Brief Ritucharya for 6 seasons

 

Note – One important thing to note is that everything is described in context of an average healthy body, assuming no chronic or severe diseases, like the body of a young adult. So it is always good to assess your body and apply the health practices accordingly. However following Ritucharya will always prevent any further aggravation of any disease already present.

This is a brief description of the ideal Ritucharya for the 6 seasons.

Hemant

The first season described in the Charak Samhita is Hemant. This is considered to be one of the healthiest seasons as no Dosha gets accumulated in this season, the digestive fire and the body strength is best in Hemant. If health practices are ideal then Hemant can serve as a rejuvenation period, which can compensate for the wrongs of entire year.

It is said that the digestive fire is at its best in Hemant, so anything eaten can get digested properly. It is suggested that a person should eat more food than normal and exercise more to digest it. This is a good time for rigorous exercises or bodybuilding. The momentum of metabolism achieved at this time keeps the body healthy for rest of the year. It is like taking your vehicle uphill for a petrol free ride down the slope. Immunity is a factor to the healthy rate of metabolism, so this is the time to also build up body stamina and immunity.

There is also an equal flipside to this benefit. If the proper and adequate food is not consumed then the digestive fire will destroy the Dhatu of the body as the fire that burns the house if not controlled in the fireplace. Vata gets vitiated as the digestive fire destroys the body substance and increases the space, which is the quality of Vata.

This can be understood as the digestion of body fat due to inadequate food intake. Body fat acts as insulation against the cold, if it gets digested and is reduced than the natural protection against the cold is lost. Also eventually this leads to decrease in hunger also since the body receives the signal that the food is not available and reduces the amount of digestive juices to prevent damage to the stomach lining (ulcers). So winter is not the ideal time to start a diet program!

In Hemant, the environment is at its coldest. Recommended food in Hemant consist of oily, sour, salty food, flesh of aquatic and animals found or born in cold climate (these animals have more fat to help them survive in the cold) for example sheep etc. Roasted flesh should be preferred over the fried one (because meat contains ample fats) , Sweet food along with jaggery etc. and milk products are highly recommended. Fatty food, new rice and warm water should be used for consumption. Water is not digested, but is readily absorbed by intestine, so it produces no heat by digestion but immediately brings down the internal temperature of the stomach. Therefore cold water should not be consumed at all because it harms the normal digestion and results in toxin production.

Hemant Vihar – herbal Oil massage, Ubtan (body pack), head massage, Steam (sauna), sunshine and use of underground apartments is highly preferable. Aguru is an herb that should be used in skin ointments during cold weather. Also this season is ideal for sexual intercourse.

The proscribed ones are less and light food intake, exposure to wind, consuming sattu with cold water and sugar.

Sattu is considered to be of cold temperament. This probably means that the amount of heat consumed during digestion is higher than the amount of heat produced. So the overall effect of Sattu is cooling. Together with cold water and sugar, it becomes worse in Hemant.

Shishir

Shishir Ritucharya: It is almost same as Hemant Ritucharya. Person should eat more of sour, bitter food than normal consumption.

Vasant

Vasant Ritucharya: According to Charak, Kapha deposited in Hemant starts melting in Vasant due to the sun’s heat and pollutes the digestive fire, thus producing various diseases. This can be understood as the extra mucus flowing back to the blood and thereby to the liver to get excreted. This might spoil the quality of bile secreted from the liver or spleen functions, where the blood gets purified.

Panchkarma (esp. vomiting) should be used in Vasant Ritu to expel the Kapha and purify the body, after proper preparations. Kapha resides in the upper clavicle region and chest. Medicated vomiting clears the throat and chest area and removes any congestion or heaviness due to Kapha.

Vihar in Vasant: Exercise, Body pack (Ubtan), smoking, medicated gargle (Kaval), use of Kajal, bathing in warm water. Use of chandan and aguru based body ointment.

There is an indication of use of aromatherapy in Vasant. Stay in gardens and forests, full of flowers, is highly recommended. Medium involvement in Sex is advised in Vasant.

Vihar is slightly more important in Vasant in the way that Kapha can be better controlled by a combination of exercise and diet than only by recommended meal. External factors like exercise, smoking, hot bath can control Kapha more effectively than medication (in preventive situation), unlike other Dosha.

Aahar: Use of old grains (1 year old) like jowar, wheat, and flesh of deer, rabbit, pigeon, and quail bird is recommended. All these proteins are said to be “Deepan”, that is they are easy to digest and fuel the digestive fire (it is like putting dry shredded wood on fire). Wine made from sugarcane or mahua (butter tree) should be consumed to aid digestion.

Prohibited in Vasant: Heavy and difficult to digest, sour, oily, sweet food and sleeping in the daytime.

Holi is an important festival that veils an important Ayurvedic procedure for skin protection. Earlier colours were made of “flame of forest” or Tesu for orange colour and turmeric for yellow colour. Flowers of flame of forest have antifungal properties, good for prevention of skin disorders especially fungal infections. Turmeric contains antiseptic properties.

 

Grishma

Ritucharya in Grishma (summer): Sun takes away the water of all the elements and creatures by its direct rays. Therefore use of sweet, cold or slightly warm, fresh and moist food is recommended.

In this season, body is weakened by the continuous effort to maintain homeostasis in the hot external conditions. It is difficult since the heat is produced inside the body also, because of digestion. So it is advisable to eat food that is light and easily digestible so that the amount of heat produced while digestion is less.

It is said that the person who uses Sattu mixed in cold water with sugar, soup made from meat of animals and birds found in the plains, ghee, milk and Shali rice (a variety of rice) in summer, does not fall sick. One should consume the seasonal fruits in large quantity, esp. heat busters like mango, watermelon etc.

Amrakalp

There is a special rejuvenation treatment associated with mango, called Amrakalp, recommended in summer. It is a technique that involves eating only mangoes for 45 days approx., according to the body strength and constitution. The normal food should be replaced gradually with mangoes with the start of Grishma sandhikal. First, the dinner should be replaced (first 5 days), then the daily snacks and lunch (next 5 days) and the breakfast(5 days) as the summer progresses. The person should not be exposed to outside heat, sunlight or wind during this period. After the complete replacement of meals, mango meals should be continued for 10-15 days and then gradually replaced by Varsha food, stepwise. First , replace the breakfast( 5 days), lunch and snacks (next 5 days) and the finally the dinner (last 5 days).

Proscribed in summer:  No liquor should not be consumed as a drink. If required, it should be consumed after mixing large amount of water. Use of too salty, sour, bitter and hot food, too much exercise and sex is prohibited. In short, anything which makes the body hot is prohibited.

Vihar in summer:  Stay in Shital Griha (AC nowadays, otherwise house in greenery, with ventilators, water sprinklers, shutters to prevent heating etc.). Sleeping on the terrace when moon is visible with light breeze, after anointing the body with fragrant herbs like chandan, is recommended. Aromatherapy also helps in alleviating the effect of foul smell of sweat and has a cool and soothing effect.

Varsha

Varsha Ritucharya: After Aadan kal, rasa (juice) of the body is evaporated and digestive fire is weakened. This weakened fire is again polluted by the vitiated Vata in Varsha as discussed earlier.

It is said that the rain water falls on the heated ground and is evaporated again, to rain back, till the land is cooler; the water retains the acid in the atmosphere and together with the weakened digestive fire, can causes lots of diseases. Water purification and treatment is of utmost importance.

Vata is the king of Dosha, it can vitiate all Dosha. Therefore the purification and treatment techniques for all the Dosha are recommended in Varsha.

Prohibited in the Rains (Varsha):

Consumption of sattu mixed with water, sleeping in the daytime, sleeping in the open, walking on or drinking dew water / river water, exercise, sun light and sex are strictly prohibited. The prohibitions are a combination to prevent vitiation of all 3 Dosha.

In rainy season, many insects and reptiles come up on the surface of earth, because of water submerging their homes. So especially in leafy vegetables, there is a high probability of finding worms and insects.

Therefore it is advised to consume the leafy vegetables with a lot of care or better still not to consume such vegetables at all.

Use of Honey is highly recommended in Varsha. Use of sour, salty and little oily food should be consumed.

The one who wants to protect his digestive fire should use old jowar, wheat and rice (Shali rice is a variety highly preferable), herbed meat of jangal (Appendix 5) animals or birds and soups.

In Varsha, one should consume – liquor made from butter tree (mahua) mixed with honey, arishta (wines) / water. Liquor is a good way to increase the heat production in the body. The rain water should be boiled and used.

Preservation of digestive power is of supreme importance in Varsha. Therefore healthy eating habits are very important. Drinking maximum 1 glass normal water in between the meals helps in digestion, drinking water before or right after the meal dilute the digestive juices which leads to improper digestion, resulting in toxins and gas.

Ubtan, herbal bath, herbal ointments, light clothes and stay in dry place is recommended in rains. Staying in humid places, when the body is in sweat producing mode during early rains, might cause skin infections.

Sharad

Sharad Ritucharya: In Varsha, the body gets used to moist atmosphere. Now the inertia of the body finally adjusts to the lower temperatures, cooling system shuts down completely and Vata comes to regains its proportion in the body. In many places, sun is not visible for many days due to cloudy weather. The appearance of sun in Sharad makes the diminished Pitta to get vitiated as discussed earlier. The blood supply is ample to the skin during rains, also the sebaceous secretions, to prevent microbial growth. As the sunlight hits the skin warmed by blood, there is excess heat, which travels through blood back in the body, causing Pitta vitiation.

Aahar: According to Charak, in Sharad Ritu one should consume sweet, easily digestible, cool temperament, sour and Pitta balancing diet, on feeling hungry, in appropriate quantity.

Now hunger and appropriate quantity is very important here. One should avoid junk food. Seasonal vegetables like bitter gourd are good for consumption.

Vihar: Sleeping in the daytime is prohibited in Sharad as it aggravates Kapha. As the nights are long enough for a good sleep and the climate is getting cooler, extra sleep in the day time will slow down the digestion, reduce hunger and will create toxins.

Charak advises for use of seasonal flowers for aromatherapy in Sharad.

Prohibited in Sharad: Sitting for long time in the sunlight, heavy consumption of fats, oil, aquatic or marine animals like duck and fish, acidic food, curd, daytime sleep.

Note: – Digestive power is a relative aspect and differs from person to person and in different conditions for the same person. So the best factor for determining digestion is hunger. One should be observant of his hunger – quality and frequency. One should not have food without being hungry. Eating in between the meals should be minimized; also you should eat properly during the meals so that you don’t feel hungry in between.

Hunger should not be suppressed. In Vataj Prakruti, it causes decreased digestive power and bloating, in Pittaj Prakruti it causes acidity and burning sensation, even ulcers. In Kaphaj Prakruti, it causes indigestion.

Sandhikal

Ritucharya for all seasons is divided in 3 parts – commencement, maintenance and withdrawal from the seasonal practices. Sandhikal is the time joining the beginning of the ensuing season and simultaneous withdrawal from the previous season. So in Sandhikal the health practices of the previous season should be gradually replaced by the new seasonal health practices, without giving a blow to the stability of the body in the form of diseases, due to the change in seasons.

Sandhi means connection or link. Sandhikal is the time of joining of 2 seasons and therefore beginning of changes in climatic conditions.

Sandhikal is the vital period of Ritucharya, because it is the time of seasonal transition. The body is weakest and more vulnerable to the disease causing factors, as most of its energy is focused on making adjustments to ensuing season.

For example, the body system is tuned for hot weather in summers, the blood vessels are dilated and large amount of heat leaves the body via skin through evaporation. But if the body is suddenly put in the cold weather, in the same physical state, it will lose heat profusely until it makes hasty physical corrections, like shivering etc. Changing seasons repeatedly expose body to such physiological shudders. This is a simple example, but there are so many complex processes that help the body tune itself to the outside environment. Even small changes in the weather or food might have immense effect on an unprepared body. By the grace of nature, the natural changes of the seasons set in gradually, giving a healthy body adequate time and resources to tune itself to the new season. If the weather changes suddenly then it causes more diseases, as the body is unable to adjust to the sudden changes.

The far reaching impact of Sandhikal is not the minor ailments. The actual impact reflects on the aging process of the body. For example if you are used to applying brakes of your vehicle suddenly , the age of the brakes will not be much as compared to the ones which belong to the people who habitually slow down before applying the brakes.

The food and lifestyle should start to change with the beginning of Sandhikal, for effective prevention of diseases and aging. There are 6 seasons according to Ayurveda and each season is roughly of 2 months. So we can understand that the 1-2 weeks of the ongoing season and the 1-2 weeks of the coming season constitute the Sandhi kal.

Sandhikal duration of total 1 month, including the seasonal start sandhikal and end sandhikal, gives the body adequate time to prepare. For example Sharad starts from 21/22nd Sep to the end of Nov approximately; in the Hindu calendar months of Ashwin and Kartik. The previous month is Bhadrapada, which contains the last 1-2 weeks of Sandhikal for Sharad and Varsha (rains).

The aim of Sandhikal Ritucharya is to make appropriate and quality resources available to the body in terms of food and lifestyle, which will help it to adjust to the ensuing season, without falling sick or getting weak.

Also, we should consider differential sandhikal for different people, the standard sandhikal being of first 2 weeks and the last 2 weeks of each season. That means approximately 1 month in a season of 2 months duration will be sandhikal. This way sandhikal becomes more inclusive for the weak, old and diseased people, whose body metabolism adjusts more slowly to the changes than a normal healthy young body.

There are 6 sandhi kal for 6 seasons and they form a cycle together with the seasons.

Hindu calendar is Luni-solar calendar. Solar calendar and lunar calendars differs in their months. The solar calendar is the duration of the earth’s rotation around the sun. Solar calendar has 365 days in a year. Lunar calendar is the duration of the moon’s rotation around the earth and it has 354 days. Therefore there is a gap of few days between the solar and lunar months. In the picture above, the days of vasant  from Mesha Sankranti to Vrihabha Sankranti, form a solar month of Mesha, where vasant actually starts according to solar calendar. Solar calendar is considered more appropriate to calculate the seasons. Therefore we can consider the first few days of Chaitra as the later part of Sharad sandhikal. Each Hindu month has 2 phases, one waxing moon (brightening) and other of waning of the moon. For easy understanding, let us take 1st day of the month as the beginning of new season, for example 1st day of Chaitra month is the start of Vasant (spring) and last day of Vaishakh is the last day of Vasant.

Also sandhikal for a season has two parts: ascending and descending. For example Sandhikal between Vasant and Grishma is from 14th May to 14th Jun. In the first half of this duration, the focus is on decreasing the Vasant Ritucharya to a normal level, the second half focuses on increasing the Grishma ritucharya. For example Kapha purification processes and use of wine should end after around 30th Jun and the use of Sattu can be started by the first week of June.

Sandhikal Calender

These Sandhikal are converted to the form of cultural festivals to encourage the crowd to follow the procedures with enthusiasm, as it is said…happiness is the basic sutra to health. Every corresponding festival has traditional dish or a ritual to mark the beginning of change, for example Makar Sankranti has tradition of making Laddus of Lentil seeds. This tradition of making and eating Til (sesame seeds) laddo is also an Ayurvedic preventive practice. Til mixed with jaggery is a hot temperament combinations which effectively helps in exodus of access Kapha accumulated in the body. This festive falls in the Sandhikal of Hemant (Fall) and Shishir (winter)

Body Cleansing is an important factor of Sandhikal and fasting is the most convenient, natural and economical way to do it, but there are exceptions to the rule. Fasting in Sharad is unique as it should never be a complete denial of food, since the digestive fire is very strong and it burns the body substance (Dhatu) if it is not satisfied with adequate food. Under eating in this season is more dangerous than overeating. This increased digestive power is referred as the fire in the fireplace, flared by the wind, if not satisfied with enough wood, will burn the house down.

Please find a table of Indicative Health Habits during the Sandhikal of seasons –

Sandhikalcharya – Recommended Health Practices During Sandhikal

 

Effect of Ritu (seasons) on Dosha

Let us assume that in a healthy body, there is proportionate amount of kinetic energy, heat and inertia or mass. It is true that energy cannot be destroyed so due to external stimuli the energy is forced to convert from one form to the other, making an excess of one and deficiency of the other form at the same time, as compared to the balanced state. This can be conveniently compared to the oscillation of a pendulum, where the negative kinetic energy gets stored as the pendulum moves up, because of momentum, and swings back in the opposite direction in order to restore the balance

The concept of accumulation (Sanchay), vitiation (Prakop) and balance or restoration (Shaman) is similar to the example of pendulum. We can compare it to the pendulum taken to one extreme end (Sanchay or accumulation of energy), then swinging to the other extreme end as a reaction (Prakop) and gradually coming to standstill (Shaman)

Each season has a unique temperament. Seasons either support a tendency or diminish it. They work as the hand which takes the pendulum to the extreme end. Rest of the process continues as a natural sequence.

Therefore we can also understand Dosha like 3 pendulums which strikes and misbalance each other in a regular frequency, by exchange of energy, prompted by the external conditions like seasons or diseases.

In summer, there is more heat in the external environment, so the body changes the internal heat to kinetic energy in order to maintain a balance. Therefore there are less chemical reactions; less digestive juices are made, less hunger, less food intake and therefore less digestion, which helps to prevent extra heat generation through digestion. Instead there is more water intake and the glands like sweat glands are working faster across the surface of the skin. Skin is the largest organ and it adjusts the excess kinetic energy to continuously sweat and maintain the temperature all over the body. The inertia of this cooling mechanism is the accumulation of Vata.

As the earth gradually starts to moves away from sun, the heat reduces, the climate is not warm enough to hold the built-up vapour (clouds) and it starts pouring as rains. The extra Vata (Kinetic energy) used for maintaining the cooling system of the body in summer, is no longer required due to sudden fall in temperature and causes excess in the body in the rainy season. Vitiation of Vata is compared to the steam that rises when a hot pan (Body in summer) is sprinkled with water.

But this mechanism is not suddenly switched off with the sudden drop in temperatures after the rains. In fact, when there is first rain after lots of summer heat, the rain evaporates and causes a humid environment and the sweat does not get evaporated easily. Also the digestion power, which was appropriate for summer, is comparatively weak in the rainy season to support the heat generation (through digestion) required to combat the sudden drop in temperatures after rains. This gives a minor shock to the temperature regulation system of the body and is the time for start of Vata vitiation.

Gradually, brain starts to make necessary modifications in body physiology. In summer, the body is in the mode of heat loss to preserve the temperature balance. In rainy season, temperatures come down so the body switches off the heat loss mode of the summer automatically, initiated by the heat sensors of the skin. Also the rains reduces the intensity of sunlight due to clouds and a big source of heat is lost. This triggers the process of constriction of the blood vessels and other modes of heat conservation.

Digestion is the most unstable factor in the rainy season, which needs active external help to quickly find balance. Finally, with the approach of winter (Sharad), Vata finds its balance (appropriate amount) in the body in the same way as vapour cools down in a lower temperature.

The longer the body takes to adjust to these changes, the longer is the duration of susceptibility to seasonal diseases or Vata vitiation.

It is said in Charak Samhita that the body that is accustomed of being wet (or stay in humid climate) in rainy season, is exposed to bright sun rays in Sharad. It is interesting that the temperature preservation methods of the body are different in rains than in winter. The blood vessels and sweat glands are not constricted fully, like in the winter because temperatures are higher than the winter and rainy season is humid and ideal climate for micro-organisms to flourish, which is not the case in winter. Secretions from skin glands keep the skin supple and protect from infections or damages. But the heat loss due to cool climate has to be compensated by extra heat, by conversion from extra kinetic energy or Vata.

Temperature balance is crucial for survival and cannot be jeopardized. During transition from rains to winter, the temperatures fall further and the humidity reduces. The microbe growth in environment diminishes and so the skin protection is not as aggressive as in the rains. The blood vessels constrict and more heat is preserved, in addition to the increased internal production of heat by digestion. Also now sun’s heat is available. Therefore during the transition from rains to winter, there is a temporary system producing excess amount of heat. Inertia of this system is the accumulation of Pitta.

The more suddenly these seasonal changes set in, more is the effect of Pitta prakop.

Now in fall (Hemant), the earth moves further away from sun and the environment gets colder. Body gets adjusted to the climate and the Pitta achieves its balance. Now the excess heat is adjusted in the process of digestion. Therefore, person has better appetite in winter as compared to any other season. This is the time when the digestion power and stamina or immunity (Bal) of all the creatures are at its best. Also, no other dosha gets imbalanced because of good digestion and increased metabolism. The time of rains, Sharad and Hemant together is called Adan kal, since it imparts Ras(life juice) to the creatures.

Then the cycle gets back to Visarg kal (First half of the year, when the Bal (strength) is extracted from the creatures. The earth starts moving towards the sun and Shishir(Late Autumn) sets in. This season is more vivid in areas where the ice starts melting. The body is still in the heat preservation mode whereas the environment is gradually getting hotter.

In Vasant (spring), the climate is pleasant; neither too hot nor too cold. The body is gradually changing from heat preservation mode to normal mode. This is the time of Kapha vitiation. This change is described in Charak Samhita as the process of butter melting when placed from a cold place to a hotter one. Various systems undergo changes to maintain the homeostasis of the body. The ways of fluid retention and excretion change. For example, the sweating, which was minimized during winter, starts increasing according to the temperature. One hypothesis can be that an extra mucous lining is formed all over the body in the sebaceous glands or similar organs, which is helpful in insulation during the winter and is contained by the cold temperature, but as the body, in the heat preservation mode is subjected to growing external heat, there is excess heat in the body which dissolves this lining and there is excess of Kapha in the body.

As summer sets in, the body gets accustomed to hotter climate and the Kapha gets balanced. Now Vata starts accumulation and the cycle continues.

This cycle continues throughout the life. Gradually as the ability to quickly adjust to these changes decreases, wear and tear starts accumulating and the damages become more permanent. Here the aging starts. The negative spiral continues to the point when finally the changes become completely unmanageable and the body gives up.

Importance of Ritucharya is in keeping the body almost untouched by these changes for years, by helping it to generate the ability of making rapid adjustments and to quickly repair the wear and tear.

 

Introduction to Ritucharya

Every season has two aspects in terms of Dosha, which can be understood as the vacillation of a ball from its rope. The ball goes from one end to the other. Two things happen at the same time. The ball goes to one end and, in the process, generates the momentum to go to the opposite end. Similarly here we can consider 3 Dosha to be at play. One Dosha is active during one season with its effects and another Dosha is getting filled up, at the same to time, to be released in the next season, the third Dosha being balanced. This also can be considered as an effect of inertia of the body while adjusting to the changes in the outer environment.

Also, not all Dosha get imbalanced at the same time. This is so because the qualities of one Dosha conflicts with the other and therefore they balance each other. For example Vata is exaggerated by cold, whereas Pitta is diminished by the same factor.

Health in any season is dependent on 2 factors – Food and Lifestyle. Food affects the body internally and lifestyle affects from outside. If appropriate food and lifestyle is followed, the person will never suffer from any disease and will constantly go adding healthy years to his lifeline.

Internal homeostasis of people living in cold climates fluctuates very little from the ideal healthy state (provided they have enough heat and food) and therefore they have more chances of living healthy and longer.

Ayurvedic Ritucharya (seasonal cycle) according to Charak Samhita starts with the ideal state, the healthiest season Hemant (fall).

Winter is the healthiest season. According to Charak, because of the cold temperatures, the blood vessels nearer to the skin, contract. The heat of the body thus preserved, fires up the hunger and helps in digestion. Two ways benefit is that the body can intake more food and nutrients and on the other hand, as digestion power is strong, no toxins (Aam ras) due to improper digestion are formed.

But there is a flip side too. If you do not take proper nutrition during winters then this fire of hunger (Pachakagni) will start burning the body fat (Kaphaj parts) and vitiate the Vata (space and motion element).Therefore it is very important to take healthy and ample amount of food. If the body fat decreases, insulation benefits of the fatty layer go as well and it becomes difficult to preserve the heat. In turns, one will feel more hungry, in order to generate some heat through food. This negative spiral might result in even death. This is the reason why the healthiest season also has a lot of poor dying because of low availability of food, proper clothing and shelter.

People living in cold climate are mostly non-vegetarian, which suits them well for multiple reasons. Vegetables or plant food might not be easily available in very cold areas and meat provides adequate nutrition and heat (during digestion) to the body in the cold. Body is also able to digest and absorb the food properly, because of good digestive power. Meat can be conveniently preserved in cold climate and is safer to use for longer duration, as compared to the hotter climates.

People in the hotter areas have a huge assortment of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices to live on. Vegetarian diet is easier to digest, produces lesser heat and creates lesser toxins while getting digested. It has lots of roughage to prevent constipation, since the body in hot temperatures also lose water through perspiration and might not be adequate to drain the food conveniently through intestines.

Nature has devised its own mechanism to keep the inhabitants of all places completely healthy and to have a long life, if they stick to the circle of health!

Let us take the example of brief description of Swasthvritta in the seasons

Aahar in winter – This is the time when you should eat heavy food. (It is very important to note that everything is relative. If you are living on salad, you can start by little oily food. But you should not jump to deep fried food at once.) Also the food should be taken according to one’s Prakruti.

Aahar in summer – This is the time to have light and easily digestible food, also have natural heat busters like water melon etc…

Note – In summer basically all things, living and non-living lose water because of heat and become dry. The effect of heat and dryness on the body depends on the kind of place you live in. If you live on a mountain, the summer will be more like the spring of the plains. Therefore you have to decide the duration for which you want to follow the summer treatment.

Changes in Ritu

State of mind –  Seasons affect brains of lower level  animals through hormonal changes, as they do not have higher level of intelligence and mental control. Humans by and large, can control their minds. Still there is a little effect of seasons on the mind which will be discussed in detail with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorders)

State of body – Dosha and Bal (body strength) changes according to seasons

 

Ritu

Ritu (Sanskrit: ऋतु) is the Sanskrit word for season. There are six ritu (seasons). This word comes from the Sanskrit word – Ṛtú, a fixed or appointed time, for example – appropriate time for yajna or ritual. It is derived from the word root (ऋत) meaning “order or course of things”.

The body is dependent on the inputs from the outside environment for its survival. Soul, Mind and body derive their nutriment as well as aliment from outside. Human body as well as mind have a biological rhythm which is actively synchronized to the outside environment. The effort of body is to maintain the homeostasis (State of same conditions inside the body irrespective of outside environment), in order to preserve favourable conditions for bio chemical reactions.

The most important external factor for aging identified in Ayurveda is the seasonal change. The seasons tend to disturb the homeostasis (constant state of the body). That is why we have seasonal cough and colds. Although these small disorders help the body to overcome and adjust to the seasonal changes, they come at a cost.

Exposure to seasons guides the physiology of the body. Seasonal changes result in physiological jolts in the process of maintaining homeostasis in the body. These jolts cause minor diseases which are overcome rapidly by the body, but in the due course of time, these constant changes accelerate the aging process.

It is like getting your vehicle damaged at every sharp turn on the road and keep repairing it. There can be better ways! Foresight and right action (timely application of brakes) can help prevent the collision. The concept of preventive healthcare is just like having mirrors in the right place, proper steering and slowing down at the right time, in order to minimize wear and tear.

If we prepare the body correctly for the changes that are going to come with each ensuing season, there will be no crash landing from one season to the other.

It is interesting to note that according to Ayurveda, hunger, sleep and aging are considered as natural diseases. So the ideal state of the body will be where there is no hunger, no sleep and no aging!

Sun create seasons due to oval shape of earth’s revolution orbit. If the earth’s orbit were to be a circle, there would be no seasons and very little aging. But also there would be no variety of fruits and vegetables which comes with each season and balances the effects of their respective seasons. For example watermelon is the ideal fruit for summer, sweet and watery. So the aging process accelerated by the seasons can be stalled by proper food and lifestyle.

Seasons vary according to the terrain. On hill stations, winter will be of a longer duration and the 3 cold seasons – autumn, fall and late winter will be distinctly visible, whereas winter will be more like spring in the deserts. In the places close to sea, summers will be humid and not dry like in the plains. So the effect on the body and mind also varies.

Aging is normally slow in cold areas since the metabolism is faster than that in normal temperature. In cold temperature, body has to work more in order to produce more heat to maintain homeostatic condition; and aging happens mainly because of slowing down of body metabolism. So the cold climate is the healthiest, provided you have enough resources to survive. Of all seasons, Hemant (Late Winter/Fall) is the healthiest season also because there is no natural accumulation of any Dosha

The two factors for seasonal health – Aahar (Food) and Vihar (Lifestyle) are consequential to the external environment and the changes. Our successful survival on how appropriately and swiftly we can adjust to our environment. We are here because we were better than the dinosaurs!

Our civilization has emerged with complex social systems and options of lifestyle. Therefore making correct choices is crucial for comprehensive mental and physical health.

Month wise Ritu

The months in Hindu calendar start depending on the condition of moon. Each month starts from 1 full moon (Pratipada) and ends in the other full moon.

Every season is of 2 lunar months. These seasons come with a gradual change in temperature and environment.

The names of seasons and corresponding English months –

Ritu Calender

 

Sun – Day and Seasons

It is said that time is a factor created by sun god. Sun divides the rotation and revolution of the earth in day, night and seasons and thus creates the factor of time, thereby also creating the factor of aging.

This is our home Earth. Imagine our home rotating as well as revolving around Sun.

When the earth is furthest from the sun then it is winter for us, and gradually as it moves towards the sun, the seasons change; spring and summer come respectively, as Earth moves closer to the sun.

When it is summer, the heat causes Earth’s water to form vapour and so the clouds. As Earth starts to move further away from Sun again, rains come as the heat to maintain the huge vapour mass (clouds) reduces.

Change of seasons is actually as simple as heating of a kettle with water. Heat (summer) produces steam, which when condensed, produces water droplets (rains) and finally the kettles cools down (winter).

Swasthvritta

Ayurveda has a concept of Swasthvritta “Sphere of Health “

Let us imagine a sphere of light around us and outside it, is all darkness. This sphere constitutes all the healthy habits and strength of our mind and body. Conceptually, as this sphere diminishes, we become more and more vulnerable to darkness of diseases. We can also assume that it is a part of aura that one has around him.

Assuming that the light in the sphere is because of the life factor or the soul, let us imagine that the size of the sphere detonates the strength of the body whereas the brightness detonates the strength of the mind.

So for a healthy life, one should grow and maintain this sphere of health. The better and more compatible health practices we have, this sphere will be bigger and brighter, which reflects our ability to foresee more, to do more and to accomplish more. It reflects immunity and stamina that your body has against diseases.

For the people who have bad health habits, this sphere will be smaller and duller; such person will fall sick and succumb easily to diseases and other external factors.

There are 2 types of patients defined based on their mental strength

Strong minded – these are the people who are mentally very strong, capable of enduring heavy discomfort for a long time, without much visible agony. In such people, even a big disease may appear to be trivial, due to concealed symptoms.

Feeble minded – Completely opposite, small problem may look big because of their inability to endure. They shout and jump at every little pain in their body. Normally, these kind of people have some kind of emotional pain that reflects through their attention seeking behaviour.

With the concept of Swasthyavritta, it becomes easier to understand that a person with a relatively weak body (smaller circle) but a strong mind or will power(brighter circle) will be able to defeat the darkness of diseases more certainly.

When a person is angry with destructive thoughts, his thoughts first attack his body. We all know about auto immune diseases. You must have experienced many times that when you are angry for some time, afterwards you feel very tired and drained. Unfortunately, this becomes a routine for some people and they get habituated to such dark thinking, which is inviting for diseases.

This sphere has different components according to the type of mind or thought process.

Mind is said to be of 3 types

Satvic – Intellectual, wise

Rajsic – Imperial, Imposing

Tamsic – Dull, lethargic

If we assume that each sphere has its own colour according to its mind energy, then Satvic will be white, orange, and yellow

Rajsic – Red

Tamsic – Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green

Now we have 3 dimensions of thought – size, brightness and colour of the sphere.

If you see red object in blue light then it will appear black!

The point is to make clear that all people have different minds so their Swasthvritta are also different. One set of health practices might not fit the other. One man’s food is another man’s poison. Our Swasthvritta originates in our mind, so if our health practices are borrowed and we don’t feel happy about them, then they are not in sync with our mind and so they will never be effective in keeping us healthy, ever if they have proved to be very beneficial to many other people.

There are many people who conceptually do not agree with non-vegetarian food. Such food, if consumed, will never bring them any nutrition, instead it might create toxins from undigested food.

Similarly, many people who eat vegetarian diet but are very ambitious, regal and daring, might profit from a non-vegetarian or a high protein diet and absorb it quite readily as it is the food subconsciously sought by their mind. Because the mind develops the body according to its aim and it suits an ambitious person to be ready for physical hard work and have good stamina. A soldier with a fighter mind will appreciate the benefits of a non-vegetarian diet, but a intellectual will go for a simpler and easy to digest diet, that helps supply more blood to the brain instead of the muscles.

We all have coloured thinking, so you should eat and live according to the colour of your mindJ, to keep your mind and body in sync.

Another way to maintain the sync between external inputs and the mind is to change the mind, change the colour, the thought process. So whatever comes from outside is easily assimilated without disturbances.

Therefore Swasthvritta also includes meditation and other such activities for mental        flexibility. There is no surety of peace in religious rituals, but spiritual practices are great for mental health. Methods for maintaining mental health also differs according to the minds of the people.

So to conclude, you have your own Swasthvritta which is as unique as you are and your innocent pleasure is the guiding light for you to discover it.

This series will help you with the tools to develop your unique health routine!

Constituents of Swasthvritta

There are 2 fields of health, which are also the fields of diseases – Mind and body

So we should regulate our mental and physical inputs. Like our body cells, we should become selectively permeable to external inputs: embrace the compatible ones and be impervious to incompatible ones

2 major parts of Swasthvritta are appropriate Aahar (Material Input) and appropriate Vihar (adjustment to surrounding)

Aahar

Aahar – It is interesting to note that all material inputs absorbed by the body can be termed as Aahar, so the body ointment or the unwashed soap on the skin is also is an Aahar that might affect the skin!

8 ways of Aahar in body (Intake)

Oral – solids, liquids

Nasal – Smell, air

Eyes – Kohl, Eye make-up

Ears – Liquids, air (There is ayurvedic treatment of putting medicated smoke in the ear for ear ache and many other disease.)

Skin – Air (vapour, smoke), Liquids, ointment, powder

Anal Route – Enema, smoke

Rectal Route – Enema, smoke

According to Ayurveda, Aahar is more important as it helps to strengthen the body from inside, so even effects of wrong Vihar or lifestyle can be overcome. Effects of Aahar are also more prominent on the mind. It is rightly said that you are what you eat!

Vihar

Vihar or lifestyle covers the following factors –

Daily Routine

Exercise

Bathing

Tooth care

Skincare

Haircare

Clothing

Sleep pattern

Sexual behaviour

Accommodation

Swasth Mana

Sattva is the mind; also it is synonymous with the mental strength. As earlier discussed our body is a physical manifestation of our mind. In fact not only our body, our relations, house, work; everything evolves and gets life from our mind. Everything appears the way we see it.

Compatibility is the key. Nothing is good or bad categorically; everything should be defined in context to the person concerned. It is interesting to note that the prescribed amount of the food and medicines for a person in Ayurveda, depends on the measurements of his body, for example amount of grain one should eat in a single meal is equal to the amount of grains he can hold, putting his hands together. Earlier, labourers were given grains in the units of the amount they can hold putting their hands together, as wages. Also the size of heart is defined as equal to the size of the fist of the person, which is again different from person to person. Salt or medicinal powders(churna) should be taken in a pinch, which again will be different according to the size of the fingers of each person.

In context of mental compatibility, everything depends on the kind of mind energy you have (Satvic, Rajsic, and Tamsic); classical singing might a wonderful stress buster for someone, but not necessarily for you. You might like rock or pop, or might like rock climbing even better.

Compatible Aahar for mind includes – cheerful conversations, blessings, praise, Satsang (company of likeminded people / well-wishers / wise men/cheerful and positive people)

Compatible Vihar for mind includes – be in state of happiness, satisfaction, lack of jealousy, anger, hatred, be close to nature.

Anger management is a very important factor for mental health. We get angry because we are able to do nothing about the incompatibility between what we want and what we have. We cannot get everything in life. Tolerant nature is the base of mental health. It is said that the person who never gets angry and never have other negative emotions, will never fall sick and have long healthy life.

Also if you have to prioritize between health habits, take the one that feels good first, because its cheerful effect on mind is more important than the effect on the body.

Swasth Sharir

Compatible Aahar for body – differs according to the

  • Likes and dislikes
  • Prakruti (body constitution)
  • Digestive Agni (Fire)
  • Seasons
  • Physical activity

Compatible Vihar for body – differs according to the

  • Likes and dislikes
  • Prakruti (body constitution)
  • Seasons

Compatible Aahar and vihar will be discussed in Ritucharya.

 

 

Dhatu

Dhatu is something that holds or sustains (धारण करना), similar to anabolism (Building up process).

Dhatu is a very important factor as it holds the life force and controls or steers the Dosha. Dhatu is like the hand that holds the steering wheel of Dosha, without which the wheel may throw the vehicle off track and lead to an accident. Imagine a pot which can contain X litres of liquid. Similarly every “body” has an innate and natural capacity to hold a definite amount of Kinetic energy, heat and inertia, in a balanced state. This capacity is governed by the Dhatu system of the body. Stronger the Dhatu system, more will be the total capacity. Stamina is the end result of the Dhatu.

Prakruti also can be defined by the Dhatu capacity. Rasa(lymph) belongs to Kapha, Rakta(blood) to Pitta, Asthi(bones) to Vata. Person with stronger Rakta Dhatu will have higher capacity to hold Pitta Dosha.

If we consider an object, the energy is naturally balanced in it. If it is stable, the energy is in inertia; when falling energy is converted to kinetic energy and when hitting the ground, some heat is also generated. Similar energy conversion is constantly happening in the body to achieve stability. The human body creates and maintains a special internal condition, which helps it survive; and the energy changes are far more complex as compared to a dead object. Stronger the Dhatu system and faster the anabolic processes in a body, lesser are the chances of getting diseases. The body of a child is like this. So a robust Dhatu system can easily prevent damages during the seasonal changes.

7 Dhatu are basic milestones in anabolic route:

RASA – Ingredients that are absorbed by the body after digestion. It is the end product absorbed in the intestines.

RAKTA – Blood

MAMSA – Muscles

MEDA – Fat

MAJJA – Marrow

ASTHI – Bone

SHUKRA – Semen

Dhatu are formed one after the other, means Rakta (blood) will be formed only after Ras (chyme or digested food juice) and not before, directly from the absorbed food. Also the better part of Rasa gets converted to Rakta by the Dhutvagni (Agni is taken as the transformational process or chemical reaction that converts the matter from one form to the other) and same happens with the other Dhatu subsequently. The lesser part gets converted to Mala of the respective Dhatu. It is like the burning of the wood, the better part gets converted to heat and light and the lesser part gets converted to ash.

Shukra is the most important Dhatu in the body. It is said that Shukra finally gets converted into “Ooja”, the life force.

General Functions of Balanced Dosha:

सर्वशरीरचरास्तु वातपित्तश्लेष्माणः सर्वस्मिञ्छरीरे कुपिताकुपिताः शुभाशुभानि कुर्वन्ति- प्रकृतिभूताः शुभान्युपचयबलवर्णप्रसादादीनि, अशुभानि पुनर्विकृतिमापन्ना विकारसञ्ज्ञकानि||९||
uraḥ śiro grīvā parvāṇyāmāśayo medaśca śleṣmasthānāni, tatrāpyuro viśeṣesarvaśarīracarāstu vātaPittaśleṣmāṇaḥ sarvasmiñcharīre kupitākupitāḥ śubhāśubhāni kurvanti- prakṛtibhūtāḥ śubhānyupacayabalavarṇaprasādādīni, aśubhāni punarvikṛtimāpannā vikārasañjñakāni||9||

The normal (physiology) Dosha, in balanced condition, result in good health, Upachaya (body nourishment)
Bal – improvement of strength and immunity
Varna Prasad – improvement of skin health and complexion and in imbalanced state, cause illness.

 

Characteristics of Dosha

Vata

The major function of Vata in the body is mobility. The sites of Vata are the ones with mobility as a defining factor. Excretion is one of the important functions of Vata apart from the limb movement. Also the major diseases are the ones which blocks the mobility (constipation) or excess movement (joint pain).

Physiological sites of Dosha in the body:
Place of Vata Dosha – 
बस्तिः पुरीषाधानं कटिः सक्थिनी पादावस्थीनि पक्वाशयश्च वातस्थानानि, तत्रापि पक्वाशयो विशेषेण वातस्थानं;
bastiḥ purīṣādhānaṃ kaṭiḥ sakthinī pādāvasthīni pakvāśayaśca vātasthānāni, tatrāpi pakvāśayo viśeṣeṇa vātasthānaṃ;
Basti – Urinary bladder
Pureeshaadhaana – rectum,
Sakthi – waist,
Padau – thighs, legs,
Asthi – bones and
Pakvashaya – colon are the sites of Vata
Pakvashaya (colon) is the most important site.

Pitta

The abode of Pitta is the sites of major biochemical reactions or transformations like the intestine, liver, pancreas etc. Pitta is basically related to conversions in the state or quality of matter. The sites of Pitta have a distinctive characteristic of high density of secretory glands. The secretions from these glands are sharp (acidic/basic) unlike the secretions of the Kapha, which are mainly protective in nature (mucus, ear wax etc.). These sites are also of very low mobility.

Place of Pitta Dosha –
स्वेदो रसो लसीका रुधिरमामाशयश्च पित्तस्थानानि, तत्राप्यामाशयो विशेषेण पित्तस्थानम्;
svedo raso lasīkā rudhiramāmāśayaśca Pittasthānāni, tatrāpyāmāśayo viśeṣeṇa Pittasthānam;
The important sites of location of these three Dosha are as below:
Svedo – Sweat,
Rasa – Rasa Dhatu – end product of food digestion, contains all nutrients
Lasika – Lymph,
Rudhira – blood,
Amashaya – small intestine (site of food under digestion after stomach)
Small intestine (lower part of Amashaya) is the most important site of Pitta Dosha.

Kapha

Let us consider the region around the clavicle or the neck collar as the example of Kapha region.

In this region, the only part with big movement ability is neck. This region is more about stability, protective coatings and shock absorbers, because it harbours the most important organs i.e. the brain, sense organs, spinal cord, lungs etc.. Higher amount of protective liquid resides as cerebrospinal fluid, fluids in eye balls, and nose secretions as compared to rest of the body. No high mobility like the limbs and no major chemical reactions like the stomach occur in this part. Because of such arrangements, stability is achieved, also this part remain cooler than rest of the body which enables better functioning of brain and other sense organs. Consequently the major diseases that can happen are due to blocking/ choking of Kapha channels (excess Kapha) like glaucoma, hydrocephaly, sinusitis or dryness(Kapha deficiency) like meningitis(Pitta excess),headache, dementia(Vata excess). As kapha decreases , other dosha increase , to maintain the energy balance.

Place of Kapha Dosha –
उरः शिरो ग्रीवा पर्वाण्यामाशयो मेदश्च श्लेष्मस्थानानि, तत्राप्युरो विशेषेण श्लेष्मस्थानम्||८||
uraḥ śiro grīvā parvāṇyāmāśayo medaśca śleṣmasthānāni, tatrāpyuro viśeṣeṇa śleṣmasthānam||8||
Ura – Chest,
Shira – head,
Greeva – neck,
Parva – joint,
Amashaya – stomach (upper part of Amashaya) and
Meda – Adipose tissue
Chest is the most important site of Kapha Dosha.


Dosha

Dosha is something which has tendency to malaise or spoil. It can be understood as a factor of catabolism (breaking down process in the body)

Also Dosha is a concept in itself.

According to Ayurveda, there are 3 kinds of Dosha or body temperaments – Vata, Pitta and Khapha.

It is said that as life resides in heart but no one can see it, similarly these temperaments guide the body physiology but no one can see them. In short, they are the 3 basic and distinguishable behaviour or metabolism patterns of the body.

Nature of Dosha

Let us understand this concept through an example of a wooden stick, which can endure pressure, force or weight up to a certain level. It has a yielding point after it will not be able to support the kinetic energy and will break. Similarly it will have a point of heat after which it will start burning. Same is with inertia. It will have a certain amount of inertia according to its weight, size etc. that gives the stability and opposes changes in its state of existence.

Same is with our body, in a more dynamic sense. Our body can hold certain amount of total kinetic energy, with specific channels of flow or function. This amount or holding capacity differs from person to person, just as volume differs from container to container. It also has different but definite capacities for heat and inertia.

The basis of Prakruti or natural body constitution lies in the different capacities of the individuals. Let us assume that the total energy (of all types) is 6X.One body will have capacity to hold 3X of kinetic energy, 2X of heat energy and X of inertia. This body will be of vata dominant prakruti, or VPK prakruti. Similarly if a body has capacity to hold more of heat energy – 3X, it will be Pitta dominant body.

VATA – It is the concept of kinetic energy in the body. All motion inside body or by the body is because of Vata. Vata is said to be made of Vayu (motion element) and Akash (space element).

PITTA – It is the concept of transformation energy, any chemical reactions, heat generation is considered to be under Pitta. It is made of fire (Heat element)

KAPHA – It is closer to the concept of inertia, mass, stability in the body. It is made of Jal (water element) and Prithvi (mass)

There is no single dosha at work at any point in time. One dosha might dominate or direct one process, but all 3 dosha contribute to it. There is natural tendency of Dosha or physiological patterns to spoil the body by either excess or deficiency of motion, transformation or inertia. When out of control, these become the negative forces in the body. They are balanced by Dhatu and Ooja (life force). Any imbalance tilting towards Dosha causes diseases.

Each of these behaviour pattern or syndrome has 3 aspects – Normal physiology, Excess and Deficiency.

 

Role of Dosha

Dosha are like different maintenance programs for different situations. They support a specific type of metabolism, have a set time and place of function and aim to produce specific results.

During any activity, entire body comes together and every part of the body contributes to produce a single result. Some parts contribute more, some contribute less. But there is no single isolated activity happening in the body at any point in time. Everything is connected. The organs of the body synchronize their activities under single command. It must be difficult for brain to communicate to each cell. The body parts communicate through their secretions or electric signals. But Dosha is like a pre-programmed code, triggering chain reaction in the entire body. Under a particular dosha and given a specific environment, each body cell will behave in a particular fashion, contributing towards a single result. Dosha are comprehensive platforms that define what each part will do to perform a particular activity. They align the body activities to produce a single desired effect.

We can compare it to the sympathetic and non-sympathetic nervous systems.

Let us take the example of digestion. Pitta dosha is the parent dosha for digestion. Complete digestion can be divided in 3 parts.

 

DIGESTION

 

 

 

Kapha stage:  Beginning of digestion

When the digestion of food begins, the blood supply to other parts of the body, like the limbs, brain etc. is reduced and diverted to the intestines for absorption (that is why we feel sleepy and lethargic immediately after a meal). It is advised that one should walk 100 steps to keep the kapha balanced during this time. So the hands, legs, brain etc are synchronized to the digestion in stomach because of Kapha dosha. This is a very simple example

Pitta stage: Complete breakdown

Various organs (gall bladder, pancreas) secrete their juices in the alimentary canal to aid digestion. Simultaneously, liver detoxifies the digested juices in the blood and produces the heat through digestion. This is time of chemical transformation and heat production. Blood gets fresh supply of nutrients. Body cells start assimilating the nutrition transported by the blood. Body becomes active. This is good time to sleep in summer, to keep the heat through activities, low and balance the heat of digestion.

Vata stage: Absorption and excretion

After complete digestion, the food gets absorbed though the small intestine (nutrients) and large intestine (water). Large intestine is the site of vata. This stage of digestion involves constant motion and absorption of water.

The important point is that with the beginning of digestion, other parts of the body, even the eyelids perform their function by getting drowsy or the legs by forfeiting extra blood supply, or the brain. And all this is orchestrated by the dosha. So we can appropriately evaluate what will be the condition of eyeballs or liver or legs when a particular dosha is active, vitiated or balanced.

Taking the same example forward, if the food is too heavy to digest; the Kapha dosha will get vitiated. This means that the Kapha program will not shut down at the correct time and will keep running in wrong condition and for wrong (longer) duration. The digestion of food will not reach the next stage properly and the errors in digestions will be carried forward in the form of toxins.

Best example is the process of sexual stimulation. Parent dosha for sex is vata, which is a kind of lord of all physical activity.

During sexual intercourse, the entire body activity is synchronized to achieve a single result. Eyes close to enhance the effect of skin receptors. Conscious brain activity is more imagination based (Pitta is associated with logic, Kapha with the memory and vata with imagination or creativity). Movements of hands, legs, penis / vagina are co-ordinated to achieve the desired outcome. Sperm friendly secretions lubricate the vagina to ensure safe and easy passage. This is a most elucidating example of perfect organ coordination on vata platform.

The key of health is in the balance of these Dosha.


Importance of Vata

Have you ever wondered why it is always Vata, Pitta and Kapha and not Kapha , Pitta , Vata or Pitta, Kapha and Vata.

It is because Vata is the most important and defining force among all three. After Vata comes Pitta and finally Kapha, most innocuous one.

This is because Kinetic energy is considered to be the most important here, which can affect other factors. Kinetic energy produces heat and can destroy inertia. Also Kinetic energy of the body is in direct control of the being. An Individual can use his kinetic energy at will and change or balance energy equation of the body. We can heat up the body by exercise and reduce inertia. Vata, because of its influence on other dosha, can cause maximum diseases. Hence Ayurveda chooses to establish Vata (Kinetic energy) as a greater force than the rest.

Sequence of Dosha

If we consider a lifespan or any natural phenomenon, Ayurveda has a rule that everything starts with stability (Kapha state), goes to the stage of transformation or maturity (Pitta state) and deterioration (Vata state).Same rule applies to human body as well. Child is in Kaphaj state, youth is in Pittaj state and elderly in Vataj state and interestingly all these are more prone to disease attributed to respective Dosha. For example, children are more prone to cold and coughs (Kaphaj disorders), youths are prone to acme, pimple according to their Prakruti (Pittaj disorders), and old people are prone to joint pain (Vataj disorders)

Similarly first 1/3rd of day is Kaphaj, second 1/3rd is Pittaj and third 1/3rd is Vataj. Again the symptoms of respective diseases exaggerate during the respective times, for example cold, sneezing etc. increases in the morning (Kaphaj), acidity is aggravates in daytime (Pittaj) and joint pain increases during the evening time.

The seasons come and go in a cycle but the cycle is considered from Hemant according to Ayurveda, which is the coldest season (Kaphaj state), then move towards summer (Pittaj state) and rains (Vataj state). In Sharad the effect of Vata subsides completely, to regain the Kaphaj state.