed.2022.874114