The junctures between the seasons are the perfect time to cleanse the body of any excesses which might have built up, both in the body and the mind. Failure to do this is an invitation for diseases to set in, if the body/mind is in a weakened state.
Why Expelling Excess Summer Heat Leads to a Healthier Fall and Winter
The official date of the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is September 22nd. It’s time to prepare for the seasonal shift that Ayurveda teaches is critical to our health.
Here in the Northeast, fall is just around the corner. It’s ever so subtle, but you can sense it. Apples have arrived at the farmer’s market and there’s a palpable excitement. The days have still been very hot, but soon the nights will cool down and the wind will begin to blow.
During the summer months of Pitta Season, excess heat is likely to have accumulated and might be expressing itself in any or all of the following ways
- Skin problems such as rash, eczema, hives, psoriasis or dermatitis
- Feeling of heat trapped in the body, hot flashes
- Burning or itching sensations
- Digestive issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, burping, nausea, loose stools or diarrhea, intense hunger
- Yellow coating on the tongue
- Bleeding gums or canker sores
- Excessive sweating (pungent-smelling)
- Excessive thirst
- Feelings of anger, jealousy, criticism, impatience
None of these symptoms, as harmless as they may seem, should be taken lightly. They are red flags of an imbalance that, left untreated, can lead to more serious problems. Pay attention. You do not want to enter Vata Season (Fall/Early Winter) with these imbalances. The energy of Vata will only exacerbate them. Vata moves everything (air is the predominant element) and can drive imbalances deeper into the tissues and channels of the body.
Last year I experienced this imbalance firsthand. A particularly hot summer coupled with my Vata tendency towards dehydration left my body in a weakened state as I entered fall season.
This year I have been cautiously aware and careful to stay cool and hydrated. Having a Vata-Pitta constitution can be challenging at this time of year.
Vata is dry. If the excess heat of the summer is not properly expelled before entering Vata Season, this hot/dry energy will begin to move upward in the body, weakening it and making it more susceptible to colds, flus, allergies, as well as digestive and respiratory problems.
The body will begin to produce reactive mucus to combat the dryness and we will likely blame it on the guy we work with who has a cold.
Mother Nature provides us with foods that are naturally cooling and help to dispel heat from the body. So eat lots of seasonal local fruits and vegetables at summer’s end. Especially effective are apples, pomegranates, and beets.
If any of this resonates with you, follow the Pitta-pacifying suggestions in this article and consider doing an Ayurvedic cleanse.
Unlike harsh cleanse programs which can leave the body in a weakened state, an Ayurvedic cleanse gently clears the mind and body of toxins and brings the doshas back into balance. Fall is a perfect time for such a cleanse. I’m happy to help guide you.
I’ll write again soon with some Vata Season survival tips. Now is the time to focus on a smooth seasonal transition, so for the next few weeks – think COOL!
Discover Your Ayurvedic Constitution