In the Ayurvedic tradition, constitutions (also known as doshas) are the total composition of an individual’s mind, body, and emotional makeup. There are three different types of doshas, each of which is associated with an element: vatta (air, space), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth and water). An Ayurvedic practitioner will use various techniques to assess you, such as listening to your pulse, checking your tongue and eyes, and considering your body type. When you are out of balance, Ayurvedic techniques can be recommended for your dosha to help you return to a state of equilibrium.
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Come sit by the hearth, tend the fire, and feel its warmth. Associated with shorter days, less light, more quiet, and breezes that are cooler and drier, winter brings with it a sharpness and a crispness. Winter embodies a distinct level of silence. The birds don’t chirp, and many animals change color, migrate, and hibernate. For us humans, too, winter is a time for hibernation, withdrawing (although not too much), and, with this, a time for reflection and envisioning.
It may be cold on the outside during the winter months, but it is warm and cozy inside, where we retreat and withdraw. We can accomplish this by keeping our inner furnace stoked with the assistance of warming foods, movements, thoughts, and feelings. Winter is a time for being intentional and purposeful, and offers us the opportunity to gain more clarity and transparency. In
the winter, we can cultivate depth and willpower. We are producing heat, through our diet, movements, breathing, thoughts, and beauty rituals.
In the Chinese tradition, winter is associated with the element of water; in the Ayurvedic tradition it is associated with the constitutions of kapha and vatta.
Obstacles: melancholy, heavy, uninspired
This season is about complete rebirth and a flurry of activity. In the springtime, everything is growing and flowing. It is the season of renewal, of new beginnings, of birth. Renewal buzzes in the air as everything awakens from the slumber of the winter season. Bees are busy pollinating, flowers are blooming, new life is springing up everywhere. In this season we feel inspired and have the opportunity to re-engage in our creative life. Spring is full of joy as excitement blossoms around us. The pastel palette of spring reflects the nurturing softness of the season; it is a caring, supportive, and gently loving season. A season of lightheartedness. We awaken in the spring through our diet, our movements, our breath, our thoughts, and our beauty rituals.
In the Chinese tradition, spring is associated with the element of wood; in Ayurveda it is associated with the constitution of kapha.
Obstacles: sluggishness, laziness, lackluster, rigidity, negativity, brain fog
Step into a self-confident, but dreamy state. As the sunniest time of the year, summer is all about the intensity of light. Associated with fun and freedom, the days are brighter and longer, the colors are more intense, we dress a bit lighter. Nature feels very much alive birds chirp, pollen is spread around, and fireflies flutter as the sun sets. There is a feeling of celebration, reward, happiness, and fulfillment. The psychology of summer is passion, courage, excitement, and self-confidence. Caring for ourself is passionate and courageous. Stand in the selfconfidence of summer. Feel the excitement deeply.
Summer is represented by the element of fire in the world of Chinese medicine, and pitta in Ayurveda.
Obstacles: frustration, inflammation, intolerance, perfectionism, being critical or judgmental
Release for the sake of inner strength. The sight of trees beginning to change colors in the fall is
breathtaking. When the leaves finally fall from the trees, it is pure poetry. There is a distinct scent in the air that is crisp and slightly wet, and the air feels cleaner. Mimicking the falling leaves, this time of year is about letting go of that which no longer serves you, releasing what is now unnecessary. Fall is characteristic of self-discipline, structure, organization, and a deep inner strength, as we rake leaves and prepare for the long winter ahead of us, finding solace in the knowledge that spring will come again, and all will be renewed. Fall also speaks of refinement as the cooling temperatures offer us the opportunity to go within both literally and figuratively, to clean out the emotional toxins that have piled up from the previous season. The wind often picks up in the fall, so we want to watch out for imbalances associated with higher levels of worry and concern. The emotions of sadness and grief may also be “kicked up” by the winds.
Fall is associated with the element of air in Chinese medicines, and vatta in Ayurveda.