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AYURVEDA

About Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient & natural system of medicine, healing the root-cause of illness and purifying body, mind, & soul .Its focus covers health, career, relationships & spiritual life with herbs, nutrition, aromas, yoga, mantras, life-purpose & many more other aspects of life & nature.

Meaning of Ayurveda

Ayurveda (a Sanskrit word meaning the 'science' or 'wisdom of life') is an ancient philosophy based on a deep understanding of eternal truths about the human body, mind and sprit. Unlike orthodox medicine, it is not based on the frequently changing finding of specific research projects, but rather on permanent, wise eternal principles of living.

Ayu

The literal meaning of "ayu" is life. According to Ayurveda this is explained as the combined state of Sharira (body), Indriya (Sense), Mana (Psyche) and Atma (Soul). Out of these Sharir is visible and is considered as sthoola sharir, which is made up of Panchamahabhoota. Indriya, mana and atma are not visible and hence are called as sukshma sharir or linga sharir.

Ayurveda deals with the ways and means to achieve health and also the path, which leads to disease free life. It also deals with quantum of the Ayu (life).

"We treat the patients by judging the cause of the disease whether it may be physical or mental. Then with the help of Ayurvedic formulations and herbs, Yoga and Pranayam, Diet instructions, daily and seasonal routines."

Dinacharya: Daily regimen 

The word Dinacharya is derived from two roots: "Dina” meaning “Day” and “Charya” meaning Activity. 

Daily routine is necessary for maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit. The benefits of a daily routine are: 

  • Helps establish balanced constitution
  • Aids in digestion and absorption
  • Inculcates discipline, and
  • Leads to peace, happiness and longevity

A day consist of 2 cycles:
  1. Sun cycle
  2. Moon cycle

For each cycle, there are 4-hour periods dominated by vata, pitta or kapha energies. Similarly, we also have vata, pitta and kapha energies within our bodies in various strengths and combinations. Hence, it is beneficial if we can prevent activities that aggravate the cycle of vata, pitta, and kapha.

First Cycle (6 am to 6 pm) - Sunrise to Sunset
  • 6 am to 10 am – Kapha
  • 10 am to 2 pm – Pitta
  • 2 pm to 6 pm – Vata

Second Cycle (6 pm to 6 am) - Sunset to Sunrise
  • 6 pm to 10 pm – Kapha
  • 10 pm to 2 am – Pitta
  • 2 am to 6 am - Vata

Dinacharya 
  • Wake-up Time: It is recommended that one should wake up before sunrise, with a feeling of freshness and lightness. This times changes according to body type. For example, kapha type persons should wake up before 5 am. On the other hand vata type should wake up around 6 am
  • Prayers: In the morning there is flow of satva guna. It produces good thoughts throughout the day. Hence, before getting out of the bed, offer prayers to the God. Thank Him for giving such wonderful life. This time of the day is really good for meditation.
  • Personal hygiene: Wash your face with water & clean your eyes. This refreshes you immediately.  
  • Evacuation: Drinking a glass or two of warm water helps in the elimination. Empty your bowls without straining. Keep a good habit of elimination daily.
  • Oral hygiene: Brush teeth by using toothpaste which is astringent, pungent or bitter in taste. Traditionally neem stick or licorice stick was used as toothbrush. 
  • Scrape your tongue: Tongue scraper should be made up of metal like gold, silver, copper, or brass. This helps in removing plaque/coats from tongue.  
  • Gargles: For gargling, use sesame oil (Tila tel). It gives strength to the jaws, teeth will not be set on edge by sour intake. This will help to get good taste of food and oil will give unctuousness to throat
  • Nasya: Application of Nasal oil: Put 3 to 5 drops of anu taila or ghee into each nostril in the morning
  • This inhalation helps to lubricate the nose, clears the sinuses, voice becomes sweet, gives clear vision. Nose is the door to the brain and application of nose drops nourishes prana and gives strength to sense organs
  • Abhyanga or Self Massage : Apply oil on head regularly releases headaches, stress, hair becomes smooth strong and person does not suffer hair loss, graying of hair 
  • Body Massage: Massage is very beneficial to skin use sesame oil or coconut oil. Body becomes smooth skinned, strong, prevents the signs of aging and gives good tactile stimulation. Daily massage will help to reduce stress, fatigue
  • Bathing: Bathing is purifying it removes sweating, fatigue, and dirt. It refreshes body and mind gives energy and increases ojas. Wearing clean cloths adds to body charm, pleasure, grace. Application of fragrance enhances longevity, gives strength to body and mind 
  • Exercise: Any type of exercise should be practiced according to your capacity and body constitution. Yoga asanas can be performed along with Sun salutations. This improves flexibility of the body and improves the mental capacity. 
  • Physical exercise brings about lightness, stability and stimulates the digestive fire. Exercise daily to half of your capacity, which is until sweat forms on the forehead, armpits, and spine
  • Meditation: Pranayama and meditation in the morning are the key to healthy body & mind. Meditation improves your ability to focus. It has calming effect on mind. It releses stress and gives strength to the mind. Chanting “Aum” will clear out your thoughts and will help to connect with inner sole. Meditation will bring peace and harmony  
  • Diet: Maintain a good habit of eating food on time.  Eat your lunch around 12pm and dinner around 6 to 7pm. Avoid going to bed immediately after dinner. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, shad rasatmak (Include all 6 tastes) satvik food
  • Eat your food slowly Do not eat in hurry or while running. Avoid eating while driving or working on computers.
  • Chew your food properly, avoid over eating or less eating.Do not watch TV while eating 
  • Avoid eating when emotionally disturbed like after fight, anger, stress, grief. Do not eat stale, leftovers, frozen foods
  • Do not eat before previous food is digested  
  • Sleep: When mind along with sense organs get exhausted then person sleeps. Night is the natural time to sleep. Avoid having a full meal just before retiring to bed. Sleeping on the right side is the most relaxing and good for yoga. Sleeping on the left, it is most digestive and increases interest in food, sleep and sex. 6 to 8 hours of daily sleep is essential.


Seasonal Regimen - Ritucharya

The word Ritucharya derives from “Ritu” meaning “Seasons” and “Charya” meaning “follow routine”. Ritucharya holds great significance in Ayurveda. According to this principle, the year is divided into two distinct kaals or periods based on the position of the Sun. These two kaals are:

Aadaan Kaal
This is also called Uttarayan or Northern Solstice. The word is derived from “Adaan” meaning “taking away”. During aadan kaal, the sun starts traveling in northward direction.


Aadaan kaal includes 3 seasons - Late Winter, Spring and Summer. The sun and wind become increasingly powerful during this period. The Sun takes away the strength of the people and the cooling qualities of the earth. The Sun gives hot & dry qualities to living being & plants. Increasing heat reduces strength of individuals. During this period, plants show predominance of bitter, astringent and pungent tastes.

Visarga Kaal
This is also called Dakshinayaan or Southern Solstice. This word is derived from “Visarga” meaning “giving”.
In Visarga kaal, people typically gain strength.



Visarga kaal includes 3 seasons - Rainy season, Autumn and Winter. The moon is more powerful, the earth is cooled due to clouds, rain & cold wind.The digestive power of agni is good during this period. Food is more nourishing and strengthening in nature. During this period, plants show predominance of sweet, sour and saline tastes. 


Purpose of Ritucharya

A good seasonal routine helps in achieving balance of doshas. Follow the seasonal routine to avoid changing stress of the seasons and associated diseases. Seasonal routine helps in achieving good benefits of the atmosphere. 


Spring season comes in the period of Northern Solstice. During this period Sun rays become stronger as compare to winter. Winds become increasingly sharp. Nice green grass starts coming out of soil, tree are full of beautiful flowers with nice scent. Birds are singing as winter is gone and weather is warm again.

This nice warm weather show its effects on the body. Increased heat in the atmosphere starts melting the accumulated kapha in the body. Drying effect increasing along with heat. Because of all these changes a person experiences signs and symptoms of kapha aggravation. 




The common signs & symptoms are:
Cough, Cold, sneezing
Rhinitis, bronchitisSinusitis 
Indigestion, Feeling of heaviness,
Nausea, excess salivation
On the other hand a person with balanced doshas enjoys this weather. He feels fresh ready to enjoy the season. His mind becomes active and starts enjoying blossoms and cool breezes. He gains the energy, enthusiasm and relaxing experience.

Diet :
  • Kapha aggravation disturbs the digestive system hence person experience various digestive problems
  • Avoid heavy, oily, sour & sweet food & drinks. As these foods are naturally increase kapha, they will aggravate the present symptoms.
  • Time to eat: Kapha is predominant during day time 6am to 10 am so avoid excess eating during that period stick with a light breakfast. Avoid eating sweet, cold foods during that period. Make your lunch be the biggest meal of the day. Having lunch in pitta time will aid in digestion. 
  • Take in barley, wheat, rice bitter vegetables, mango.      
  • Spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fennel helpful stimulate the digestion and detoxify the skin. These spices pacify the aggravated kapha in the body. They stimulate the digestive fire or agni and restores the digestion. 
  • Drink Asava (fermented infusion), Arista (fermented decoction), sidhu (fermented sugarcane juice)
  • Fresh ginger tea: Drink warm fresh ginger tea with honey



Lifestyle:
  • Go for vigorous exercises, this will help in clearing the increased kapha. 
  • Cut down your smoking habit. smoking causes indigestion that again results in kapha aggravation.
  • Avoid day-time naps: especially sleeping after the lunch as this slows down the digestion.
  • Do dry massage is very helpful as it produces dry heat by friction it helps in pacifying kapha
  • After massage bath with sandalwood water
  • Apply Sandalwood or agaru on the body
  • Panchkarma:  like Vamana is given. Vamana is also called as emesis therapy. It is the best elimination therapy for kapha dosha. Emesis is the controlled and physician supervised exporatory procedure. It is also called as "Shodhan Chikitsa
    "

The year was divided into three thirds of four months, each of which would be introduced by a special religious rite, the chaturmasya (four-month rite). Each of these periods was further divided into two parts (seasons or rtu): spring (vasanta), from mid-March until mid-May; summer (grishma), from mid-May until mid-July; the rains (varsha), from mid-July until mid-September; autumn (sharad), from mid-September until mid-November; winter (hemanta), from mid-November until mid-January; and the dews (shishira), from mid-January until mid-March. These religious rites or holidays were always celebrated with feasts or fasts with or without foods that created balance in the human being due to the seasonal elemental transformation. In fact, most hindu holidays of today have the same history that the foods and rites around them are nothing more than ways of balancing with the forces of nature. Of course, with the Westernization of the world, this is being lost because the passing down of the knowledge that is behind why they are doing what is being taken as tradition is becoming more and more thrown away for newer popular fads and fashions.
ShishiraLate Wintermid Jan to mid March
VasantaSpringmid March to mid May
GrishmaSummermid May to mid July
VarshaRainy seasonmid July to mid September
SharadAutumnmid September to mid November
HemantaEarly Wintermid November to mid January
Again, each dosha accumulates (Chaya), aggravates (Prakopa) and becomes normal (Prasamana) in different Rtus (Seasons). Vata (air and either or movement function) accumulates in early summer, aggravates in late summer and calms down in autumn. Pitta (fire and water or metabolism) accumulates in “late” summer, aggravates in autumn (Sharad rtu) and calms down with the cold in early winter. Kapha (earth and water or structure and secretions) accumulates in late winter, aggravates in spring (Vasant rtu) and calms down in summer. Vata can get aggravated in winter but only if one does not eat enough due to agni increased by the increased cold pushing it deeper into the system, therefore winter time is absolutely the wrong time to fast or diet. There are no Wintertime cleanses going on from a Ayurvedic sense, no antikapha diets in winter. Your immune system depends on your building your body with heavy foods in the winter and then burning the kapha out in the spring.
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In a nutshell, to balance each season here is your cheat sheet. Remember, every meal or day at least should contain all the six tastes. This cheat sheet is just a guide or map and not the whole picture. There is a tremendous amount more to know. This is a start. Caveat, a little bit of information is very dangerous.
SeasonTasteFood and Drink
Winter Sweet, Sour, SaltyHot or warm
SpringBitter, Astringent, PungentMoisture-less and fatless
SummerSweetRoom Temperature
AutumnSweet, Bitter AstringentMoisture-less and fatless
It is of interest to note that the seasons originally had different names as well.
Tapas (Austerity) and Tapasya (Performer of Austerity) are the two months of the frozen season. Madhu (Sweetness) and Madhava (Enjoyer of Sweetness) are the two months of the blossoming season (Spring). Shukra (Bright and Clear) and Shuci (Pure and Clean) are the two months of the hot season (Summer). Nabha (Bursting) and Nabhasya (Fogged) are the two months of the rainy season. Isha (Fertile) and Oorja (Invigorating) are the two months of the mature season (Autumn). Saha (Overcoming) and Sahasya (Strong) are the two months of the frost season.”

Now for everyone that wants to learn the nitty gritty details here it is:
What to do to balance in Winter (Hemanta and Sisira):During the winter the digestive power of a human being possessing good health and strength is enhanced due to the external cold and how it restrains the heat inside the body and does not let it out. The internal heat increases in the digestion making it stronger so it is capable of digesting any food substance irrespectively of its heaviness and the quantity ingested. If you do not feed this strong digestion and it does not get the proper fuel, the digestive fire affects the nutritive fluids of the body, the digestive fire consumes the tissues of the body (autolysis), and this will cause vata to be aggravated. Therefore, during winter one should eat: foods that are unctuous, sour and salty juices of meats and/or meatsoup of fatty aquatic and marshy animals (this is used as an antidote for the possibility of vata being vitiated), meat of burrow dwelling animals prepared by mincing it, and animals that snatch their prey. Someone that has a strong digestive fire should drink flash boiled cow’s milk, cane juice, fat, oils, new rice and hot water. One should get massaged, anointed with oils, apply oil to the head and reside in a heated building. Sex is advised in excess only during winter. Make sure to wear warm clothing and wear aguru oil as a scent and see that seats and bedding are covered with blankets to keep warm and not expose oneself to cold as this can aggravate vata as well due to vata’s cold nature. Dieting or fasting and eating gruel or too light of meals like kitchari is also to be avoided.
Charaka Samhita – Sutrasthana 6:9 – 18 (with a bit of translation)
In the winter, we strive to create good health. Earth and Water elements (kapha dosha) are high in the winter. It is the time to build, as the digestion is strong and the power of digestion is the bodily strength. With ones individual agni in view, heavy food is prescribed both qualitatively and quantitatively in winter and unless heavy food is taken the digestion does not function properly. If heavy food are not taken the body cannot produce the proper heat and nutrition to the tissues. This is the worst time to do a raw diet (AYURVEDA DOES NEVER DO RAW DIET AS IT IS AGAINST REALLY FUNDAMENTAL COMPREHENSION OF AGNI, SUBSTANCE QUALITIES, DIGESTION AND JUST PLAIN HEALTH, SEVERAL DISEASES ARE CAUSED BY EATING TOO MUCH RAW FOOD AS PER AYURVEDIC KNOWLEDGE), juicing, or any cold foods or foods and drinks of pungent bitter and astringent tastes. It will highly aggravate vata and cause problems with the digestion and an accumulation of bad fat will accumulate. The difference between early winter and late winter is that the late winter is dry and the lengthening of the day starts towards the end of it. During this time it is important to watch the digestive fire and the heavy foods that are eaten. Eating heavy foods prepared in a way that makes them lighter is the ayurvedic way. Take grains for example, if you simple dry roast them before preparing them their normal way, it makes them light by fact that you are putting fire element into them or precooking them and breaking down the proteins in a Western framework. It is noteworthy to mention here that if you were to google “winter anti kapha diet” you would have the most unbelievable amount of results come up. If one was to follow what is written, that advice, they would destroy their immune system which is built off of the heavy nourishing foods eaten in winter. There are many discrepancies in the seasons with Western Ayurvedic and I will not go into what they say, but from the original texts quote above you can see that this is not true.
The difference between the two winters is that the early winter is wet and the later is dry. During the first part of winter we are able to take in heavy, nourishing, sweet foods because the digestion is so strong. Later, coming into the dry winter we change to uttarayana. The change is the start of the digestive power declining. It wanes until the middle of summer where it starts to wax again from its weakest point. Our diet needs to reflect this by watching our digestive capacity. Eating heavy foods but in a lighter way is the easiest way to do this. Soups, stews, root vegetables, meats of drier climates is the best way to do this.
Yoga practice in winter:In the winter, it is the time to exert yourself. Exercise is advised. Your asana practice can be exerting but remember that it is only ever to have capacity at the best of times and this is it. Kidney toning asanas are recommended; suryanamaskar, supta vajrasana, shashakasana, marjariasana, shashank bhujangasana, vyaghrasana, trikonansana, matsyasana, all back bending, paschimottasana, ardha matsyendrasana, halasana, gomuktasana and ushtrasana.*
Pranayama: Build the digestion as it is at its highest now and the better we make it the better your immune system and health will be for the rest of the year. Bhastrika, agnisara kriya, uddiyana bandha, nauli.
Mudra: Maha Mudra
What to do to balance in Spring (Vasanta):Accumulated kapha is liquified by the heat of the sun and disturbs the digestion and metabolism as well as causes many diseases. One should avoid heavy, unctuous, sour and sweet foods. Day sleep is avoided at all cost as it will increase kapha. In the beginning of spring one should habitually resort to exercise to half capacity, anointing with aromatic oils and powders of sandalwood and aguru, garglings with sesame oil (gandusha and kavala), and applying kajal to the eyes. Eat barley and wheat, meats of rabbit, antelope, quail and partridge.
Charaka Samhita – Sutrasthana 6:22 – 26 (with a bit of translation)
Yoga practice in Spring:Asana: Spring time is a time to get moving and dry out. If you do not the heavy moisture will overflow and produce digestive disorders as well as flus, allergies and cold. Get moving and burn out the residual kapha that has built during the winter months. Spring is also the season for cleansing and renewing. Liver asanas such as pachimottasana, meru varkrasana, bhunamanasana, ardha matsyadrasana, merudandasana, utthita hasta merudandasana and ardha padma pashimottasana. Dhanurasana, Jathara Parivartanásana and matsyasana are also really great asanas for kapha. Pavanmuktasana series 2 is focused upon the digestion which is compromised in the spring time. Simhakriya and Kunjalkriya are great for ridding of excess kapha.
Mudra: Maha Mudra
Shatkarma: Kunjal kriya, laghoo shankhaprakshalana, nauli, agnisar dhauti, jalaneti, vastra dhauti
Pranayama: Kapalbhati, bhastrika, surya bhedana, agnisara kriya, sheetkrama
What to do to balance in Early Summer (Grishma):In the summer the sun evaporates the moisture of the earth by its rays. The intake of sweet, cold, liquid, and unctuous diet and drinks is prescribed. You do not suffer from any diseases in this season if you drink mantha (One part barley flour and four parts water) with sugar, eat the meat of animals and birds in aired climates and eat ghee and milk with navara rice (Oryza sativa), avoiding taking food of salty, sour and pungent or hot. Physical exercise should be given up during this season. Daytime naps are appropriate in an cooled environment. In night time you can smear your body with paste made of sandalwood and sleep on airy roof top and be cooled by the rays of the moon. Sexual entercourse is prohibited although some can enjoy gardens, cold water and flowers.
Charaka Samhita – Sutrasthana 6:27 – 32 (with a bit of translation so that it reads better)
In the summer, our bodies are at their weakest. The hot rays of the sun are taking back the nourishing that nature had given up back in the winter. Eating sweet, cooling, liquid and unctuous foods will help us maintain the nourishment and health needed in this time. Beware, these foods can be heavy to digest so we eat them in small quantity or cook them in a way that makes them lighter and easy to digest. Digestion is at its weakest in summertime. Animals and birds of aired climates is just another way of explaining qualities. These animals will all have a lighter quality to them and be easier to digest. Foods of salty, sour and pungent or hot qualities will all create more heat in the body. Sandalwood is cooling to the body and has a pleasant odour. It will cool the body and mind on those hot and dry summer days. In the summer, alcohol is prohibited as it is heating and drying to the body. Exercise as well is prohibited along with sexual intercourse because we are trying to hold on to the strength and both will deplete us substantially. Pitta is not aggravated in the summertime, vata is. 
In summer, the suns rays become powerful; day after day and appears destructive to all things; kapha decreases day by day and vata increases consequently (because of the dryness)
Ashtanga Hrydaya Sutrasthana 3:26 – 27
Yoga practice in early Summer:Asana: Remember that the body is at its weakest during the summer, exertion is at its least. As the heat and dryness is high, working with the moon and cooling asana as well as nourishing is the way to go. Restorative asana is best for summer. Suryanamaskar can still be done but is done to very less exertion. Organ focus can be on the heart and small intestines. Bhujangasana, shalabhasana, sarpasana, shavasana with legs up (vipareeta) a wall is a wonderful way to work the heart.
Mudra: Maha Mudra, anjali mudra, viparita karani mudra, hridaya mudra, Yoni mudra
Shatkarma: Moola shodana, lots of mula bandha, basti
Pranayama: Shitali, Shitkari, Chandrabhedana,
Meditation: Yoga nidra, Yam mantra focused on anahata with blue lotus, grounding
What to do to balance in Late Summer (Varsha):
The body and digestion are weakened during the period of dehydration. It is weakened even further by the aggravation of vata and the other dosha during the rains. The digestive power is affected due to the gas coming out of the earth, rainfall, increase in acidity in water and consequently vata and the other doshas get vitiated. It is advisable to be very moderate in diet and regime during this time. Abstaining from: mantha in excess, day sleep, water from rivers, excessive exercise, being out in the sun rays, and indulgence in sex. Use old honey (more than 1 year old) in diet, drinks (like water) and others. If the days are cooler due to heavy rains, eating sour, salty and unctuous serves as an effective antidote to the vitiation of vata during the rainy season. In order to maintain the strength of the digestion, eating old barley, wheat, navara rice along with the meat of  animals arid and vegetable soups. Drink collected rain water or water that is from a well or pond that is brought to a boil then let cooled and mixed with a little old honey. It is advised to rub the body then apply oils and then take a bath. Wear fragrant garlands, light and clean apparel and reside in a house devoid of humidity in this season.
Charaka Samhita – Sutrasthana 6:33 – 40 (with a bit of translation so that it reads better)
 
In the early summer we see that the heat and rays of the sun the body and digestion is weakened. In the larger two seasons of dry and wet we have now moved into the wet season and late summer. The rainwater (or the atmosphere) being dried creates humidity. This as well as the weakened digestion in turn vitiates all the doshas. The rains and storms create a acidity of water which creates vitiation of pitta and kapha. This in conjunct with the weakened body and digestion makes this the most challenging season. Pitta and kapha are further vitiated due to non complete digestion or half digestion of consumed foods. Vata is also vitiated due to the improper nourishment of the tissues due to the improper digestion. This puts into perspective that this is the most important time to watch the digestion and keep the flame alive by eating small digestible meals. Old honey is used in this season because of its ability to dry the dampness of the season. If taken in large amounts or if consuming young honey which is oozy it will have the adverse effect due to qualities. Oozy, new honey has an opposite effect of moistening the tissues. Naps create excessive heaviness and moisture in the system as well. Ayurveda explains that there are so many different waters. Rain water is by far the best water and river water is hard to digest. Well or pond water is heavy but the boiling of it changes this quality and makes it more digestible. Exercise in this season is minimal but needed to help with the abundant moisture. This means it is advised but light due to the weakness of the body and digestion. Old barley, old rice, wheat, and navara rice are all grains that will be building for the body but light to digest. This can be made even lighter and is advisable to dry roasting them before cooking them. At the change of early summer to late summer we also see the winds change direction. The winds now come from the south and are colder by nature. This is also a reason why vata can be aggravated so stay out of the wind and protected. 
 
Yoga practice in late summer:
Asana: Once again reminded that the body is at its weakest and exercise is limited. Organ focus: spleen and stomach  Focus on bandhas; mula bandha and uddiyana. Shavasana with legs up a wall
Mudra: Ashwini mudra, maha veda mudra, maha mudra, yoga mudra, viparita karani mudra, Yoni mudra, Closing the seven gates mudra, nasikagra mudra Pranayama: Small amount of agnisara kriya will be beneficial but over doing it will aggravate pitta. Shitali, Shitkari.
Meditation: Trataka, Grounding.
 
What to do to balance in Autumn (Sharad):The bodies that have adapted to the rains and cold are suddenly exposed to the heat of the sun with the beginning of autumn. Pitta that has accumulated during the rainy season now gets vitiated. In this season, sweet, light, cold, and bitter food and drink that have a potential to alleviate pitta are to be taken in moderate quantity when there is good appetite. The meats of quail, partridge, antelope, sheep, and rabbit, old rice, barley and wheat are all prescribed for this season as well as intake of ghee with bitter medicines. We should avoid being out in the direct sun, oil,  meat of aquatic and marshy animals, alkaline salt preparations, and yogurt. Day time sleep, exposure to frost, and easternly winds are also avoided. Water is exposed to the rays of the sun by day and the cooling rays of the moon at night. It is also purified by the light of the star agastya that is out at this time depending upon where you are on the planet. This turns the water into nectar for swimming, drinking and bathing. Use garlands of flowers that are in season for wearing as well as clean apparel. The rays of the moon are beneficial at this time.
Charaka Samhita – Sutrasthana 6:41 – 48 (with a bit of translation so that it reads better)
 
If pitta is prevented from accumulation during the past season of the rainy season, reduction of the chances of pitta being aggravated by the heat of the sun in this season is reduced. The diet becomes even lighter in this season because the lighter the diet, the better the digestion. Although pitta is thought to be the digestion it is not. the accumulation of the water element part of pitta will bring about a loss of digestion. Pitta itself can surpress the digestive fire. The quantity of food is the most of importance in this season as eating various quantities will disturb the digestion and bring about severe types of ailments. Bitter ghee is a really good way to overcome pitta. The bitter taste is air and ether. It is drying and light so it balances pitta. Water that is left in a jar for 24 hours is energized by the sun and the moon as well as the star Agastya (Canopus, Alpha Carinae, which is the second brightest star in the sky) is said to be the ‘cleanser of waters’, since its rising coincides with the calming of the waters of the Indian ocean. Depending where your location is on the planet this may effect you or not. Here in the Bay Area, it is just under the southern horizon at this latitude at this time of year. Depending upon who you speak to and their level of knowledge, you will hear different statements as to the effect of this star. Some might say it is correct as it is out during this time of year. Some might say it has minimal effect because it is still out there but under the horizon or some say it is completely devoid of effect because it is under the horizon. You can just try putting water out and see what the effect is. In India it is completely in effect.
Here in the texts it is clear that pitta is aggravated in this season. More to this point is that in the texts there are treatments for purging pitta that are mentioned to be done IN THIS SEASON. This is because pitta is ripe to be treated where it is not in other seasons.
Asana practice in Autumn:
Asana: Organ focus: Lung and large intestine. Suryanamaskara, supta vajrasana, akarna dhanurasana, hasta uttanasana, uttitha lolasana, matsyasana, baddha padmasana, all back bending asanas, sarvangasana, mayurasana,
 
Mudra: Maha Mudra
Pranayama: Chandrabhedana, Shitkara, Shitali, KapalabhatiMeditation: Trataka
All the following yoga practice is general to the season just to give you an idea of the direction it can go and how it can be used to create balance. It is in no way concrete as yoga asana for example has such a dynamic variety of benefits.  Each selection is specific to its functions for that season but can be used in other seasons for different reasons. Only a knowledgable real teacher or sadhaka knows what these asanas/pranayama/mudra etc… do and how to use them. I must add, in staying in integrity, that none of the yoga texts have any information on seasonal practice regime. What is written above is solely from my own making things up with the knowledge of asana, etc and the addition of an ayurvedic knowledge. One informs the other. But…. this is within the realm of the structure of simple and solid ayurvedic principles and I have not taken any poetic rights to add my flair or biases. Also, a practice is individual in Ayurveda as well as yoga so being knowledgeable as well as aware of what is going on with your system is the only way to properly practice anything at all. There is plenty written in yogic texts of vata/vayu/pavan/anila, pitta, and kapha/shleshma as well as the elements and even lots of astronomical connections to tithis, nakshatras, etc… just the same as there is yoga and astronomical knowledge being used in Ayurvedic texts. Back in the day this knowledge was all the basis of one’s knowledge, not at all like the disconnect we have today and limited knowledge and alpa buddhi.
This understanding of the seasons is all a map, not the actual experience. This map gives us a tool to work with the climates of the regions we live in. I must point out that in the US I have watched in detail for this map to play out. No bias as to how it would occur. I can report that consistently for the past many years I have watched my clients, students, friends and family all over the US come down with diseases that are occurring due to the seasonal change in order of the template given in the texts. At the change of seasons from winter to spring, it is obvious to all of us that people get so called allergies and colds and flus. This is nothing more than people eating heavy foods and kapha increasing foods at a time that needs just the opposite qualities (gunas). This is world wide. If this template did not work then those symptoms would not occur. In spring time, I have also seen a client be diagnosed with diabetes. This is to happen in spring because of the same kapha imbalance and excessive water element that happens due to the melting kapha. As we progress through the seasons, It happens every year. If pitta was high in summer there would be no reason for this. Pitta is also water, not just fire. In the turn of late summer into autumn, many clients of acid reflux and inflammatory diseases show up. This to fits the season of water and pitta excess. Yes, acid reflux could be argued to correlate with vata being high but it is more of a pitta disease as it is named “amlapitta” or sour “pitta” but does have a vata aspect to it. Other clients I have seen to have skin diseases at the onset of autumn as well as spring. Skin diseases are of a kapha and pitta nature in general which is not to be seen in this season. So as per the experience of the seasons by the dictation of what diseases are prevelant due to seasonal aggravation, I can only surmise that the ancient texts are clear and concise. I ponder to myself as to how this might occur in places like the north or south pole that have obvious discrepancy with “normal” seasons (seasons of 6 month of darkness or light). One can also surmise with the lower life expectancy in Alaska, men had a life expectancy of 74.5 years in 2000 — 11 years behind the international standard that the further you get into the seasons being so not as balanced that the life expectancy is also shortened.
Now here is a very important view to look at; If someone is trying to balance pitta in summer because that is what they read or was taught, and say that I am actually incorrect and Western Ayurveda books are correct and I am totally of my rocker then someone is completely okay in following the Western ideas of the seasonal vagarities. But if I am correct and Pitta is not aggravated in Summer yet you are following what the Western Ayurvedic model that is being taught is following, you will increase vata. Unfortunately, Vata is what is responsible for creating all disease. Bummer. Hmmmmm………and then also if someone is trying to balance vata in autumn (once again because this is what they were taught) they will in turn increase Pitta. Furthermore, Vata is to your prana or your energy, pitta to your digestion and Kapha to your immune system. If you go on a western ayurveda diet of anti: vata, pitta, or kapha and restrict or prohibit any of these, you will destroy the correlative system of the body. This is actually dangerous and disease forming. My advise is to only work with a “Doctor” of Ayurveda that has gone thru the BAMS course in India or even better an MD or Ph.D. BAMS is a 6 year course in real medicine, including allopathy, verses our several months course or less educational system that has prevailed as Western Ayurveda certification system. Ayurveda is way deeper and detailed than what is taught in any of the Western courses that I myself have experienced going thru several of them.
Another thought that is important to see, is the changing of our environment with the geo engineering that has been going on, if you believe in that. The seasons have been pretty messed up over the past several years and seemingly getting worse. To experience no summer or no winter is a dosha in its own right. It is an imbalance in nature. This comes with a high price to pay for those that do not know how to constantly be alert to their self as well as their environment. I have seen this yearly in my experience. We will see how this plays out in the future. Before Christmas: Roses blooming in London, apple blossoms in Washington, and mangoes in India…… all signs in the early winter that should be happening only in the beginning of spring. Maybe will write an article on this sometime.
Okay, enough rant. Well…… 

Here is a little cheat sheet for the seasons as well.
Season
Food Favor
Avoid Food
Lifestyle favor
Avoid Lifestyle
Spring
-Bitter, pungent, astringent taste.
-Light food items
-Honey, Barley, Wheat.
-Water boiled with dry ginger
-Take water with honey
ShunthiAshwagandha and Pippali
-Sweet and sour taste.
-Heavy food items.
-Cold, oily and fatty food stuff
-Body detoxification procedure for Kapha.
-Exercise to half capacity.
-Massage with chickpea flour
-Body Mask with Chandana and Aguru.
-Can perform sexual activities once in every three days.
-Sleep in day hours.
Summer
-Sweet taste.
-Cold, light, liquid food items.
-Naturally cold water, not that one chilled in refrigerators.
Navar Rice.
-Milk, Ghee.
-Resins
-Coconut water and sugar.
-Pungent, sour and salty tastes.
-Hot food stuff.
-Alcoholic beverages.
-Products with caffeine and nicotine.
-Stay in cold places, not too much chilled.
-Enjoy picnics at Water Falls and deep forests, near the nature.
-Exercise is minimal
-Light clothing.
-Sleeping in moon night (It gives uncutousness to body)
-Body mask of Chandana.
-Exercise.
-Stay in sharp Sun Light.
Rains
-Add honey in all food items, which are not hot.
-Sour and salty tastes.
-Eat old rice, wheat and barley.
-Watered down alcoholic beverages, added with a lot of water.
-Boil your water before drinking it.
-Avoid the foods which are heavy and juicy.
-Preserved food items.
-Fruits in excess.
-Detoxification of Pitta.
-Stay in clean and protected place from mosquitoes and rats etc.
-Massage with dry powders.
-Body mask of Aguru.
-Sleeping in day hours.
-Overindulgence of Sex.
-Walking in the dew
-Exercise.
-Stay in direct sun light.
Autumn
-Sweet, pungent and astringent taste.
-Cold and light food articles.
-Bitter Ghee.
Navar Rice.
-Green gram.
Amalaki, Resins, MulethiShatavari.
-Yogurt.
-Heavy meals.
-Alcoholic drinks.
-Light and clean clothing.
-Swimming
-Enjoy moon light.
Body mask for Pitta having Khaskhas.
-Long stay in direct sunlight.
-Sleeping in day hours.
-Walking in dew.
Early winter
-Sweet, sour and salty taste.
-Heavy and oily food stuff.
-Grains of new crops
-Ghee
-Dairy products
-Light and restricted diet
-More pungent and astringent food items.
-Exercise
-Massage with herbal powders and with oils.
-Enjoy indirect sunlight.
-Body mask having Aguru
-Use lukewarm water for all daily activities
-Laziness and leisure
-Dryness increasing activities.
-To stay in direct air.
Late Winter
Follow the regimes of early winter
Follow the regimes of early winter
Follow the regimes of early winter
Follow the regimes of early winter
Just in case you have any doubts of validity of what I have stated about the Westerner world and the incorrectness of what they are calling Ayurveda, reminder… they state that summer is when Pitta is high due to the heat.