Winter season is the one that’s most pleasant yet dreadful. People keep wanting winters and when they arrive one question is constant – when would it end? There are a lot of facts that we do not know about the six seasons. Ritucharya in Ayurveda particularly explains the six seasons of India. According to Ayurveda, a year is divided into two “Kaals” – Adaan Kaal or Northern Solstice and Visarga Kaal or Southern Solstice. These Kaals are determined by the position of the Sun, which influences the weather on Earth.
When the Sun is Adaan, there’s an increase in temperature on land. The heat from the Sun lowers the ability to perform daily actions. Greeshma, Vasant, and Sharat Ritu fall under Adaan Kaal or Uttarayana. The rest three seasons come under Visarga Kaal. It occurs when the Sun gives the energy to restore all body functions. Cold winds and rain denote the Visarga Kaal. Hemant, Shishir, and Varsha Ritu are parts of Visarga Kaal.
Winter Season (Shishir Ritu)
Winter Season or Shishir Ritu are the coldest months of the year. Note that Hemant Ritu is known as early winter, and Shishir Ritu is called late winter. The later usually begins from mid-January. And, when does winter end? The late winter phase ends around mid-March. These seasons play a crucial role in maintaining your overall health. The changing seasons alter the state of Doshas in the body. Vata and Kapha aggravate in the late winter leading to cold, cough, fevers, flu, and pneumonia. Proper Ahara and Vihara bring balance during the transitional seasons. Ahara is the diet one consumes, and Vihara is the lifestyle or routine. Let us know about Shishir Ritu or winter season diet and lifestyle in detail.
As energy and Agni returns, the senses of taste and smell get activated. Therefore, eat foods that are warm, sweet, salty, and sour.
- Use wheat and gram flour for cooking.
- Consume dairy products like warm milk and home-made butter.
- Spices like pepper, cardamom, cloves, and turmeric enhance the quality of food.
- Cook the food properly before eating to ease digestion.
- Eat dry fruits like dates, almonds, cashews, and walnuts.
- Organic honey is effective in preventing cold and cough.
- Jaggery and sugarcane are great sweet alternatives.
- Drink warm water and herbal teas for hydration.
- Include generous amounts of ghee to rekindle the digestive fire.
- Winter foods must always be warm and freshly coked.
- Wear silk or woolen clothes to protect the skin from harsh chilly winds.
- Exercises like yoga, brisk walking, or dancing keep you warm and fit.
- Moisturize the skin with mustard oil massages.
- Abhyanga must be carried out daily.
- Try Udvartana with saffron and milk paste.
- Sunbathe during the mornings to get energy and strength.
- Get to bed early as nights become longer during the winter season.
- Light an incense stick and meditate for peace.
Note: Articles on Ayurvedum are solely for the purpose of sharing the goodness of Ayurveda and bringing awareness on natural and healthy living. Please do not substitute it for professional medical advice. Ingredients discussed can interfere with certain medications. So, before using anything to treat yourself, always consult an Ayurveda doctor or practitioner.