According to Ayurvedic tradition, three doshas (which are like primary characteristics) can be used to explain the nature of all living and natural things. The doshas are Pitta (Fire characteristic), Vata (Wind characteristic) and Kapha (Earth characteristic).
So, for example, the summer season has a pitta constitution because of it’s heat. Warm soups and stews have a kapha constitution because they are moist and heavy. When we feel extremely spacey, like our thoughts are racing around we are experiencing a vata constitution.
Using this way of analyzing the world can be useful because it helps us choose what may be needed in order to correct imbalances.
Let’s take summer as an example. Summer has a lot of heat…but in excess too much heat is not comfortable. So if we spend too much time in high temps or overeat too many foods that are warming in nature (like meat) in the summer our bodies and minds feel out of balance. Just think of what happens to your moods when you are feeling overheated for too long. Irritability runs rampant.
So the best foods for summer are cooling foods, like fresh fruits and many fresh vegetables (all which are naturally in season during the hot months).
As we transition from one season to the next, we intuitively recognize the need to shift our activities, the foods we eat, and our interests toward things that are natural balances for that season.
So as summer ends and fall begins, our energy (which is very active and high in the summer) starts to feel a bit more reserved and inward focused, and the foods we eat shift from raw and cooling toward cooked and warming.
When we have honored the season and eaten according to the harvest, the transition can be a very smooth one. But if you are feeling the excesses of the season, then choosing to do a seasonal cleanse in order to prepare for the next season is a great idea.
So if this summer you (like me) have eaten one too many backyard BBQ hamburgers, feel your moods leaning toward irritable a bit more often than you’d like and are feeling the exhaustion from a high energy, active summer- then taking a short, real-foods cleanse just may be the ticket to entering fall with a clean slate and ready to enjoy all the next season has to offer.
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